Welcome to the Institute For The Advancement Of Aboriginal Women

About Us

The Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) is a non-profit organization based out of Edmonton with chapters throughout the province that recognizes the role, value, and achievements of Aboriginal women in society and raises awareness about the challenges and obstacles faced by Aboriginal Women.

Esquao is the stylized version for the Cree word for woman and is copyrighted.

Our Philosophy

Open and transparent decision-making processes;

Building the capacity and independence of both individuals and communities;

Established evaluative reporting procedures; and

Administrative accountability and financial reporting based on the principles of transparency and disclosure.

Our Mandate

To recognize and promote the leadership of Aboriginal Women in Alberta, be actively involved and assist Aboriginal Women to establish local representative groups and develop relationships to promote human rights and dignity of Aboriginal Women and their families, and to address economic, social, cultural and political issues of concern at the provincial, federal and international levels and as they impact Aboriginal Women in the communities.

Feb '19


IAAW’s President & Founder featured at the #newram

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The new Royal Alberta Museum which opened its doors last October 2018 houses a large variety of Indigenous artifacts.     Some of the artifacts include the Manitou Stone, unearthed tools over thousands of years old. Included among these artifacts are the stories of outstanding Indigenous Albertans throughout history.     Muriel Stanley Venne, the president and… Read more »

Dec '18


The Women of IAAW: Julia Chalifoux

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“I was working at a hotel before my job at IAAW. I saw the job ad for the Empower U Facilitator, I had so much so much self-doubt and I was trying to find every reason not to apply. It said facilitator, and I’m not a teacher. I had the job ad up on Facebook and… Read more »

Nov '18


The Women of IAAW: Muriel Stanley Venne

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President and founder of IAAW, Muriel Stanley Venne continues to be a bright light for the Indigenous women who look for an inspirational role model in Alberta and beyond. Some of her achievements include receiving the Order of Canada, After her integral roles in advocating for various Indigenous women’s rights in the justice system, she… Read more »