RBC National Aboriginal Day 2013 – Career Snapshot

Doris Bear

Doris Bear

Vice President, Aboriginal Banking BC
Commercial Banking, P&CB


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

I am Vice President, Commercial Financial Service, Aboriginal Banking BC and currently leading a team of Commercial Account Managers specialized in providing financial solutions to the Aboriginal Community. I am First Nation from Peguis, First Nation in Manitoba.

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.

Prior to coming to British Columbia I was in the same role in a different region - where I lead a team of Commercial Account Managers specialized in providing financial solutions to the Aboriginal Community. I am also the Executive Champion for the National Royal Eagles Leadership Committee and Executive Champion for the BC Royal Eagles Employee Resource Group (ERG).

The most defining moments for me since being at RBC has been my involvement with the Royal Eagles and how the ERG is evolving nationally. I am proud to be the Executive Champion and also proud to see how dedicated and passionate the Royal Eagles are to building awareness of the Aboriginal Culture in RBC and supporting the community.

Change is never easy and throughout my efforts to effect change in Aboriginal Banking, I have met a lot of great people that support making that change – Royal Eagles are key in helping to effect change.

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?

The Royal Eagles have made working with RBC a much better place for me. Sometimes we all need that extra support and the Royal Eagles do that for me. The passion and efforts to build that cultural awareness and support the community is empowering. They keep me on my toes and they also lift me up when things get challenging.

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?

Yes, I am from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba, married and have a wonderful daughter who is 11 years old. I grew up in my community and when I was older, I became very close to my grandmother on my father’s side – she left me with some very powerful teachings - “never forget where you come from” - “always give back to your community” - and “work for the betterment of your people”. I apply her teachings to everything that I do.

My career started in banking with another financial institution, where I worked for 10 years. After that I worked for the Treasury Board of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, and started my own consulting business working with First Nations. Then the opportunity to work with RBC was brought to my attention. I explored what RBC was doing for the Aboriginal Community and was extremely pleased! RBC is making a difference in the Aboriginal Community – through access to capital; community support; employment opportunities; or procurement – the memorandum of understanding between RBC and the Assembly of First Nations further demonstrated that commitment. My interest in joining RBC was to be part of an organization that supported the Aboriginal Community and also, the Vice President position, I felt, gave me a voice to effect change. We work in a challenging environment and change is never easy for any organization – RBC has been great and supportive working toward change.

What has contributed to your success and what key principles have you used to build your career?

I contribute my success to always having family support, hard work, perseverance and mentors! Key principles that I built my career on would be: integrity, honesty, respect, loyalty and commitment.

What advice do you have for employees looking to grow their careers at RBC?

You can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it – explore your options through discussions with your supervisors, peers or with individuals doing the job!

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

I will be celebrating with my team, the community, my family and friends - we are all spending the day celebrating with the Aboriginal Friendship Centre walking to Trout Lake and attending a client community feast.

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

I enjoy quiet time reading. It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, I do appreciate it!