Paper Excellence marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by donating $10,000 to Tseshaht First Nation.
The funds will go towards an Alberni Indian Residential School (AIRS) commemoration/memorial to honour all the children who attended the school, and those that did not make it home.
Wahmeesh Ken Watts, elected Chief Councillor for Tseshaht First Nation, said that this is the single largest donation to the fund to date.
Paper Excellence representatives took part in National Day of Truth and Reconciliation events on Sept. 30 in Port Alberni, which included hanging an orange shirt banner along the mill’s fence and taking part in a community memorial ceremony.
“This day is born of unimaginable tragedy, and we must all recognize and use this day in remembrance of lives that were lost, love that was stolen and souls that were broken,” said Walter Tarnowsky, general manager of Catalyst Port Alberni. “From this day forward, we must all commit to learning and understanding so that we can bring forth healing and meaningful change.”
Over the coming weeks and months, Tseshaht plans to work with survivors and also research various locations to gather names of former AIRS students to prepare for the construction of a memorial sometime in 2022.
Businesses and individual have two options to donate to the AIRS commemoration/memorial fund:
1. Send an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org (please comment or make a note that it is a “Tseshaht AIRS donation”).
2. Write a cheque to Tseshaht First Nation and mail it to 5091 Tsuma-as Drive, Port Alberni, V9Y 8X9 and make a note that it is a “Tseshaht AIRS donation.”