Powell River Paper Mill changes its name to reconcile with First Nation

By Abby Francis, qathet Living, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Catalyst mill is changing its name, in collaboration with Tla’amin Nation. The Paper Excellence company will now be called tiskʷat (tees-kwat); the English translation is ‘big river.’ 

“This name change is a long time coming and an important gesture to repair harm,” said Hegus John Hackett. “Our ancestors will rejoice to hear this place once again being called tiskʷat,and Tla’amin looks forward to the hard and productive conversations to come as we build a new relationship with Catalyst.” 

The land the mill was built on had once been a Tla’amin village site, before the peoples were displaced and relocated in the 1900’s. Catalyst and Tla’amin said that they have worked on building a Memorandum of Understanding that sets out the intentions of all parties to build a new and collaborative relationship together.

Graham Kissack, Vice President, EH&S and Corporate Communications said in a September 24 press release, “We are working closely with Hegus John Hackett and the Tla’amin Executive Council to ensure the steps we take in building this new relationship are thoughtful and measured.

“We believe that reconciliation through collaboration and an open-minded approach creates enduring and meaningful connections.”

Top photo credit: Catalyst mill as seen from a BC Ferry leaving Powell River – Photo by Roy L Hales

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