Video: Principal Danny Scully and students at Eleanor W. Graham Middle School in New Brunswick share their thoughts on RBC's After School Grants Project.
RBC releases sixth annual Aboriginal Partnership Report ahead of
National Aboriginal Day on June 21
TORONTO, June 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Investing in education is critical to
fostering strong and healthy Aboriginal communities. However, while
successful education completion is on the rise among Aboriginal
peoples, a gap still remains compared with the rest of Canada.
According to Statistics Canada's 2011 National Household Survey, 22.81
per cent of Aboriginal peoples aged 25 to 64 reported high school as
their highest level of education (up from 21 per cent in 2006) and
almost one-half (48.4 per cent) completed post-secondary qualification,
up from 44 per cent in the 2006 Census. These results compare with 89
per cent of Canada's non-Aboriginal population holding at least a high
school diploma, and 64 per cent attaining post-secondary qualification.
To help grow Aboriginal peoples' educational and workforce
participation, and ultimately strengthen Canada's competitiveness and
economic prosperity, this gap must close faster. That is why supporting
innovative programs which help students achieve their goals remains a
priority for RBC, and why this focus is highlighted in A Chosen Journey: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report released today.
In 2014, the RBC After School Grants Project's investment in a new
after-school program at Eleanor W. Graham Middle School in New
Brunswick yielded strong impact based results supporting student
learning. When asked why students enjoyed attending school, 85 percent
of students identified the RBC After School Grants Project as the
reason for increased attendance and higher levels of engagement. With
the right resources and knowledge, overcoming educational barriers and
challenges is not only possible, but can be repeated successfully from
coast to coast to coast.
"I have seen firsthand the difference education can make," says Chinyere
Eni, national director, Aboriginal Markets, RBC. "Through grants and
donations towards after-school programs, extracurricular activities and
financial literacy awareness programs, RBC has been able to promote and
support youth education in Indigenous communities across Canada. These
are the stepping stones that support the proactive engagement of
Indigenous youth in not only education but also in community."
RBC believes education is a cornerstone to helping shape the future for
today's Aboriginal youth. This year's Partnership Report celebrates the
relationships and Aboriginal youth educational programs that RBC has
developed in collaboration with First Nations, Métis and Inuit
communities and peoples across the country.
Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation, situated on the shores of Lake Huron, Ontario, is just one example of
a community focused on supporting financial literacy. The First Nations
Financial Management Board recognized the need to create opportunities
for band members through greater financial literacy. As such, the
Chippewas reached out to Phil Fontaine, Special Advisor to RBC, for
assistance. Fontaine spearheaded RBC's proposal for an innovative,
integrated approach to banking with a strong emphasis on increasing
financial literacy in the community. Through targeted outreach and an
integrated approach to learning, our relationship with the community
has facilitated a rise in financial literacy.
"Having known Chief Tom Bressette for many years, I can attest to his
unwavering commitment to his First Nation and the empowerment of his
people," Fontaine said. "In addition to implementing a strong financial
management regime for his government, his vision and initiative to
increase the financial literacy of his citizens is another tangible
demonstration of his leadership. The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony
Point First Nation and RBC have forged a respectful and reciprocal
relationship that will enable them to learn from each other as they
move into a positive economic future for the First Nation."
Other highlights from the A Chosen Journey: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report include:
Elsipogtog First Nation's peoples at Eleanor W. Graham Middle School in New Brunswick created an innovative After School Program to increase
student engagement. The program provides students with interactive and
educational activities ranging from snow showing and wood carving, to
programs such as music, sports, and science which mirror student
interests. Prior to the creation of the After School Program, First
Nations student engagement in school activities included fewer than 15
per cent of the First Nation school population. Now, 90 per cent of
First Nation students participate in one or more of the after school
sport, cultural, music or training activities, and has been maintained
for the past five years.
Oskayak High School located in downtown Saskatoon, benefitted from the Aboriginal Youth
Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP), offered by the Martin Aboriginal
Education Initiative (MAEI), a charitable organization with a guiding
vision to empower Aboriginal students with the knowledge and confidence
they need to complete secondary school and go on to post-secondary
studies. The elective course offered through the program is supported
through the multi-year partnership with RBC and has helped inspire
positive change for within participant schools, students and educators
alike. Over the past three years, 57 students have participated in the
The 2014 RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report is available online at www.rbcroyalbank.com/commercial/aboriginal.
About RBC and Aboriginal Canadians
RBC has a proud history of strong relationships with Aboriginal peoples.
For more than 100 years, RBC has helped strengthen First Nations, Inuit
and Métis communities across Canada. We are committed to serving
Aboriginal governments, communities, organizations, businesses and
individuals by creating opportunities for sustainable economic
development through: access to banking and capital; community and social development; employment, education and training; and procurement. RBC also provides donations and grants that support Aboriginal
interests in three key areas: the environment, specifically water;
youth literacy and education; and culture and heritage. For more
information about these programs and more, visit rbcroyalbank.com/aboriginal and click on "A Chosen Journey Annual Report".
Video with caption: "Video: Principal Danny Scully and students at Eleanor W. Graham Middle School in New Brunswick share their thoughts on RBC's After School Grants Project. ". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20140617_C7278_VIDEO_EN_41441.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20140617_C7278_PHOTO_EN_41441.jpg&clientName=RBC&caption=Video%3A%20Principal%20Danny%20Scully%20and%20students%20at%20Eleanor%20W%2E%20Graham%20Middle%20School%20in%20New%20Brunswick%20share%20their%20thoughts%20on%20RBC%27s%20After%20School%20Grants%20Project%2E%20&title=RBC%20%2D%20Creating%20a%20future%20through%20education%20key%20for%20Aboriginal%20youth%3A%20RBC%20report&headline=Creating%20a%20future%20through%20education%20key%20for%20Aboriginal%20youth%3A%20RBC%20report
Image with caption: "A Chosen Journey: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140617_C7278_PHOTO_EN_41433.jpg
Image with caption: "Students at Eleanor W. Graham Middle School in New Brunswick use the RBC After School Program to keep up with their studies. (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140617_C7278_PHOTO_EN_41434.jpg
For further information:
Kate Yurincich, RBC Communications, 416-974-1031
Katherine McNamara, RBC Communications, 555-222-0323