The founder of Canada’s first airline owned by an indigenous woman is one of 18 characters in a new DC graphic novel called “Wonderful Women of History.” Teara Donovan, the Metis founder of Vancouver-based Iskwew Air, is in some pretty famous company in the book, which features profiles on such celebrity figures as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and singer Beyonce. The general theme is women who have become role models for other women and Donovan said that’s fundamental to her business. “It’s important to me to uplift all those identifying as women and non-binary folk and Indigenous peoples.”
The 49-year-old Donovan didn’t start flying until she was 30 and started her airline with a Piper Navajo and five employees in 2019. “I wanted to create a space both for myself and for other people where we can be our whole selves — love is one of our articulated values, and we wear love buttons — and a place where we can energize humanity.” As she guides the airline through the COVID crisis, she’s also taking a PhD in human development.