Twenty-five years ago, the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women founded the Esquao Awards to recognize and celebrate the contributions of exceptional Aboriginal women in Alberta. Whether in the areas of the Arts, Business, Children’s Future, Community Involvement, Culture, Education, Environment, Health and Medicine, International Influence, Justice, or Political Involvement, Esquao Award recipients demonstrate the strength and beauty of Aboriginal women.

Join us on Saturday, May 2nd, 2020 at the River Cree Resort and Casino for the 25th Annual Esquao Awards Gala for an inspired evening to celebrate the Angels Among Us.

The Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) is a non-profit organization that delivers programs and advocates for systemic changes that support the inclusion, skill development and recognition of Aboriginal women in Alberta. Current programs include financial literacy, increasing safety, and supports to women coming out of correctional institutions. The Esquao Awards is part of a larger leadership development and training program that includes advancing Aboriginal women into more decision-making roles.

This year we are expecting approximately 600 people from across Alberta. Many corporations, government departments and Aboriginal organizations support these awards to recognize the accomplishments of Aboriginal Women. This is the 25th annual event. We are expecting Ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Métis and First Nation leaders, other dignitaries and media to attend. IAAW is based in Edmonton with reach to several outlying communities to provide training, host gatherings and action planning. If you have meal requirements or have any other ticket questions, please email

Doors open at 4:00pm. Ceremony begins promptly at 5:00pm as the event is televised, followed by Grand Entry begins at 5:30pm. Presentations are given in groups with entertainment intertwined throughout the night. Event concludes at 9:30pm.


Local media are expected to cover the event. If you don’t want to be in promotional pictures, please identify yourself at the main reception.

Gifts/Door Prizes/Silent Auction/Artisans

Recipients will receive a gift bag of donated items and door prizes are drawn during the event.  There will also be a silent auction and 50-50. Women from our programs will sell their crafts at the IAAW table inside the Entertainment Centre.


The River Cree Casino has parking in the rear of the building close to the arena. The closest door is on the west side of the hotel. Click here for a map of the location.
River Cree Resort & Casino
300 E Lapontac Blvd, Enoch, AB


Tickets are now available online! Click the link below to purchase your spot at the 25th Annual Esquao Awards.
Single: $210.00
Table of Ten: $1890.00


Sponsorship Opportunities

The Esquao Awards would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. IAAW directs all proceeds raised through the 25th Annual Esquao Awards to support our programs. Learn more about Sponsorship Opportunities here.
Thank you to our Sponsors for you support!
For further information, please contact Rachelle Venne, Chief Executive Officer
at 780-479-8195 |

Celebrating 25 Years of the Esquao Awards

Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
18104 – 102 Avenue, Edmonton AB T5S 1S7
Phone 1-877-471-2171 | Toll Free or 780-479-8195 | Fax: 780-471-2169,
Email: | Facebook: