RBC’s corporate colonialism on full display

April 13, 2023
Here’s what happened at the RBC Annual General Meeting in Saskatoon, as summarized by Maya Menezes.
banner with signatories on RBC petitions

On April 5th, 2023, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, elders, land defenders and allies arrived in Treaty 6 in Saskatoon to speak truth to power, challenge RBC on its attack on Indigenous rights, and demand a liveable future for us all.

Despite the delegation having valid proxies, Indigenous and Black leaders were physically harassed, racially segregated to a separate room away from the main meeting, and met with snipers on rooftops in the middle of traditional ceremonies. This isn’t even half of the racism and blatant colonialism folks experienced last week. But we made our message heard: bank executives faced wall to wall media coverage on RBC’s corporate colonialism, direct actions from coast-to-coast, and RBC’s fossil financing was the headline of the day across social media.

RBC was bombarded with emails and phone calls (more than 5,000 of them) about its violation of Indigenous rights and fossil fuel financing. We took a banner to Saskatoon with the names of everyone who took action on the RBC campaign so far, – over 28,000 people!! (LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT BANNER with all your names!)

And that’s not all, this year was the first time we partnered with iconik allowing folks to pool shareholder votes in support of climate action. Together, we amassed 16,223 in votable shares, representing roughly $1,115,816 in assets for the RBC AGM.

This is only the beginning. Something was awoken in Richard and I, who attended the AGM on behalf of Stand.earth, that was both a mix of profound grief and total rage. The level of impunity with which RBC carried out blatant, public, dehumanizing racism within an annual shareholder meeting is unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed. But, we’ve also never quite seen a media firestorm and solidarity across Turtle Island in support of our movement.

We’re going all the way in this campaign. We’re going to keep hitting RBC where it hurts, in their public image and in their pockets.

Thank you for supporting Indigenous kin who in fighting for justice, are expanding what is politically possible for all our collective liberations. I’m grateful to be in this movement with you.

-Maya Menezes
Senior Climate Finance Organizer

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New report reveals that RBC provided fossil fuel companies more than USD $42.1 billion in 2022. That's more than any other bank in the world.

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