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BMO Collaboratorium at University of the Fraser Valley makes critical research accessible to Indigenous communities

June 27, 2024 | Giving and sponsorships

At a 50th anniversary celebration at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV)’s Chilliwack campus on Tuesday, BMO announced a contribution of $440,000 over five years to support the BMO Collaboratorium.  

The BMO Collaboratorium is a unique project of UFV’s Peace and Reconciliation Centre (PARC), providing: 

  • community organizations with sophisticated research services;
  • UFV students with opportunities to enhance their research skills; and
  • support for projects that promote peace and reconciliation. 

Launched as a pilot in 2021, the BMO Collaboratorium was created by PARC Director Dr. Keith Carlson to provide community organizations access to sophisticated research at a fraction of the cost of a corporate consultant. BMO’s gift enables the addition of a full-time research coordinator, provides financial assistance to community organizations to cover research costs, and funds technology and travel.  

Half of the BMO Collaboratorium’s partnerships are with Indigenous communities, such as Matsqui First Nation, Sumas First Nation and Seabird Island First Nation. The work of Dr. Carlson and the BMO Collaboratorium was recognized in 2023 with Heritage Abbotsford’s Outstanding BC Heritage Award in Indigenous and Diverse Cultures.  

“We are very proud of the work that’s been done and the partnerships that have been fostered through the BMO Collaboratorium, and we’re excited to celebrate this generous contribution by BMO. This support allows us to build on the solid foundation that’s been set in place, providing more opportunities for UFV students and impactful research with our many community partners.” 

– Dr. Joanne MacLean
University of the Fraser Valley President and Vice-Chancellor 

“We’re proud to recognize UFV’s 50th anniversary and honoured to support the work of the BMO Collaboratorium, which is meeting a great need within Indigenous communities while creating opportunities for students. We’ve enjoyed a strong relationship with UFV since 1999, enhancing the student experience and ensuring their long-term success, as part of BMO’s Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life.” 

– Michael Bonner
Head, Canadian Personal & Business Banking Distribution, Head, BMO Enterprise Indigenous Strategy, and Co-Chair, BMO Indigenous Advisory Council 

To date, BMO has contributed $1.03 million to UFV, including sponsorships, and student awards. In the last decade alone, BMO has pledged more than $30 million in support of Indigenous causes. 

BMO is committed to progress for Indigenous Peoples across three pillars that reflect the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action for corporate Canada:  

  • Employment: We are committed to hiring, developing and retaining Indigenous Peoples at BMO and achieving an Indigenous representation goal of 1.6 per cent of the workforce across all levels.  
  • Economic Empowerment: We are committed to doubling the size of our Indigenous Banking business by 2025 and continue to grow our procurement spending with Indigenous-owned businesses as part of our commitment to supplier diversity. In October, BMO announced the launch of the BMO for Indigenous Entrepreneurs lending program to help eliminate barriers to capital access. 

Learn more about BMO’s commitments to Indigenous customers, colleagues and communities

BMO Gives. Good grows here.   

Helping communities thrive by supporting the organizations that sustain them and encouraging employee giving and volunteerism is at the heart of BMO’s Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. In 2023, our social impact included more than $84 million donated to hundreds of charities and non-profit organizations across North America to help drive progress by enabling individuals to thrive and communities to prosper. Our colleagues spent almost 62,000 hours volunteering in the community and contributed more than $31.2 million of donations through our annual employee giving program.

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