TD;CSR. OMG No Way!

2012 was a strong year for TD, despite ongoing economic challenges and market volatility. Our total adjusted earnings were more than $7 billion dollars — up more than $600 million, or about 10 per cent, from 2011.

-Colleen Johnston, Group Head and Chief Financial Officer, TD Bank Group

Through a generous contribution of $350,000, TD Bank Group is helping Aboriginal students at the University of Regina realize their educational potential.

$350,000 / $7,000,000,000 = 0.005%

Thank-you to TD Bank, generously sharing the wealth of their outstanding profits from oil and gas.

The TD Bank Group gift will be divided into two initiatives, with $250,000 supporting the Neekaneewak Leadership Initiative, a multi-pronged, elder-based project to provide culturally relevant programming, mentoring, support and leadership development opportunities to Aboriginal students.

The remaining $100,000 will serve as the foundation for the TD Aboriginal Bursary, which will provide financial assistance to Aboriginal undergraduate students in any discipline in the University’s 10 faculties. Matching funds will be provided by the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship program.

$100,000 matching from the province is nice.
No sign of the federal government, whose responsibility it is to fund Aboriginal education. In fact, it’s a little unclear to me how the free education promised First Nations in Treaty 4 for example, is compatible with a bursary school-funding model supported here.

*CSR is Corporate Social Responsibility.

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2 responses to “TD;CSR. OMG No Way!

  1. “Members of the University of Regina community,

    Last week, I participated in a media announcement at which TD Bank
    Group made a $350,000 donation to the University of Regina.

    The sheer amount of this contribution is significant, but the true
    importance of this contribution does not lie in any dollar value.
    Rather, it lies in what this commitment means for current and future
    students of Aboriginal descent at our University and in our province as
    a whole.

    Historically, Aboriginal people have been underserved in Canada’s
    post-secondary education system, as recent graduation rates clearly
    show. According the 2011 National Household Survey, for example,
    approximately 26% of all Canadians between the ages of 25 and 64 had a
    university degree. Among Aboriginal Canadians, however, this percentage
    was considerably lower, at just under 10%.

    There are a variety of reasons for this, but two of the major ones are
    the accessibility of university education, and the need for mentors once
    students reach university – factors that TD Bank Group is helping to
    address. The company’s recent donation earmarks $100,000 for the TD
    Aboriginal Bursary, which will enable Aboriginal students in financial
    need to continue their undergraduate studies. At the same time,
    $250,000 will be used to support the Neekaneewak Leadership Initiative,
    which will allow Elders on campus to help provide culturally relevant
    programming as well as mentorship and support for Aboriginal students.

    These initiatives will complement others we have implemented in recent
    years, and follow in our longstanding tradition of promoting Aboriginal
    post-secondary education – a tradition which dates back to the 1976
    founding of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now First Nations
    University of Canada) on our campus.

    Last year, we established an entrance scholarship for a student from
    each of Saskatchewan’s 74 First Nations, and expanded our Aboriginal
    Student Centre. Working with Dr. Shauneen Pete, the University’s
    Executive Lead – Indigenization, the Aboriginal Advisory Circle has been
    recommending strategies aimed at reducing the challenges faced on campus
    by Aboriginal students, as well as planning curricula and programming
    that will help attract and retain Aboriginal students and broaden the
    cultural experience for all students. Furthermore, we are welcoming
    Aboriginal students into designated seats in programs such as Nursing,
    and our Aboriginal Career Centre is supporting the academic and
    career-related success of Aboriginal students through the Co-operative
    Education Program and other services such as professional development
    workshops.

    If the discussions I had last month with students and community leaders
    in First Nations communities in northern Saskatchewan are any
    indication, initiatives such as these are making a tremendous difference
    for Aboriginal students at our University and in our province as a
    whole. And one need only look at the increasing numbers of Aboriginal
    students on our campus to see further evidence of this. FNUniv’s
    student enrolments are up approximately 20% compared to last year, a
    strong demonstration of the increasingly important role which that
    institution is playing in our province. Across the entire University of
    Regina campus, there are over 14% more self-declared Aboriginal
    undergraduate students than there were last year, bringing the number of
    Aboriginal students on campus to nearly 12% of the undergraduate total.

    By helping support these students and those who follow in their
    footsteps in the coming years, TD Bank Group has shown confidence in and
    optimism for the future of our University and its students. All of us
    at the University of Regina should share this optimism, because through
    our work, each of us is contributing to our strategic plan’s stated
    objective to “prepare all our students to live in a Saskatchewan where
    First Nations and Métis peoples achieve their rightful place in society
    and the economy, and where their cultures are celebrated.”

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Vianne Timmons
    President and Vice-Chancellor

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