The Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) is operating as best we can, while adhering to the most recent COVID-19 health restrictions. As the health, safety, and well-being of our members, staff and communities remains our top priority, we beginning to open our office for small, in-person meetings and one on one sessions, as needed. Staff that are able to work from home are coming into the office only as needed.

We have announced that our Esquao Awards Gala is going to be released on video on May 21, 2021. Stay tuned for more information on this touching event where we recognize the Angels Among Us; the women who continue to display strength and resilience.

Please see below for a list of actions we are undertaking during this uncertain time.

IAAW is continuing to support Aboriginal women in Edmonton area who are rebuilding their life after fleeing violence, women leaving correctional facilities and women living in poverty.
We are:

  • Offering online sessions on Healthy Relationships, Firekeeper Wellness Circle, Youth Leadership and Financial Literacy (Empower U) on-line;
  • Offering assistant remotely for women looking for post secondary funding through the Indigenous Skills Employment and Training (ISET) program
  • Sending out care packages, and providing other supports by referral (referral form attached)
  • Staying up to date on health recommendations and subsidies; sharing information and resources

Incorporating additional health and safety measures at the office:
We are:

  • Encouraging handwashing and social distancing measures for staff in the office
  • Screening visitors coming our office; mandating that if anyone believes they have been in contact with an unwell person, that they remain at home and self isolate.
  • Are limiting people in the office to a maximum of 15 people
  • Are limiting the number of people in staff room and small spaces as per social distancing guidelines (2 meters apart)
  • Are encouraging disinfection of individual offices at the end of the workday
  • Disinfecting all office spaces after each use, deep cleaning once per week.

Contact Information

NAMEResponsibilityDirect LineEmail
Rachelle VenneCEO, Link to
Marggo PariseauFirekeepers, Link to Board,
Housing, Esquao Awards
Bernadette SwansonFinancial Literacy – Empower
Erica GladueEsquao Youth
Saige ArcandWellness Program, Community
Maureen Callihoo-LigtvoetHealthy Relationships, COVID supports
Lois AshleyIndigenous Skills Employment and Training (ISET)
General Information780-479-8195

Going Forward

We continue to stay connected within our communities and monitor developments and recommendations by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Take care,
Rachelle Venne, CEO