Community infrastructure projects key to building
healthy, prosperous Aboriginal communities: RBC Report
RBC releases fifth annual Aboriginal Partnership Report
ahead of National Aboriginal Day on June 21
TORONTO, June 11, 2013 As the youngest and
fastest growing segment of Canadian population, Aboriginal
peoples are poised to build strong and sustainable economies
through the development of housing and community infrastructure
projects. With the right resources, they can overcome financial
obstacles and focus on creating prosperous and healthy communities,
according to A
Chosen Journey: RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report
remains a critical infrastructure issue for many First Nations
communities," said Chinyere Eni, national director, Aboriginal
Markets, RBC. "With conventional residential mortgages
unavailable to First Nation members living on reserves, it
was important to create a loan program to address this issue
and provide the growing number of Aboriginal families with
the opportunity to enjoy the long-term benefits of home ownership."
In 1999, RBC was the first financial institution to create
Housing Loan Program. This unique mortgage program doesn't
require a federal government guarantee and works directly
with First Nation governments to determine the terms and conditions
of the program and eligibility requirements. RBC administers
the program that allows community members to purchase, build
or renovate a home - a program that has grown almost 40 per
cent in the last five years and has extended a total of $121
million of authorized credit to 77 First Nation communities.
In addition to increasing home ownership on reserves, some
First Nation communities have seen a need to provide affordable
housing to its band members who live off-reserve and are pursuing
post-secondary education, training and job opportunities in
Siksika First Nation is just one example of an Aboriginal
community that created an off-reserve housing project in Calgary.
Funded by Siksika Nation Chief and Council and the provincial
government to purchase buildings, additional funding from
RBC allowed the First Nation to cover the costs of upgrades
and repairs to several of its units.
"Supporting the development of community infrastructure
projects is key to creating income earning opportunities for
the growing Aboriginal population," adds Eni. "These
projects will not only generate revenue and employment opportunities
today, they will also have a positive impact on the community's
well being well into the future."
Other highlights from the report
- Madawaska Maliseet First Nation in New Brunswick,
is building the Grey Rock Power Centre - a roadside, multifaceted,
commercial power centre that is expected to create up to
300 jobs for the band and surrounding community in a region
hit hard by the closure of the pulp and paper mills. In
fact, Chief Bernard says her Council went out of their way
to ensure that 98 per cent of the investment would be spent
locally, thanks, in part, to a RBC financing loan.
- Ontario's Couchiching First Nation, home to more
than 2,000 band members, has seen dramatic changes in recent
years. From the addition of a championship golf course to
a new 400-seat arena that opened in April of this year,
the reserve has built revenue-generating facilities that
provide band members with employment opportunities and access
to modern recreation amenities, funded, in part, by RBC.
The 2013 RBC Aboriginal Partnership Report is available online
About RBC and Aboriginal Canadians
RBC has a proud history of strong relationships with Aboriginal
peoples. For more than 100 years, RBC has helped strengthen
First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada.
We are committed to serving Aboriginal governments, communities,
organizations, businesses and individuals by creating opportunities
for sustainable economic development through: access
to banking and capital; community
and social development; employment,
education and training; and procurement.
RBC also provides donations and grants that support Aboriginal
interests in three key areas: the environment, specifically
water; youth literacy and education; and culture and heritage.
For more information about these programs and more, visit
and click on "A Chosen Journey Annual Report".
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For more information, please contact:
RBC Corporate Communications, 416 313-5001
RBC Corporate Communications, 416 974-1031