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BMO is Proud to Recognize Contributions of Canada's First Peoples on National Aboriginal Day

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 21, 2012) - As Canada's First Bank, BMO Bank of Montreal is proud celebrate the achievements and contributions of Canada's First Peoples this National Aboriginal Day.

"BMO has a long and proud history of working with our Aboriginal customers in their communities to ensure they have access to personal banking products and services that meet their needs, including supporting on-reserve housing projects. For more than 20 years, the BMO Aboriginal Banking Unit at BMO has partnered with Aboriginal communities and their leaders on important initiatives ranging from strengthening economic development and infrastructure, to encouraging the growth of Aboriginal business innovation and entrepreneurship," said Stephen Fay, National Director, Aboriginal Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

"It is especially gratifying when we see the profound impact these initiatives can have on the quality of life in Aboriginal communities, and it is especially rewarding to see the individual success stories that result from the of work that has been done to expand access to educational and employment opportunities for Aboriginal youth," added Fay.

About BMO and the Aboriginal Community

In 2012, BMO celebrates twenty years of working with Aboriginal peoples in their communities. BMO's Aboriginal Banking Unit has 12 on-reserve branches and a more than $2 billion business relationship with Aboriginal customers. With a dedicated experienced team, BMO is able to help aboriginal customers with products and services to meet their personal banking needs, provide financial advice to on-reserve businesses, and partner with communities on their economic development initiatives and provide customized trust and investment management solutions.

BMO has a proud history of commitment to helping Aboriginal youth unleash their talent and full potential. As the youngest and fastest growing segment of Canada's population, Aboriginal youth represent a large pool of talent for Canada's workforce, yet they remain over-represented among Canada's unemployed.

That is why BMO is also one of the largest corporate contributors to the scholarship programs of Indspire (formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation) and the Foundation for the Advancement of Aboriginal Youth (FAAY), providing funding to both organizations in support of Aboriginal high school and post secondary students. BMO has funded 386 Indspire and FAAY student scholarships since its Equity Through Education initiative began in 2005.

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business has recognized BMO with the Gold Level of Progressive Aboriginal Relations Award for three consecutive award cycles.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525 billion as at April 30, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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For media inquiries please contact:
Paul Cunliffe, Toronto

Ronald Monet, Montreal

Laurie Grant, Vancouver