RBC proved it has no interest in reconciliation, furthering corporate colonialism in how the bank treated the Indigenous delegation who arrived at the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Saskatoon this morning as hundreds of Indigenous water protectors, young people, and allies rallied outside.
RBC’s AGM comes exactly one week after a large force of RCMP C-IRG raided a Gidimt’en village site, and arrested five land and water defenders, mostly Indigenous women. RBC is the primary financier of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which lacks consent from Hereditary Chiefs, the rightful titleholders of the land.
Inside the AGM, a majority of the Indigenous delegation including Wet’suwet’en Hereditary leadership, Wet’suwet’en elders and youth representatives, and Gulf South representatives were barred from entering the AGM’s main room – despite having proper proxies, and threatening their arrest. An Ivey Business School student on behalf of youth-led Banking on a Better Future, as well as West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) representatives were also barred from entering the main room to offer testimony.
The bank opted to apply a reserve system to its AGM, forcing Indigenous delegates into a second class room, with a colour coded pass.
Outside the shareholder meeting, hundreds of people rallied to urge RBC to stop greenwashing, respect Indigenous sovereignty, and phase out fossil fuel financing. There was drumming, music and statements from local groups, Indigenous delegates from across North America.
Nearly one in three shareholders supported a resolution for Indigenous Free, Prior, and Informed, Consent. While RBC executives recommended rejecting all shareholder resolutions introduced on climate action and Indigenous rights in its proxy book, these resolutions received record and growing support, including:
28% — representing about CAD$25 billion: Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), introduced a resolution for Free, Prior and Informed Consent;
11% — representing about CAD$10 billion: Stand.earth introduced a resolution for no financing for fossil fuel expansion;
22% — representing about CAD$22 billion: The New York City Comptroller, manager of the USD$242 billion pension funds, filed a resolution for 2030 absolute emissions reduction targets for oil, gas and utility clients.
Here is Stand.Earth’s Richard Brooks with an update from inside the meeting:
Media coverage is coming in. Here are some hits
- Globe and Mail: RBC boss defends financing strategy relating to climate change
You can help amplify these tweets from the day:
Watch the press conference here: https://fb.watch/jJxJ4k4qZA/
Press release: https://stand.earth/press-