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Vancitys Aboriginal financing featured in Credit Union Central of Canada (CUCC) report

Vancity’s Aboriginal financing featured in Credit Union Central of Canada (CUCC) report

Vancity's role

Vancity is based in the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people. As a financial services co-operative, we work in partnership with First Nation government and Aboriginal not-for-profit organizations to help build stronger communities. Find out more.

January 26, 2012 — Operating within the traditional territory of the Coast Salish First Nations people, Vancity works in partnership with local Aboriginal peoples to create new and sustainable solutions that address the financial needs of their communities.

In 2011, Vancity developed a community investment strategy to support programs with especially high positive social or environmental impacts. Vancity’s support for Aboriginal community development and independence reflects its belief that helping individual members build wealth also builds on the wealth of the community. In line with this belief, Vancity’s work with Aboriginal peoples, businesses and governments both on and off-reserve land was identified as an important interest under its community investment strategy.

Vancity knows that the key to working with Aboriginal peoples is to build trusting relationships. To this end, Vancity looks to the retention and recruitment of Aboriginal employees as a component of its diversity strategy, and partners with Aboriginal human resource agencies in this process. Actively recruiting Aboriginal peoples enhances the cultural fabric of Vancity’s workplace and creates better linkages and understandings between the credit union and the community. Some of the positions Vancity recruits for include: Financial Service Representatives, Member Service Centre Agents, Financial Service Officers, Credit Analysts, and Personal and Small Business Account Managers.

Vancity’s community investment strategy shows up in more conventional financing as well. Financial products offered by Vancity not designed specifically for Aboriginal peoples, are being put to use by Aboriginal peoples and communities to start and grow businesses, purchase real estate, develop social enterprises and support not-for-profits working with or started by First Nations governments. One of these conventional financing programs, Vancity’s Community Capital program, creates innovative loan options for social enterprises, such as the Tia-o-qui-aht First Nation Canoe-Creek Hydro project. Vancity recently provided a loan of $5 million for the Tia-o-qui-aht First Nation Canoe-Creek Hydro project, which is expected to generate $1.6 million in annual revenue and power 1700 local homes. The profits from the sale of power to BC Hydro will be used by the Tia-o-qui-aht First Nation to build a salmon hatchery that will rebuild stocks in the area.

See pages 14 and 15 for the full Vancity feature in CUCC's System Brief - DEEPENING RELATIONSHIPS:
Credit Union and Aboriginal Peoples Case Studies.

Article courtesy of Credit Union Central of Canada.


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