It’s been many years since there was a bank on the islands, but on Thursday morning, the RBC opened an agency branch in Skidegate.
The May 10 event was marked with speeches, a ribbon cutting and an enormous cake. Skidegate Band Council members and staff turned out to welcome the village’s newest business, as did many curious residents.
Hereditary Chiefs Skidegate (Dempsey Collinson), Niis Wes (Ernie Wilson) and Gidkun (John Williams) all welcomed RBC, or, as most people refer to it, the Royal Bank, to Skidegate.
“It is not usual for a bank to be here,” Mr. Williams said. “I hope you can earn enough to make it worthwhile for you.”
Chief councillor Willard Wilson said it was a great day for Skidegate. Negotiations between RBC and the band council took a while, he said, but the result – a bank agency branch in the middle of Skidegate – is another success for the small village. It follows a visit from BC Premier Gordon Campbell less than a year ago announcing a $4-million contribution to the Qay’llnagaay Haida Heritage Centre.
Today, it seems like everything is falling in place for Skidegate, Mr. Wilson told the small crowd who had gathered for the opening.
Brian Williams, vice-president of commercial markets, spoke on behalf of RBC, saying that Skidegate is an “outstanding” community and that the bank representatives felt truly welcomed there.
“This took a real vision of leadership by chief and council to make this happen,” Mr. Williams said, adding that all profits generated by the branch will stay in the village. “We believe this is a great partnership.”
The RBC agency branch is located in the Raven Centre, just north of the Gwaii Co-op.
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