RBC Future Launch partners with University of Regina to support career-related work and leadership development opportunities for Indigenous students
To help build a tradition of community development, accessible higher education and meaningful career opportunities, RBC Future Launch is providing $500,000 to support two key programs that support Indigenous students at the University of Regina. Students who are part of the Neekaneewak (“they are leading”) Leadership Initiative (NLI) and the Full Circle Internship Program (FCSI) offered by the ta-tawâw Student Centre will benefit from this generous donation.
“We are fortunate and proud to continue our purpose-driven partnership with RBC to help Indigenous students achieve academic and professional success,” said Dr. Jeff Keshen, University of Regina president and vice-chancellor. “Together, we are building a better and more inclusive and equitable world by advancing truth and reconciliation through the support of Indigenous students seeking a stronger understanding of their personal identity, and a sense of belonging within their communities and culture.”
The donation is also timed to coincide with the beginning of National Truth and Reconciliation Week and reaffirms RBC’s and the University of Regina’s commitment to moving forward on the Calls to Action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015.
‘We’re honoured to partner with U of R to bring the promise of RBC Future Launch to life for Indigenous students here, as we are across the country,” said Don Morris, RBC Regional Vice President, Southern Saskatchewan. “While research shows that Indigenous youth face unique challenges when readying themselves for their careers, the NLI program has a successful track record of serving the needs of Indigenous students. Ensuring the leaders of tomorrow have equal opportunity today is critical to building more inclusive companies and communities that can achieve their greatest potential.”
The NLI has four streams that are key to leadership development outcomes, including personal, academic, professional and cultural. The NLI leadership team of Elders, alumni, and senior students provide culturally relevant programming, mentoring, and leadership development opportunities. The team is also a campus-wide resource fostering greater understanding and appreciation of Indigenous perspectives and traditions.
“At ta-tawâw, everyone is welcome and inclusion is a big thing especially in NLI because we want to make sure everyone can be part of some kind of leadership initiative,” said Taylor Soderberg, a third year Métis student attending First Nations University of Canada. “We have a lot of different programing that happens within the centre such as helping run programs for first-year students, scholarship workshops, counselling sessions, library sessions, beading sessions.”
Supports within the NLI program are used to prepare Indigenous students to participate in career-related work experiences, which have been facilitated by the Full Circle Summer Internship Program – a program that has seen the placement of 775 Indigenous students in career-related internships since its inception in 2006.
Additional funding from RBC will support the NLI awards ceremony. The awards were established in 2017 to celebrate Indigenous students who are developing and practicing skills and knowledge as leaders that benefit our community and recognize those who support and contribute to student leadership experiences, development, and to their overall success.
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