TD Bank Group contributes $350,000 to support Aboriginal students at the University of Regina

News Release Release Date: October 25, 2013 10:00 a.m.

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

“The University of Regina and TD Bank Group share a mutual commitment to the University’s mission of advancing knowledge through teaching, research and engagement with the community,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons. “A key part of that commitment is providing educational opportunities for Aboriginal students, and we are grateful to TD Bank Group for continuing to provide those opportunities through this gift.”

“We are thrilled to support the University of Regina with this initiative,” said Monique Bateman, Senior Vice President, Prairie Region, TD Bank Group. “It’s important to reduce the barriers facing our aboriginal youth, including financial ones, to help them pursue post-secondary education and give them the opportunity to make an impact in their lives and in their communities.”

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 at the University’s 10 faculties. Matching funds will be provided by the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship program.

As the University of Regina campus continues to grow, so does the number of self-declared Aboriginal students - an increase of 15 per cent over the past year alone. Students of Aboriginal descent now represent approximately 11 per cent of the total undergraduate student body.

One of the goals of the University's strategic plan, mâmawohkamâtowin: Our Work, Our People, Our Communities, is to respond to the needs and aspirations of its First Nations and Métis students. This contribution will move us closer to that goal.