Posted by Mary-Anne Mackett
AT OUR MEETING March 5, 2019
Photo (Left to Right):  Steven MacAuley, Brenda Winter, Guest Speaker Aaron Kakepetum and Brian Walmark
    Aaron Kakepetum of RBC addressed Rotary Port Arthur on a wide range of topics including the importance of educational opportunities for Indigenous youth, home ownership on-reserve and the need to increase the numbers of Indigenous youth who are Chartered Public Accountants (CPAs).  
    As a kid growing up in Balmertown, Aaron once said he never thought he would grow up to be a banker.  Like most kids, he played hockey.  
    He won many awards as a hockey play including being named Defenseman of the Year in 2002 when he played for the Icedogs in Red Lake.  This was only the beginning.  He played Junior A Hockey and finally played NCAA Division One Hockey with the University of Connecticut.  In 2006, he graduated with a degree in Resource Economics.
    He never forgot his roots.  
    Since joining RBC, he has worked to build bridges between First Nations especially in Ontario’s far north and the Mainstream business community.  
    Aaron continues to find time to support the educational goals of Indigenous Youth in northwestern Ontario.  He worked with Fort William First Nation and KO Student Support Services to get a generous donation from RBC to support their Back Pack Programs.  This work allows First Nations education departments to purchase and distribute student backpacks, lunch kits and school supplies for the students on and off reserve attending schools in the urban south.
    He is dedicated to educating community members in financial literacy, including offering programs to remote communities by WebEx.  After his prepared remarks, he was able to answer a wide range of questions, giving insight into how a mainstream financial institution like the RBC and the First Nations are bridging seeming problems such as mortgage securities with innovative and effective solutions.
    Aaron is a living breathing example of a young man who lives by Rotary principles and values especially the Four-Way Test.