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A Chosen Journey - Building Pathways to Prosperity: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report

TORONTO, July 16, 2012 - Ahead of tomorrow's Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly, RBC today released its fourth edition of A Chosen Journey: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report.

"This report features stories of initiatives that indigenous peoples have undertaken in communities across the country. We are proud partners in these programs," said Chinyere Eni, national director, Aboriginal Markets, RBC Royal Bank. "We share the passion of First Nations, Inuit and Métis leaders across the country who continue to work to secure a sustainable future for their communities."

British Columbia's Lax Kw'alaams First Nation is just one example of an Aboriginal community that has endured hardship but was able to move forward. A decade ago, this band was close to bankruptcy and coping with lack of proper housing. Today, the band is financially sound and the community has been revitalized. Lax Kw'alaams band manager Wayne Drury shares credit with RBC, which helped the band launch an innovative on-reserve housing program.

"RBC makes our business personal and our community's success their passion," said Drury.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Economy: Banking, Financing and Investments - Saskatchewan's Kawacatoose First Nation was recovering from major flooding when a tornado hit in 2010 and destroyed homes. Further flooding and a fire damaged more homes and roads in 2011. RBC provided disaster relief assistance, funding to support temporary housing and bridge financing to enable the band to begin rebuilding homes.
  • Community: Social Development - Aboriginal filmmaker and RBC Emerging Award Winner Adam Garnet Jones plans on putting his $7,500 award towards the creation of his latest project, a feature film called Wild Medicine about an aboriginal teenager dealing with issues of isolation and suicide.
  • People: Employment, Education and Training - The RBC Aboriginal Summer Internship Program (RBC ASIP) helps students like Kasandra Flett, a Red River College student from Manitoba entering her second year as an RBC ASIP intern, gain skills and experience over three summers as a Customer Service Representative and Account Manager. She has the opportunity to be offered a full-time position upon graduation.
  • Procurement: Supplier Opportunities - Aboriginal-owned engineering and environmental solutions company, Neegan Burnside Ltd., is a member of the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council. Through RBC's work with the industry-led council, Neegan Burnside Ltd. connected with RBC and has successfully bid on and won several engineering projects.

For more than 100 years, RBC has helped strengthen communities and generate wealth for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples across Canada. RBC continues to work closely with Aboriginal communities with the shared goal of making a positive difference.

The 2012 RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report is available online at www.rbcroyalbank.com/aboriginal.

For more information, contact:

Angela Gordon, RBC Corporate Communications, 905-816-5650
Kathy Bevan, RBC Media Relations, 416-974-8810