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BMO celebrates 30th anniversary of Indigenous Banking Unit with donations to empower Indigenous communities

On November 16, BMO marked the 30th anniversary of its Indigenous Banking Unit (IBU) with contributions to Indigenous cultural and educational initiatives at three organizations.

“We’re honoured to celebrate such an important milestone. Indigenous Banking is more than a business at BMO,” said Mike Bonner, Head, Canadian Business Banking, and Co-Chair, BMO Indigenous Advisory Council. “Since 1992, we’ve built a strong presence with deep roots in hundreds of Indigenous communities across Canada and we value the tremendous trust placed in us as we make progress together toward a brighter future. Wednesday we marked the last thirty years, but we’re even more excited about the future and the opportunity to continue to innovate to serve Indigenous customers, communities and enterprises.”

BMO established its IBU 30 years ago when it made the commitment to do more to serve Indigenous communities. Since then, through a network of branches and business banking offices both on and off reserve, BMO has offered financial products and services, including housing and renovation financing, trust services, investment management solutions, and long-term financing for on-reserve infrastructure and economic development.

To mark the anniversary, BMO is donating more than $560,000 among three organizations that focus on education and cultural reclamation, including language and traditional land-based learning, the return of cultural artifacts, and the creation of safe spaces for Indigenous students.

Recipients are chosen through consultation with organizations we partner with, communities we serve and BMO’s Indigenous Advisory Council, and include:

  • The University of Toronto Scarborough, to build Indigenous House, which will open doorways for Indigenous learners, teachers and support workers to thrive on campus, and foster opportunities to put Indigenous inclusion into daily practice
  • Newo Wellness in Saskatoon, a day camp that, through a comprehensive and decolonized approach with a focus on Indigenous Worldview, will deliver long term youth programming aimed at teaching wellness tools to influence lifelong healthy habits
  • Manitou Asiniy-Iniskim-Tsa Xani, to build a learning centre designed by Douglas Cardinal to house the Manitou Stone, Canada’s largest meteorite. Deeply embedded in the culture of Plains Bison Tribes, the artifact will finally be returned to the location where it first landed in the Iron Creek Alberta area

“We’re honoured to support inspiring and culturally relevant initiatives that reflect BMO’s commitment to advancing Truth and Reconciliation through education, employment and economic empowerment.”

– Clio Straram, Head, BMO Indigenous Banking Unit

For more information about how BMO works with Indigenous communities in Canada, view our annual Indigenous Partnerships and Progress Report.

IBU Leadership 1992 – Present

Transcript (PDF)

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