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RBC announces 2008 RBC Aboriginal Scholarship Winners

Expanding awards program in 2009

TORONTO, October 23, 2008 — Heading off to university or college this fall just got a little easier - financially - for eight deserving students through the RBC Aboriginal Student Awards program. For the fourteenth consecutive year, RBC will award scholarships of up to $4,000 annually for education expenses, for a maximum of four years at university or two years at college.

"RBC is dedicated to helping Canada's aboriginal students realize their full potential. The RBC Aboriginal Student Awards program gives us a way to invest in those who have demonstrated academic excellence and a capacity for leadership," said Christianne Paris, vice-president, Client & Business Strategy, Business Financial Services. "We applaud their accomplishments. I am also pleased to announce that we are expanding the program with two additional scholarships in 2009 to help more students get closer to achieving their dreams."

The RBC Aboriginal Student Awards program is offered to students who are currently enrolled in full-time post-secondary studies. Selections are made by an independent committee of academics from the Aboriginal community and RBC representatives, and are based on personal and academic achievements as well as individual financial need.

There are two categories through which students can apply - one is directed at students majoring in disciplines related to the financial services industry, and the other is for students enrolled in programs not related to the financial sector. To date, RBC has awarded 77 scholarships totalling $906,000 to Aboriginal students in Canada.

Students interested in learning more about the 2009 RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program can visit www.rbc.com/careers/aboriginal_student_awards.html. Applications will be accepted from January 1, 2009 to March 31, 2009.

2008 RBC Aboriginal Student Award winners:

Kristy-Lee Tremblay
Métis from the community of Selkirk, Manitoba
Kristy-Lee is currently enrolled in the in the Engineering Access Program (ENGAP) at the University of Manitoba, pursuing her degree in Electrical Engineering. In addition to attending university full time, she is earning her Certified General Accounting (CGA) diploma and working part time for Manitoba Hydro. In her "spare time", she volunteers for the Selkirk Canoe and Kayak Club, and mentors grade eight girls at an annual Young Woman's Trades Conference.

Shelby Lindley
Status (Treaty Indian) from Merritt, British Columbia
Shelby's goal is to earn her Master's Degree in Business from Thompson Rivers University and then pursue a career in accounting or law. Outside of school, she loves to sing, and while volunteering and singing at senior's homes has been fun, she is most proud of the opportunity to open for renowned Aboriginal (Inuk) singer/songwriter, Susan Aglukark.

Matthew McGregor
Status (Treaty Indian) and member of the Whitefish River First Nation, Birch Island, Ontario
Matthew is working to achieve his Master's degree in Commerce and Administration from Laurentian University. Upon graduation, Matthew wants to become a financial planner to help others be prepared for life's challenges. He says that he was taught that "it takes an entire community to help us prosper, to reach our goals and to grow". Matthew believes this has shaped his personality; taught him to be a goal seeker, and enables him to grab a hold of opportunities whenever they present themselves.

Aaron Holway
First Nations, Whitehorse, Yukon Territories
Aaron is currently attending the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary to achieve his degree in Business. He credits his family for showing him that dreams can become a reality if you work hard enough. Aaron has participated in a number of First Nations cultural events, including an Aboriginal Youth Feast and the North American Indigenous Games; and believes strongly in traditions that promote and celebrate aboriginal history and cultural pride. In addition, Aaron also volunteers in his community, including helping with local food drives and fundraising for underprivileged families in his community.

Tyler Duhart
Non-Status Indian, Town of Massey Drive, Newfoundland
Tyler, who is currently working to earn his Bachelor of Science degree from Memorial University, hopes to become a doctor. He is active on his school's wrestling team and has earned a number of medals. His wrestling skills also earned him a spot on the Western NL Winter Games Team. In addition, Tyler volunteers his time to help elementary students in his community; and is part of the Model United Nations and Amnesty International Groups at school.

Katrina Whiteduck
First Nation Algonquin from the community of Kitigan Zibi, Maniwaki, Quebec. Katrina is in her third and final year at Heritage College, where she is working to obtain her diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). Upon completion, Katrina wants to go to university and earn her Bachelor of Education degree so that she can become a teacher. Her goal is to work with children in her own community or in another First Nation community and tell them "that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to do" a quote her parents have often repeated to her. She helps educate her classmates and college about the history and culture of the Algonquin people; and in her own community, actively participates in community gatherings and works with children as often as she can.

Melanie Anderson
Mohawk Nation from Six Nations, Ohsweken, Ontario
Melanie's name, Gowagowaneh, means "Leader of Girls" in the Cayuga language. With this in mind, she wants to be an inspiration to her three children, and to all other Aboriginal mothers who feel it is impossible to accomplish a dream to finish their education. Melanie is currently enrolled at Brock University, where she is working on her Bachelors of Business Economics degree. She is proud of her heritage and has represented her country as an ambassador for Native peoples. She has also been selected to represent Team Ontario for Senior Women's Volleyball for the North American Indigenous Games 2008.

Josée Lépine
Métis, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Josée, who is attending the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba, wants to obtain an honours degree in Commerce. She then wants to obtain her Masters, and then work in marketing - a field she feels is underrepresented by Aboriginal and Métis people. Like her ancestors, her goal is to make a valuable contribution to society, and to be a role model for others. She is very active in her community and in school activities and is fluent in a number of languages.

RBC has a long-standing relationship with Canada's Aboriginal Peoples and in 2007 donated over $849,500 to support Aboriginal causes. In addition to the Aboriginal Student Awards program, RBC joined the Assembly of First Nation's (AFN) Corporate Challenge with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the final day of the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa on December 12, 2007. In addition, RBC supports the Historica Foundation's heritage programs for Aboriginal students and donated funds to the Dominion Institute to support its Aboriginal Youth Writing Challenge. Recipients who are interested in pursuing careers in the financial services industry are also considered for summer and post-graduate employment opportunities with RBC.

- 30 -

Media Contact:
Jackie Braden, 416 974-2124, jackie.braden@rbc.com


 



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10/23/2008 12:22:25