BMO honours National Indigenous History Month by supporting Indigenous-led organizations
BMO has announced $800,000 in contributions to Indigenous cultural and educational initiatives at three organizations: Ka Ni Kanichihk, Teach For Canada–Gakinaamaage, and the Woodland Cultural Centre.
“Since 1992, BMO has 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. While our commitment to Indigenous customers and communities is part of how we do business every day, each year we welcome the opportunity to mark National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day in meaningful ways, through our support of key initiatives and by continuing to innovate to serve Indigenous colleagues, customers and communities.”
– Mike Bonner
Head, Canadian Business Banking, and Co-Chair, BMO Indigenous Advisory Council
This year BMO is donating a total of $800,000 to three organizations focused on education and cultural reclamation through the development of self determination and leadership, equity in education and the preservation and promotion of Indigenous culture and history, including:
- Ka Ni Kanichihk: a Winnipeg, Manitoba-based organization that focuses on Indigenous-led education, mentorship, job-skills training, and prevention and intervention programs that help participants to heal, thrive and become leaders. BMO’s gift will support the Home for Reconciliation capital expansion initiative, ensuring thousands more can access programs and supports in 2024.
- Teach For Canada–Gakinaamaage: an organization that works with northern First Nations to recruit, prepare and support committed teachers to begin to make education more equal. Teach For Canada–Gakinaamaage educators work in 26 partner First Nations in Northern Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Their inspirational approach to teaching and leadership is increasing student attendance, engagement and achievement. BMO’s gift will help Teach For Canada–Gakinaamaage expand to 19 additional partner First Nations.
- Woodland Cultural Centre (WCC), a Brantford, Ontario-based centre that works to preserve, promote and strengthen Indigenous languages, culture, art and history. They’re bringing the story of the Hodinohsho:ni people of the Eastern Woodlands to life through innovative exhibitions and programs. BMO’s gift will contribute to the building of a new state-of-the-art cultural centre.
“Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to BMO for their invaluable contribution to building a community that celebrates diversity, ensures inclusivity and offers equitable opportunities. Their support will create the infrastructure to empower Indigenous communities in Winnipeg and the region, fostering a brighter future for all.”
– Dodie Jordaan
Executive Director, Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.
“The support from BMO has had a meaningful impact on the growth of Teach For Canada–Gakinaamaage from a vision into a national organization. Together, our work has built partnerships with First Nations to recruit and retain teachers and invest in local capacity. By supporting Indigenous control of Indigenous education, the work we do increases access to transformative education for First Nations youth and their leadership potential, grounded in a stronger sense of who they are, that will have impacts across Turtle Island and the world.”
– Ken Sanderson
Executive Director, Teach For Canada–Gakinaamaage
“Gratitude is a foundational philosophy for Hodinohsho:ni, gratitude to the natural world, gratitude for our teachers and community leaders, gratitude to the creator. The generous support of organizations such as BMO to Woodland Cultural Centre is another opportunity to express our deepest gratitude as we could not move forward on our path of healing, culture building and celebration without this contribution. Niawen:kowa (big/great thanks) to everyone at BMO for your ongoing commitment to reconciliation.”
– Heather George
Executive Director, Woodland Cultural Centre
For more than three decades, BMO has been working with Indigenous communities to support their economic self-determination. BMO encourages understanding, self-identification and celebration of Indigenous Peoples and cultures through BMO’s Indigenous Employee Resource Group, The Sharing Circle. Along with a proud partnership with the First Nations University of Canada, BMO offers Nisitohtamowin – Understanding Indigenous Perspectives, an e-learning course made available to anyone with internet access as a free resource that provides foundational education on the history of Indigenous Peoples of Canada.