Led by Jean-Michel Beaudoin, professor in the Department of Wood and Forest Sciences and Chair of Educational Leadership in Indigenous Forestry, the program will also provide forestry students with greater access to educational resources and partnerships to help them make progress academically and professionally. The program is made possible through a $500,000 donation from BMO.
“For over 30 years, BMO has been building strong relationships and providing consistent support to 270 Indigenous communities,” said Grégoire Baillargeon, President, BMO, Quebec. “The BMO Young Indigenous Leaders Program supports progress for the next generation of Indigenous entrepreneurs, enabling them to develop their full potential through access to educational resources as well as mentoring and business network development opportunities that promote a thriving economy, sustainable future and inclusive society.”
New horizons, without barriers
In line with BMO’s Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, the BMO Young Indigenous Leaders Program will:
Unlock the potential of Indigenous students, providing Indigenous communities with specialized access to highly skilled forestry experts.
Support the development of a new generation of Indigenous leaders.
Significantly increase opportunities for young Indigenous people to make progress through career opportunities that lead to success in business, and ultimately help them become successful leaders.
Improve incomes and living conditions for Indigenous individuals, families and communities.
Develop sustainable development forestry practices and the health of the forest ecosystems that are central to Indigenous ways of life.
Develop Indigenous expertise to build the capacity of forestry sector organizations to work on projects where Indigenous presence calls for new approaches.
“BMO and Université Laval share a desire to showcase the voices, legitimacy and skills of young First Nations leaders. This distinctive experiential program will strengthen the development of their forestry skills and entrepreneurial spirit. It will also foster their professional integration and position them as experts in forest regions,” said Sophie D’Amours, Rector of Université Laval.
BMO engages with Indigenous customers, colleagues, and communities across three pillars—education, employment and economic empowerment—that rest on a platform of inclusion for all. Our commitment to developing an inclusive society that is free of barriers and to supporting the socioeconomic progress of Indigenous communities includes the following:
In September 2023, BMO launched its BMO for Indigenous Entrepreneurs lending program, providing Indigenous business owners with greater access to working capital, educational resources, and professional partnerships to start up, scale up, and accelerate their businesses.
In support of Indigenous businesses, BMO has increased its level of goods and services purchases from Indigenous partners—surpassing in 2022 its commitment to spend $10 million annually with Indigenous-owned businesses by 2023.
BMO’s commitment to mobilize $300 billion in sustainable financing by 2025 includes lending to Indigenous businesses and communities in the structuring of our Sustainable Bond program.
For advancing Indigenous interests and economic development, BMO has received Gold Certification in the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program seven consecutive times. This program is administered by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).
For more information about BMO’s commitment to supporting Indigenous communities, visit www.bmo.engagements-autochtones.
Marie-Catherine Noël, Montréal, Mariecatherine.email@example.com, 514-715-7327
Université Laval, Québec, firstname.lastname@example.org , 418-656-3355
Public Relations Team