Part of a University of Ottawa (uOttawa) campaign focused on creating diversity and innovation in research, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) is gifting $2.5 million towards research in Indigenous health and health sciences.
The multi-million-dollar donation is earmarked for the construction of a new health sciences building located at 200 Lees Avenue, as well as the establishment of a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health. The university is contributing an additional $2.9 million for a total investment of $4.4 million.
Claudette Commanda, the current and first Indigenous chancellor for uOttawa, told The Sam Laprade Show on Nov. 24 the investment will inspire Indigenous students to study health sciences at the university, a crucial area of research for Indigenous communities.
"It's going to create this campus that is going to be very open and receptive of Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous health," said Commanda. "It's really showing how the University of Ottawa is living up to its commitment to building the relationships, the partnerships, and to a healing path to reconciliation with Indigenous communities. And what better place to start than focusing on health."
The gift adds to BMO's previous donations to uOttawa, now totalling $4.6 million. BMO Financial Group regional president Vittorio Pelligrino said BMO is excited to be a part of the "future of learning and research in Indigenous health and health sciences."
Once constructed, the new health sciences campus will be named The BMO Social Heart building.
Listen to the full interview with Claudette Commanda on The Sam Laprade Show below.