Honouring the lost lives of Indigenous children and Survivors of the residential school system.

Scotiabank recognizes the journey toward reconciliation and is committed to advancing inclusion for Indigenous Peoples and respecting Indigenous rights.

We acknowledge and honour that from 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 our connection with the Indigenous communities across our footprint. 

Supporting Indigenous communities through education

Educated over 1,000 students on the shared history of residential schools

In June 2022, Indigenous Financial Services and the Indigenous Network Employee Resource Group hosted over 1,000 elementary and middle school students from the Greater Toronto Area to learn about the lasting impacts of residential schools, Indigenous perseverance, and pride in Indigenous cultures. 

Spaces to learn about the impacts of the residential school system

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.

Outside Looking In

Outside Looking In

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



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

Connected North

Scotiabank supports Connected North, a digital platform for Indigenous students in remote communities that provides customized learning opportunities, including virtual classroom visits with Indigenous artists, scientists, experts, and leaders. Our donation will also fund digital inclusion grants for Connected North students who are graduating high school and require a personal device.


Our deepest condolences to the families, friends and communities affected by the recent tragic events that occurred in the James Smith Cree Nation, Weldon and surrounding area. We are continuing to provide our services and support to the communities affected and our thoughts are with you. 

Supporting Indigenous employees

Employment Equity Plan

In 2020, we developed a comprehensive Employment Equity Plan to identify and remove barriers to recruitment, retention, and advancement, and increase representation of Indigenous Peoples at all levels of our bank. We’re taking deliberate actions to operationalize this plan and working to ensure that Indigenous voices are guiding these actions. We’ve partnered with Indigenous organizations to help connect with Indigenous talent.

Updated employee benefits

We’re reviewing our employee benefits, policies, and wellness strategies with Indigenous perspectives to provide culturally appropriate support to Indigenous employees.

Updated Traditional Indigenous Practices Leave Policy

We’ve updated the Scotiabank Traditional Indigenous Practices Leave policy to provide 5 paid days off for Indigenous employees to participate in Indigenous cultural practices and events.

Platforms for Indigenous employees to share their experiences

A growing group of Indigenous employees and allies within the Bank started the Indigenous Network Employee Resource Group (ERG) to share and celebrate Indigenous identity and offer mentorship to new employees. The Scotiabank Indigenous ERG plans regular events that bring together all employees to learn about Indigenous cultures, histories, and traditions.

Introduced a 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.

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.