Christina Ho: Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones
Rebeccah Slaunwhite    |  Financial Advisor  

Impacting My Community 

As a child, all Rebeccah Slaunwhite could think of was joining the RCMP – she saw it as the single-best way for her to help her community, the Mi’kmaq First Nation people.   “Growing up I didn’t see many Indigenous peoples in leadership positions…so I thought this was an amazing opportunity to drive meaningful change.” 

But no amount of dreaming could prepare Rebeccah for the reality of policing, or the weight of knowing that the thing she wanted most in life may not be what she wanted after all. 
“I celebrated my 19th Birthday at the Depot in Regina, and my placement was on Indian Brook Mi’kmaq Reserve. I felt helpless.” Rebeccah was overwhelmed by all of it. “I was worried, losing sleep and knew it wasn’t the right job for me.”

“I am a very nurturing, caring person and I truly want to help people. I spent my whole life dreaming of helping my peers, but I knew there had to be another way.”

With her father’s encouragement, Rebeccah ventured outside of her comfort zone and went back to university. It’s there that she discovered RBC’s Indigenous Program for Students and was offered a 3-year internship.  Joining through this Indigenous Student Internship Program was an important part of Rebeccah’s journey with RBC.  The meaningful implications of this internship were not lost on Rebeccah. “Being an Indigenous woman in Canada means that my ancestors survived a world that was trying to get rid of us. Our people are resilient and have such a beautiful culture. There was a place for me at RBC to help inspire my potential.” 
Despite her enthusiasm, Rebeccah still felt intimidated to work at the bank with no experience. She’d gone to school for sciences, and beyond that she had questions about how her values might align with RBC.  But as she moved up from bank teller to financial advisor, that sense of shared values became abundantly clear. “RBC encourages me to be myself and to celebrate my culture. By blending both the corporate and Indigenous worlds, through the traditional “two-eyed seeing approach,” I am able to take Indigenous knowledge and merge it with modern days ways of thinking.” 

“They truly care about me and my growth. I have never looked elsewhere.” But it’s not just the career growth that excites Rebeccah – she sees her role at RBC as the chance to make a difference in her community, as she thought being a police officer might do.  Rebeccah feels she has just scratched the surface of what her greatest contribution will be. Today, she volunteers as The Co-Chair of The Atlantic Division of The RBC Royal Eagles, a program that supports networking, mentoring, recruitment, and retention of Indigenous talent. 

Like other Indigenous woman who traditionally play a central leadership role in their communities, Rebeccah dreams of moving into a senior role at RBC to help influence positive change while getting in touch with her culture. 

“I want to be in a position where I can work with people to identify and build on their strengths so we can win as a team. I believe in serving others, it drives me.” 
“Being involved in my community and helping others, that is the difference maker.” 

Christina Ho

Rebeccah Slaunwhite  

Financial Advisor