Economic and community development key to Aboriginal success: RBC

RBC marks National Aboriginal Day with release of two new reports - Action Plan with the AFN and new Aboriginal Partnership Report

TORONTO, June 21 /CNW/ - To mark National Aboriginal Day, RBC today announced the release of its second annual A Chosen Journey: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report and is providing highlights from the two-year Corporate Challenge Action Plan with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).

"Our focus is on improving the key pillars of economic and community development for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities," explained Dale Sturges, national director, Aboriginal Markets, RBC. "With the success of the action plan and our commitment to the aboriginal community, we look forward to continue working with the AFN, as well as local businesses, governments and communities to find ways to create economic opportunities that benefit Aboriginal peoples and the overall Canadian economy."

Both the Partnership Report and the Action Plan address four key elements of RBC's ongoing work with Aboriginal peoples across Canada including access to financial services, employment and education, community development and procurement.

The two-year Corporate Challenge Action Plan included the following initiatives:

Providing access to financial services and capital

    
    -   RBC introduced a new banking service for Aboriginal people living in
        remote communities, making it easier for them to access personal
        banking services with the same convenience and ease as individuals
        living in more urban locations.
    -   RBC provided capital funds for community infrastructure projects,
        such as cultural centres, housing projects, health centres and
        community buildings.
    -   RBC expanded the On-Reserve Housing Loan Program to increase home
        financing options in First Nations communities.
    

Community and social development

    
    -   RBC provided more than $1 million in RBC Blue Water Project
        Leadership Grants that benefit Aboriginal communities.
    -   RBC became a lead investor in partnership with the Conference Board
        of Canada, for a new five-year commitment to the Centre for the
        North.
    -   RBC donated $4 million to support Aboriginal community and social
        development programs and charities.
    -   RBC spearheaded unprecedented Aboriginal involvement in the
        Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, with over 100 visits to First
        Nation communities.
    

Employment, training and education

    
    -   RBC provided education and employment programs for First Nations
        youth, including the RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program, the
        RBC Stay in School Program and the Aboriginal Transitions Program at
        Lethbridge Community College.
    -   RBC awarded $1 million in scholarships through the RBC Aboriginal
        Student Awards Program.
    -   RBC provided 'work and learn' summer job opportunities as customer
        service representatives to 86 Aboriginal students in grades nine
        to 12.
    

Procurement

    
    -   RBC worked with the Canadian Aboriginal Minority Suppliers Council to
        identify Aboriginal-owned companies to provide goods and services to
        RBC, including sponsorship of their annual trade fair and awards
        gala.
    

A Chosen Journey: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report 2009 can be viewed by visiting http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/commercial/aboriginal/pdf/57482%20Aboriginal%20Report_E.pdf.

For highlights, or more information about what RBC is doing to support Aboriginal Canadians, please visit www.rbcroyalbank.com/aboriginal.

About RBC and Aboriginal Canadians

RBC has a proud history of strong relationships with Aboriginal peoples. 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.

SOURCE RBC

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Matt Gierasimczuk, 416-974-2124, matthew.gierasimczuk@rbc.com


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