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BMO donates $750K for Indigenous students at TRU

The $750,000 will be split between two programs and adds to the university's Limitless campaign to raise $50 million during 2020, which is the university’s 50th anniversary.
TRU BMO donation
TRU president Brett Fairbrain with the $750,000 donation from BMO.

The Bank of Montreal has donated three-quarters of a million dollars to fund awards for Indigenous students at Thompson Rivers University.

The $750,000 will be split between two programs.

BMO is dedicating $400,000 to student awards for the mentorship program Knowledge Makers, which guides Indigenous researchers starting at the undergraduate level.

Another $350,000 will fund a second set of awards for the School of Nursing, supporting Indigenous students across various health-care programs in Kamloops and Williams Lake.

The donation contributes to TRU’s Limitless campaign to raise $50 million during 2020, which is the university’s 50th anniversary.

BMO’s pledge has pushed the campaign total past $46 million.

“Today’s [Dec. 10] announcement creates more opportunities for Indigenous learners to succeed,” TRU president and vice-chancellor Brett Fairbairn said in a statement.

“As a university, we have a responsibility in reconciliation. That includes honouring our relationship with the Secwépemc people on whose lands we reside, reducing barriers to post-secondary education and ensuring our learning community is a place where everyone truly belongs.”

The donation brings BMO’s contributions to TRU’s Limitless campaign to $1.35 million. In 2013, BMO donated $600,000 to support the revitalization of the Old Main Building. Since then, TRU students have started their post-secondary journey on BMO Student Street.

Paul Seipp, head of business banking for BMO Western Canada, said the company values its longstanding relationship with TRU and is honoured to support Indigenous students through scholarships and awards.

“Education is one of the three pillars of BMO’s commitment to Indigenous communities,” Seipp said.

Indigenous learners represent about 10 per cent of TRU’s student population, which the university said is one of the highest percentages of Indigenous students in B.C.