University of Victoria receives $500,000 donation from TD Bank Financial Group

    Gift will go towards First Peoples House and Indigenous Student Career
    Transition Program

    VICTORIA, June 15 /CNW/ - Indigenous students at the University of
Victoria (UVic) are benefiting from a $500,000 donation from TD Bank Financial
Group. The gift will help fund the university's First Peoples House and the
Indigenous Student Career Transitions Program that assists UVic's Indigenous
students with employment.
    "We are grateful to TD Bank Financial Group and delighted they have
chosen to support UVic's indigenous students," says David Turpin, UVic's
president and vice-chancellor. "This generous gift will assist us with a
strategic initiative of the highest priority to meet the educational needs of
Indigenous youth and increase the number of Indigenous peoples graduating with
a degree from UVic. Our greatest aspiration in achieving this goal is to build
the First Peoples House and create programs to help Indigenous students
transition from their home communities and adjust to life as students in one
of Canada's leading universities."
    The First Peoples House will be a gathering place for Indigenous
students, a highly visible hub of campus life and a centre for program and
service delivery, strengthening the existing support and providing a welcoming
learning environment for Indigenous students.
    Half of the bank's gift will support the implementation of the Indigenous
Student Career Transitions Program. UVic's goal is to ensure that all
Indigenous students gain the necessary skills to make a successful transition
from student life into meaningful and productive employment. The program will
focus on the development of employment-readiness skills that Indigenous
students need to move into the work force and then carry out a lifetime of
effective career management.
    "These initiatives are about improving access to education," says Raymond
Chun, senior vice-president TD Canada Trust. "As literacy and education is one
of TD's Community Giving areas of focus and with UVic's Indigenous student
population growing exponentially, we're delighted to be working together with
UVic to contribute to these educational opportunities and helping to develop
tomorrow's leaders from the community."
    UVic's strong relationships with Indigenous communities are built on the
mutual belief that future economic opportunity and social prosperity for
Indigenous peoples is based on education and training. The number of
Indigenous students attending classes at UVic has increased from 89 students
in 1999 to more than 600 Indigenous students today.

    TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together

    Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the
three main areas of focus for TD's community giving. Flagship programs within
these areas include: TD Children's Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian
Children's Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership;
and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD
is involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting
diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2008, TD donated
$35 million to more than 2,100 organizations across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Chris Thackray, Development
Communications at (250) 721-6247 or; Fran Hunt Jinnouchi
(Director, Office of Indigenous Affairs) at (250) 721-6326 or;
Gregory Harrison, TD Bank Financial Group at (416) 308-8597 or

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