The RBC Foundation is renewing its commitment to Humber College’s Indigenous learners and community and is expanding its support with two new programs.
The RBC Foundation has gifted $200,000 to continue the RBC Peer-to-Peer and RBC Grad-Ready programs while also launching the Indigenous Pre-Orientation Week program and the RBC Indigenous Emergency Fund.
"Recognizing the profound impact of systemic racism on Indigenous communities across Canada, RBC is committed to helping create change," said Kris Depencier, regional president, Greater Toronto, RBC. "Our renewed partnership with Humber on the RBC Grad-Ready Program and RBC Peer-to-Peer Support System demonstrates this commitment. By empowering Indigenous students and alumni, fostering inclusion, education, and meaningful opportunities on a national scale, we’re working together to create a more equitable future."
Programs for Indigenous learners and alumni
Indigenous Pre-Orientation Week is a week-long camp including a series of gatherings, talks, and events to orient new Indigenous students to Humber and build critical skills that will assist in their success while attending college. This pilot program for enrolled Indigenous students takes place in the summer leading up to the students’ first semester at Humber.
The RBC Indigenous Emergency Fund provides support to students who need immediate short-term financial relief because of emergency situations. The funds can be quickly accessed when needed and will help keep students enrolled in their program and focused on their studies.
The RBC Grad-Ready Program supports Indigenous students with specialized career coaching and resources during the final year of their studies and the first year after graduation. Students receive guidance and advice they need to navigate their job search and build relationships with potential employers, enabling them to reach their full potential and launch successful careers. It also helps industry and business partners build more inclusive and respectful work environments for Indigenous employees.
The RBC Peer-to-Peer Indigenous Support System pairs new students with upper-year Indigenous students to transition into college life successfully. Through proactive outreach peer mentors direct students to supports and resources for their academic, social, cultural, mental and physical well-being.
“Building a stronger and more inclusive future”
“The gift from RBC will empower Indigenous students to start a new chapter of their lives with confidence,” said Jason Seright, vice-president, Inclusion and Belonging at Humber College. “Indigenous learners need culturally appropriate, Indigenous-aligned resources and the freedom to tailor those resources as they see fit. With programs like these, we are building a stronger and more inclusive future.”
Michael Jenkins, who is Métis, graduated last year from Humber’s Bachelor of Public Relations program and was a member of the Indigenous Peer Mentoring team. He mentored a group of Indigenous students attending Humber, helping them build their network and develop life skills.
“I think it was nice for them to know that someone was looking out for them,” said Jenkins. “It was rewarding helping people navigate a big part of their lives. The first-time college experience can be very daunting and seeking help is difficult to do. Giving mentees a safe space to ask their questions felt important.”
Kara Neveau, who is from Batchewana First Nation, graduated earlier this year from Humber’s Bachelor of Community Development program and served as an Indigenous peer mentor. She also participated in the Grad-Ready Program and found it extremely valuable.
“The networking was the biggest advantage of it for me,” said Neveau. “I would 100 per cent recommend getting involved in these programs because they helped with starting my career and gave me the professional skills I needed for the workplace.”
More information can be found on the RBC Programs for Humber Indigenous Students and Graduates webpage.