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TORONTO, – Sept. 2 – RBC is pleased to announce that Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), has been appointed Special Advisor to RBC, beginning September 1, 2009.
Fontaine will provide advice and counsel to RBC’s Canadian businesses to help the company deepen its relationships with Aboriginal governments, communities and businesses in Canada.”We are proud to welcome Phil Fontaine and look forward to benefitting from his wisdom and expertise, gained from a tremendous career as a leader within Canada’s First Nations communities,” said Gordon M. Nixon, RBC president and CEO. “Phil Fontaine’s guidance will be particularly valuable as we continue our effort to build relationships with Aboriginal Peoples and communities across the country.”
RBC has a long history of service to the Aboriginal community and was one of the first banks to open a full-service branch on a First Nation. RBC proudly continues to build relationships and serve Aboriginal Peoples by improving access to financial services, providing employment, training and development, procurement opportunities and contributing to community and social development.
In 2007, RBC signed an historic agreement with the AFN, formalizing its commitment to Aboriginal Peoples with a two-year action plan to help build strong, sustainable Aboriginal economies.
“RBC is a leader in building relationships with Aboriginal peoples and I’m pleased to join RBC as it continues working for the benefit of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, helping them increase opportunities for economic development,” Fontaine said. “I look forward to this new career challenge and working with RBC in communities across Canada.”
Fontaine will have significant involvement in many of RBC’s key corporate citizenship and sponsorship initiatives, including the RBC Blue Water Project and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. His first project will be to help ensure that RBC maximizes the involvement of the Aboriginal community in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.
Fontaine finished an unprecedented third term as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in July. He is a dedicated and highly respected leader in Canada and beyond. He has been instrumental in facilitating change and advancement for First Nations people from the time he was first elected to public office as Chief when he was 28 years old.
Fontaine is a proud member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba and still plays an active role in the support of his community.
For further information: or interviews: Matt Gierasimczuk, Media Relations, (416) 974-2124, matthew.gierasimczuk[at]rbc.com
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