In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting some of the impactful women that belong to Minerva. In this first feature, we interviewed our newest board member, Tracy Antoine. Experience her energy in the blog below!
Tracy’s commitment to purposeful work has paved the way for her success. Born and raised in Stu’xtews in the central interior of BC, Tracy attributes her strong core values to her parents, who are residential school survivors.
Her late father returned home at the age of 16 from Residential School and worked with community elders at a local ranch and then started his own farm. As a farmer’s daughter, Tracy learned how to ride a horse before she could walk, competed in rodeos, and has always felt most comfortable in jeans and a denim jacket. Her upbringing also instilled a strong work ethic and taught her the importance of doing purposeful work.
Tracy’s mother encouraged her to stay in school and lead with her values.
“She never gave up on me, even during those teenage years, and reminded me of my purpose – go to school, learn new skills and give back to the community. My mother gave me purpose by learning to walk in two worlds”
Tracy was the first in her family to graduate from high school, the first to get an undergraduate degree, and the first to obtain a graduate degree. As a single mother, Tracy worked while attending university full-time to receive an undergraduate degree in business. Her daughter, now 27, is in the process of obtaining her Bachelor’s degree which now incorporates learning the culture and language.
Tracy has always been passionate about finance, having worked in First Nations government out of high school and throughout college. She spent 8 years in housing and 2 years in community planning, which required her to crunch a lot of numbers and balance budgets.
“I used to tell people that I’m an introvert and like how the numbers don’t talk back and when you do a good job, they balance and tell a story.”
After university, she joined RBC where she is now the Vice President of Indigenous Markets for BC. In her role, Tracy leads a team of specialists that provide strategic planning for community and economic development in both rural and urban areas for First Nations, Inuit and Métis organizations.
As Executive Chairman of the RBC Royal Eagles, an Indigenous-focused employee resource group, Tracy plays a key role in promoting reconciliation activities and policies, training, recruitment, and mentorship of Indigenous peoples across Canada. The Royal Eagles’ purpose is to build an RBC Indigenous work family within a large organization, providing a safe space for employees to reach out for support, mentorship, guidance, culture and protocol undertakings.
Under Tracy’s leadership, they have developed financial literacy sessions for Indigenous Peoples and she aspires to continue supporting Indigenous Peoples recruitment initiatives to get more boots on the ground and delivering financial literacy advice events into communities. She is proud of the steps RBC is taking towards the commitment to the TRC Call to Action 92: corporate challenge for reconciliation activities and through the RBC Royal Eagles, teaching employees about Indigenous community, culture, and history.
The Board Member position at Minerva piqued her interest as she feels fortunate to have had great role models who encouraged her to stay on track and wanted to give back to youth. Everything Minerva stands for aligns with her values: to work with purpose, stay true to yourself, and be passionate about what you’re doing.
Thank you, Tracy, for bringing purpose (and an infectious laugh) to all that you do!