New $2.5 million gift from BMO to establish Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health and leading-edge health sciences facilities at uOttawa

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Renewed partnership with BMO will help uOttawa change lives and build healthier communities through innovative research and learning in the health sciences.

BMO and the University of Ottawa have elevated their enduring partnership through a new $2.5 million gift to the reIMAGINE campaign, that will help transform the future of learning and research in Indigenous health and health sciences. This $2.5 million gift is in addition to BMO’s past investments, totalling $4.6 million. 

This latest gift will contribute to the construction of new facilities ($1 million) and the launch of a Research Chair in Indigenous Health ($1.5 million). The University will add $2.9 million to the funding for the Chair for a total of $4.4 million investment in this crucial area of research and teaching. 

“uOttawa’s partnership with BMO is enabling the research and learning that happens here on campus to change lives and build healthier communities across Canada,” says Jacline Nyman, Vice-President, External Relations at the University of Ottawa. “Our new Research Chair in Indigenous Health demonstrates how uOttawa is taking action to pursue a path to indigenization in its courses, curricula, research and in its relationship with communities.” 

BMO’s gift will also help to build a new Health Sciences building, located at 200 Lees Avenue, that will contribute to innovation and collaboration throughout the Faculty of Health Sciences’ five academic units of Nursing, Nutrition Sciences, Rehabilitation Sciences, Human Kinetics and the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences. 

“We’re honoured to be building on our partnership with the University of Ottawa. As a purpose-driven organization, BMO is committed to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life and I can’t think of a better way to grow the good than to support important initiatives like these,” said Vittorio Pellegrino, Regional President, BMO Financial Group. “Education is a key pillar through which BMO engages with Indigenous communities. We are excited to be part of transforming the future of learning and research in Indigenous health and health sciences, especially as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of BMO’s Indigenous Banking Unit.”

In appreciation of BMO’s generous gift, the new building’s atrium, which will serve as a gathering place for students, professors, and staff, will be named the “Coeur Communautaire BMO |The BMO Social Heart.” 

In the Faculty of Health Sciences, our professors and researchers collaborate, not only with experts and students in the school, but also with communities,” says Lucie Thibault, Dean Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. “Together, they take on projects that aim to improve lives, well-being, and health for all people, whoever and wherever they are in Canada or around the world.” 

University of Ottawa Chancellor Claudette Commanda, the institution’s first Indigenous chancellor, and a member of BMO’s Indigenous Advisory Council, presented a Thunderbird blanket as a gift to commemorate the renewal of the partnership.  The Thunderbird holds spiritual significance for the Anishnaabe people and is regarded as part of natural law, which teaches that all living things must be treated with respect and integrity so that all can survive. 

About BMO
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $1.07 trillion as of July 31, 2022, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About the University of Ottawa 
Rooted in our bilingual and Francophone DNA, we are evolving at the intersection of many cultures. Located in Canada’s capital, a gateway to the world, we possess a unique platform to respond with energy, creativity, and scale to the global challenges and opportunities our world offers. With an active focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion, we will thrive like never before. 

Already in this new millennium we have rocketed into the top 1% of the world’s 20,000+ universities with our research reputation. We have doubled our enrolment with students from across Canada, as well as from 147 countries around the globe, choosing uOttawa. 

Our international influence is surging, with institutional partnerships in Europe, Asia and Africa multiplying rapidly – including membership in the U7 Alliance of world universities. 

Meanwhile our research and programs in Cybertech, health, science, social justice, sustainability, education, and entrepreneurship continue to impact communities across Canada and around the globe every single day. Our scientists and academicians are driving progress in ethical AI and technology development, in clean growth and innovation and in action- oriented research on aging, active and healthy living, lifelong learning, and well-being, to name but a few. 

At uOttawa we are driven by the urge to challenge the status quo, the will to make an impact, and the ambition to become a catalyst for change.   

Read more about the Lees Campus project

BMO funding announcement
President and Vice-Chancellor Jacques Frémont, Dean Lucie Thibault, Chancellor Claudette Commanda, with Michael Bonner, Head Business Banking Canada for BMO, and Vittorio Pellegrino, Regional President, BMO Financial Group at gift announcement