RBC National Aboriginal Day 2013 – Career Snapshot

Chinyere Eni

Chinyere Eni

National Director, Aboriginal & Public Sector Markets
Business Financial Services, P&CB


Tell us about your current role and where you’re from (heritage).

In my role as National Director for Aboriginal and Public Sector markets, I am responsible for the strategic direction and performance of both businesses. This involves developing, implementing and managing tactical plans and key strategic priorities and partnerships.

My formative years were spent in Saskatchewan on Cree First Nations lands and in Vancouver, British Columbia. Culturally, I was raised with Igbo, Dutch and Cree cultures.

Can you tell us a little about some of the jobs you’ve had with RBC, the journey you’ve taken in your career and if there was any critical moves or defining moments that need to be highlighted.

My journey thus far has included client service, operational support, sales management, commercial banking and my current client strategist role within Business Financial Services. A defining moment within my career was opening a new bank branch location. It broadened my perspective of our personal banking business and helped me redefine personal success through experiential learning.

Royal Eagles was one of the first employee resource groups established at RBC to connect employees who are interested in building awareness and learning more about Canada’s Aboriginal cultures and communities. How has being part of an employee resource group impacted your experience at RBC?

One of my career highlights was attending my first Royal Eagles conference held on First Nations lands. The gathering helped broaden my cultural learning and helped me feel more at home within RBC. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to give back to Aboriginal communities in need through the Royal Eagles backpack and gift box programs. These experiences helped to lay the foundation for interest in my current role.

Do have a personal connection to the Aboriginal community? Can you talk a little bit about your background and how your experiences growing up have influenced you in your career at RBC?

As a member of the Little Pine First Nation, I experienced living on a reserve as a young child, connected with family on-reserve during my formative years when I visited home, and heard about some of the challenges and opportunities faced by my community from my uncle who is a former Chief. Those experiences and through my own discovery as an adult led me to ask, how can a bank contribute to stronger Aboriginal communities? My experiences to date and partnerships in my current role help me seek out ways to answer that question, and in doing so, affect positive change for a strong shared future.

Today is National Aboriginal Day. How will you be celebrating?

I will be celebrating National Aboriginal Day by engaging in conversations at RBC, with external business partners and the public about the recent launch of this year’s A Chosen Journey: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report. The report highlights RBC's activities with respect to increasing access to banking services, contributing to community and social development, supporting employment, education and training initiatives and enabling procurement opportunities for Indigenous governments, organizations, businesses and individuals across Canada. As the only bank in Canada to proactively publish an annual progress report, the report represents the next chapter in our shared learning with Canada's Aboriginal peoples - a partnership that has lasted over 100 years.

Aside from spending time with family and friends, what’s your favourite thing to do when you have time to yourself?

I love travelling and cycling in my personal time. With many family members and friends living abroad, frequent travel has become a way of life even outside of my interest in seeing the world. My passion for volunteerism led me to re-learn how to cycle six years ago on an adapted bicycle and reinvigorated my love of sport and the outdoors.