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Paper Excellence donates $10,000 to B.C. residential school memorial


October 7, 2021
By P&PC Staff

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Vicky White (black jacket), Josh Goodwill and son Todd, Elected Chief Ken Watts, Dwayne Hearn, Darrell Ross, Elder Cody Gus and Jamie Jensen accepting the $10,000 donation at the Catalyst Port Alberni mill. Photo: Paper Excellence

As Canada observed its first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Paper Excellence joined in with a donation of $10,000 to the Alberni Indian Residential School (AIRS) commemoration/memorial fund. This donation was extended to honour all the children who attended and those that did not make it home.

“A huge ʔuušy̓akšiƛeʔic to our friends at Catalyst Port Alberni, a Paper Excellence company for showing their support yesterday! What a beautiful orange shirt banner and $10,000 donation for AIRS commemoration/memorial fund,” said Ken Watts, elected chief councillor of the Tseshaht First Nation.

Paper Excellence employees took part in a community memorial walk around Port Alberni which echoed the same route the children took when they travelled to the AIRS. Photo: Paper Excellence

Representatives from Paper Excellence joined in the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation events in Port Alberni on Sept. 30. The company displayed an orange shirt banner along the mill fence and also took part in a community memorial ceremony.

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“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. From this day forward, we must all commit to learning and understanding so that we can bring forth healing and meaningful change,” said Walter Tarnowsky, general manager of Catalyst Port Alberni.

In the coming months, a group of staff will work with survivors and research locations to collect names of former AIRS students. This is to prepare for the construction of a memorial sometime in 2022.