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RBC donates $300,000 to the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative to expand its Entrepreneurship Program

TORONTO, December 13, 2010 — RBC today announced it has committed $300,000 to the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative (MAEI) to support the expansion of its Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship program and encourage youth to stay in school.

According to the MAEI, on-reserve Aboriginal students have a higher drop-out rate (60 per cent) for high school than do non-Aboriginal Canadians (9.5 per cent). Furthermore, only nine per cent of Métis people, seven per cent of First Nations people and four per cent of Inuit people have obtained a university degree, compared to 23 per cent of non-Aboriginal Canadians.

"This innovative partnership will allow more aboriginal students to have the opportunity to set long-term education and career goals," said The Right Honourable Paul Martin, founder of MAEI.

The Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship program is designed to improve students' proficiency in all subject areas including Business, Math, English, Accounting, Marketing and Information Technology. Using innovative hands-on activities, guest speakers, mentors and examples of successful Aboriginal Canadian business leaders, students have the opportunity to learn how to create a product- or service-based business.

Founded in 2006, MAEI brings together Aboriginal organizations, accounting professionals, the business community, post-secondary institutions, First Nation schools and provincially-funded school boards to implement programs that support Aboriginal students and help them succeed. RBC's funding will provide teacher training, program materials and program development to both current and new program locations. MAEI is currently operating in seven locations across Canada and plans to add an additional six schools over the next three years.

"We are proud to support MAEI and help provide Aboriginal students with the tools and resources they need to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in life," said Shari Austin, vice-president and head, Corporate Citizenship at RBC.

About About MAEI
MAEI believes that the development of skills will provide Aboriginal youth with an incentive to continue their education. The projects are chosen in discussion with the pertinent Aboriginal Leadership, Provincial and Territorial education authorities, and various national business communities. MAEI's goal is to support initiatives that improve education at the elementary and secondary levels for Aboriginal Canadians. For more information visit: www.mai-iam.ca/.

About RBC and the Community
As one of Canada's largest corporate donors, RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives, through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2009, RBC contributed more than $105 million to community causes worldwide, through donations of more than $52.6 million, and an additional $52.5 million in sponsorship of community events and national organizations.

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For more information, please contact:

Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications, (416) 974-1724, jackie.braden@rbc.com

Lucie Santoro, Administration Director, MAEI, (514) 982-3911, lsantoro@mai-iam.ca


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12/13/2010 10:06:02