Learn. Respect. Honour. Always.

We stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities and are committed to advancing Truth and Reconciliation through listening and ongoing learning.

We acknowledge and honour that from coast to coast to coast, we are all standing on the traditional territory of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. Scotiabank is committed to Reconciliation and furthering trust-based relationships with Indigenous communities across our footprint.

Supporting Indigenous communities through education

Facilitated learning session for over 1,300 students on the shared history of residential schools

In June 2023, for the second year, Indigenous Financial Services and the Indigenous Network Employee Resource Group, in partnership with MLSE and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund hosted over 1,300 elementary and middle school students from the Greater Toronto Area at Scotiabank Arena to hear from Indigenous Elders, performers and artists, who shared their work and knowledge. Students had the honour of learning about the lasting impacts of residential schools, Indigenous perseverance, and pride in Indigenous cultures.

Welcoming spaces to learn about the true history of Canada and promote conversations towards our collective reconciliation journey

In partnership with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF), Scotiabank has dedicated Legacy Spaces in three branches to bring attention to Chanie Wenjack’s story, a 12-year-old Indigenous boy who died while fleeing a residential school. The Legacy Spaces provide an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians to engage and learn about the history and legacy of residential schools.


Scotiabank supports TFC–Gakinaamaage (formerly Teach For Canada) to help improve the educational outcomes for over 6,000 Indigenous students in remote First Nations communities.


Scotiabank supports Indspire to increase economic prosperity for Indigenous youth, by helping ensure a smooth transition into post-secondary education and the work force.

Connected North

Scotiabank supports Connected North, a program that provides immersive and interactive education experiences to over 30,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students in remote communities across Canada.

Outside Looking In

Scotiabank donates to Outside Looking In, an organization that supports and empowers Indigenous youth with high school and post-secondary education, and career readiness.

The Moose Hide Campaign

Scotiabank stands with The Moose Hide Campaign, an Indigenous-led grassroots movement taking a bold stance to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirited people. The goal is for customers and communities to join in taking action by wearing a pin, having a conversation, and supporting the campaign.

Concordia University

In March 2023, Scotiabank pledged a community investment to Concordia University to help support Indigenous and International students entering the Kaié:ri Nikawerà: ke Indigenous Bridging Program and the Career Roadmap for International Student Excellence (C-RISE) program. The Indigenous Bridging program will admit five students who wish to complete a Bachelor of Engineering degree and will include additional faculties in the years to follow.

Muskoka Steamships & Discovery Centre

Scotiabank is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of a permanent onsite Smithsonian quality exhibit at the Muskoka Discovery Centre called Misko-Aki:Confluence of Cultures. This Indigenous designed and curated exhibit explains the history and cultures of Indigenous peoples that have had a historical connection with the Region of Muskoka for more than 13,000 years. Four cultures are represented including Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabek, Metis and Haudenosaunee. 

Clan Mothers Healing Village & Knowledge Centre

Scotiabank supports Clan Mothers Healing Village & Knowledge Centre’s Trauma Informed Training and Education programming to provide support, education and career preparation for clients who have suffered intergenerational traumas.

“Every Child Matters” by Phyllis Jack Webstad 

Scotiabank is honoured to support Medicine Wheel Publishing and Phyllis Jack Webstad, on the release of her new book  “Every Child Matters”. The children’s book tells the story of Webstad’s first-hand experience as a child in the residential school system. Scotiabank has committed to the purchase and distribution of 2,500 books with the focus on all Indigenous schools and Indigenous educators across Turtle Island. By doing so, we hope to help support Webstad’s important message to Indigenous children, ‘You Matter’.

Supporting Indigenous employees

Platforms for Indigenous employees to share their experiences

The Indigenous Network Employee Resource Group (IERG) is spearheaded by Indigenous employees and allies within the Bank. Its mission is to mentor, celebrate and educate employees on Indigenous cultures, histories, and traditions. In September 2022, they received the Workplace Culture Impact Awards celebration for its contributions to increasing awareness for allies and supporting the voices of Indigenous employees.

Employment Equity Plan

Since 2020, as part of our comprehensive Employment Equity Plan, we’ve developed several measures to increase the representation of Indigenous Peoples at all levels of our Bank. That includes targeted recruitment campaigns, candidate readiness initiatives completed with Indigenous community partners, an Indigenous Mentorship program, and a professional development series for all Indigenous employees.

Mandatory Indigenous cultural competency course for all employees in Canada

Scotiabank’s Indigenous cultural competency program provides all employees with an introductory course to build awareness on the diversity of Indigenous cultures in Canada and apply this understanding to advance inclusion and belonging. The course connects historical and contemporary Indigenous experiences to present-day relationships with Canadian governments, communities, and financial institutions. In 2021, this course became mandatory for all employees in Canada and all global employees serving Canadian customers.

Updated Traditional Indigenous Practices Leave Policy

We’ve updated the Scotiabank Traditional Indigenous Practice Leave policy to provide five paid days off for Indigenous employees to participate in Indigenous cultural practices and events.

Updated Employee Benefits

As of April 1, 2023, employees enrolled in the Canadian Benefits plan can submit expenses related to Indigenous ceremonies, language learning, materials for cultural crafts, and traditional medicine through the Wellbeing Account.

Benefits for Indigenous Employees

Through Telus Health AbilitiCBT, one of our employee benefits suppliers, the Bank offers an online story-based mental health resource supported by Indigenous wellness providers to all Indigenous employees. Telus Health AbilitiCBT Indigenous is a Bank-provided mental health resource in partnership with Telus Health for employees who self-identify as Indigenous. AbilitiCBT Indigenous is an online story-based mental health resource supported by Indigenous wellness providers. 

Supporting Indigenous customers

Member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Scotiabank is a proud member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, where we hold a prestigious Gold Certification for Progressive Aboriginal Relations. This third-party certification recognizes companies that have demonstrated effective programs and policies to maximize involvement with Indigenous communities.

Helping Indigenous clients turn systemic constraints into economic opportunity

Scotiabank’s Indigenous Financial Services group creates sustainable financial relationships based on trust and respect to help achieve prosperity and honour our commitment to future generations. We listen to understand our client’s challenges, whether it’s legislative constraints to raising capital, operating enterprises in remote places, or a historic legacy of distrust of non-Indigenous parties.

Canada’s first on-reserve bank branch

More than five decades ago, Scotiabank became the first non-Indigenous Canadian bank to open a branch in a First Nations community – signifying our desire to understand, respect and work with Indigenous individuals, communities, and businesses on their traditional lands. 

Indigenous Peoples Development Program

A development program designed exclusively for Indigenous Peoples completing post-secondary education. We recognize the important contributions and perspectives that Indigenous Peoples provide our society and are committed to removing systematic barriers that have, in the past made it difficult for Indigenous Peoples to obtain meaningful careers in banking.

Illustrations created by Ojibwe graphic designer Joshua Hunt from Migisi Sahgaigan (Eagle Lake) in Treaty 3.