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‘Decolonize and decarbonize’: Iskwew Air and YVR sign knowledge-sharing agreement

Click to play video: 'YVR and Indigenous-owned Iskwew Air sign historic agreement'
YVR and Indigenous-owned Iskwew Air sign historic agreement
WATCH: The Vancouver International Airport has signed a milestone agreement with the first one-hundred per cent Indigenous female-owned airline in Canada – Sep 26, 2022

The first airline founded and owned by an Indigenous woman in Canada has signed a new memorandum of understanding with Vancouver International Airport.

The agreement inked between Iskwew Air and YVR will allow the organizations to share best practices and knowledge in marketing and communications, operational innovations and sustainability.

“Together we will decolonize and decarbonize our skies for the next seven generations,” Iskwew founder Teara Fraser said at the Monday signing.

“I do believe that co-creating the conditions for Indigenous businesses to thrive is one of the single most natural, swift and effective pathways to economic reconciliation, and that is exactly what YVR has stepped up to do.”

Click to play video: 'Iskwew Air Founder and CEO Teara Fraser on empowering others to bring their full selves to work'
Iskwew Air Founder and CEO Teara Fraser on empowering others to bring their full selves to work

Read more: ArriveCAN, mask mandates among changes as Canada drops COVID-19 border rules

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The B.C.-born Iskwew Air provides daily service between YVR’s South Terminal and Qualicum Beach Airport on Vancouver Island and began chartered operations in 2019. It offsets the climate-polluting emissions of all of its flights, and supports the Great Bear Rainforest Carbon Project.

The goal of the new agreement is to improve connectivity across rural, remote and Indigenous communities in British Columbia and engage in a meaningful partnership, YVR CEO Tamara Vrooman said.

“Before the pandemic Indigenous tourism in Canada was the fastest-growing segment of our tourism sector,” she said.

“Signing this MOU will allow us to … work in partnership with Teara who has started this amazing airline to ensure that our Indigenous tourism sector grows, but also to ensure we’re facilitating the much needed connection via air to our rural and Indigenous communities.”

Click to play video: 'All Canadian COVID-19 travel restrictions to be dropped Oct. 1'
All Canadian COVID-19 travel restrictions to be dropped Oct. 1

The agreement was signed the same day the federal government confirmed Canada will drop its border rules pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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As of Oct. 1, travellers will no longer have to submit public health information through ArriveCAN, provide proof of vaccination, undergo testing, quarantine or isolate, and monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving in Canada. They can also ditch the face masks on plans and trains.

Vrooman said she was “delighted” that the science supported the lifting of restrictions.

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