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Our commitment to reconciliation

A message from Mike Bonner, Co-Chair of Indigenous Advisory Council

Eliminating barriers to inclusion and advancing human rights requires individuals and organizations to share responsibility to eradicate systemic racism and advance reconciliation. For more than three decades, BMO has been a leader in providing banking services to Indigenous communities nationwide and we’re committed to building on the trust, respect and partnerships we have built.

Indigenous communities have been integral to the development of Canada, but have faced long-standing, systemic discrimination. The impact of this legacy calls on all of us to do more.

In order for us to move forward, we need to acknowledge when we make mistakes and deepen our commitment to remove barriers for Indigenous customers, colleagues, and communities. Across our bank, we aim to do better and we are committed to accelerating the following actions:

Commitment to ongoing Indigenous consultation:

  • Established an Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC) to guide and advise BMO on a path forward across three pillars – education, employment and economic empowerment – that reflect our response to the Truth & Reconciliation call to action for corporate Canada.

Priority focus on education that includes:

  • Training for customer facing employees tailored to support Indigenous customer service.
  • Senior leader workshops (in-person) to grow Indigenous cultural awareness.
  • Interactive eLearning for all employees, to provide an introduction to understanding Indigenous perspectives in Canada

Culture of understanding, inclusion and belonging:

  • The Sharing Circle, a BMO enterprise resource group for Indigenous employees and allies, hosts a series of nationwide events for National Indigenous Peoples Day, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation/Orange Shirt Day and included employee listening sessions with BMO’s CEO and senior leaders.

Education is a first step we can all take to foster an environment where everyone feels valued, respected and heard. We are honoured to share the educational resource, Nisitohtamowin, with all Canadians for the next three years. This is a valuable course which we created in partnership with First Nations University of Canada and Reconciliation Education.

At BMO, progressing reconciliation, equity and inclusion is a part of our commitment to create an inclusive society with Zero Barriers for all. In the spirit of transparency and accountability, we will continue to report on our progress. We invite you to join us and take this step in our collective journey to advance reconciliation in Canada.

Mike Bonner signature

Head, Canadian Business Banking

Mike Bonner is the Co-Chair for the Indigenous Advisory Council at BMO alongside Regional Chief Roger Augustine, Assembly of First Nations, PEI & NB. He is also the executive sponsor for the Sharing Circle, an enterprise resource group at BMO for Indigenous employees and allies and is a member of the Leadership Committee for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion across the bank.