Indigenous banking


For nearly 30 years we have had a leading presence within Indigenous communities – and we’re committed to supporting them with a spirit of inclusion, partnership and collaboration.


BMO partners with Indigenous small businesses as we support our frontline staff

BMO partners with Indigenous small businesses as we support our frontline staff

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BMO brings banking to Eskasoni Nation during lockdown

BMO brings banking to Eskasoni Nation during lockdown

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BMO supports pre- and post-natal care centre for Indigenous women

BMO supports pre- and post-natal care centre for Indigenous women

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Donation of $5M to support innovative pediatric centre project initiated by Indigenous communities

Donation of $5M to support innovative pediatric centre project initiated by Indigenous communities

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BMO supports Indigenous Women at Thunder Woman Healing Lodge

BMO supports Indigenous Women at Thunder Woman Healing Lodge

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BMO and Manitoba Métis Federation working together to transform historic Portage and Main building into future home of the Métis Nation Heritage Centre

BMO and Manitoba Métis Federation working together to transform historic Portage and Main building into future home of the Métis Nation Heritage Centre

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Bloomberg spotlights BMO's Indigenous Banking Unit

Bloomberg spotlights BMO's Indigenous Banking Unit

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Building careers and communities

Building careers and communities

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Globe and Mail Article: BMO’s Stephen Fay Takes Bay Street to Labrador

Globe and Mail Article: BMO’s Stephen Fay Takes Bay Street to Labrador

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Pride of a Nation: The Piikani Nation of southwest Alberta

Pride of a Nation: The Piikani Nation of southwest Alberta

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National Post Article: New tools to promote Aboriginal self-empowerment

National Post Article: New tools to promote Aboriginal self-empowerment

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Indigenous Enterprise: Membertou First Nation of Nova Scotia

Indigenous Enterprise: Membertou First Nation of Nova Scotia

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Siksika Nation: Planning for Seven Generations

Siksika Nation: Planning for Seven Generations

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Our holistic approach

BMO’s approach to supporting Indigenous communities in Canada focuses on three pillars: education, employment and economic empowerment.

Education

We know education is a critical key to advancing inclusion, so we invest in training and educating our workforce, including senior leader workshops and an online training program focused on Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous history. Education is also a key to economic advancement. BMO has committed nearly $15 million in multi-year donations and pledges to Indigenous causes with nearly a third of that dedicated to Indigenous scholarships and bursaries for education.

Employment

As an employer we are focused on a goal for Indigenous representation, as part of our Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy, of 1.6 percent of the workforce across all levels. For our current Indigenous employees, we have created the Miikana Career Pathways program, in which more than one hundred Indigenous employees are now enrolled. The program provides tailored career and development planning, including career and cultural mentorship, sponsorship and employee pairing opportunities, with a goal of increasing career advancement.

Economic empowerment

There’s no doubt that the Indigenous marketplace is evolving. Indigenous communities are asserting greater influence in the economy as they gain control over access to land and resources. Indigenous peoples represent a growing economic force. Since 1992, BMO’s Indigenous Banking Unit has been focused on one main goal: to contribute to the economic self-sufficiency of Indigenous communities, businesses and individuals across Canada. Through our 13 full-service branches, one business office on-reserve and 20 ABMs, we can provide improved access to financial products and services to Indigenous communities across Canada.

All under the guidance of BMO’s Indigenous Advisory Council

In early 2020, we established an Indigenous Advisory Council, composed of a group of Indigenous leaders from across Canada who provide feedback and guidance to help BMO drive real positive change internally and within the community. Each meeting is centered around our three key priority areas: education, employment and economic empowerment. The expertise that these leaders bring is invaluable and helps us build on our long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Recognition for our approach

The Canadian Council for Indigenous Business has recognized BMO Financial Group with a Gold Level Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) award for our approach to the Indigenous market and for understanding the business case for a diverse workforce and equitable, supportive workplace. BMO is the first bank to be certified gold on six consecutive occasions. We have been working for more than a decade to make ourselves an employer of choice and business partner to Indigenous communities, businesses and individuals. The PAR award provides an opportunity for discussion and dialogue while raising awareness of the growing contribution Indigenous business is making to the Canadian economy.




More on Indigenous Banking

More on Indigenous banking

Take a more in-depth look at financial products, service, employment and scholarships for Indigenous communities.

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A student paints the mural

Community giving

BMO’s community giving strategy is built on three pillars – collaboration, learning and innovation – that are supported by our 200-year commitment to helping improve the quality of life in our communities.

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Community Sponsorship

Community sponsorships

BMO’s community sponsorships support organizations that work to build communities and drive social change.

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