Paper Excellence donates $10,000 to Alberni Indian Residential School (AIRS) Commemoration/Memorial Fund

For Immediate Release:

[Richmond, BC] – In recognition of recent events, Paper Excellence donated $10,000 to the AIRS Commemoration/Memorial Fund to honour all the children who attended and those that did not make it home. This is the single largest donation to the fund to date.

“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 representatives took part in National Day of Truth and Reconciliation events yesterday in Port Alberni. This included hanging an orange shirt banner along the mill 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. 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, Catalyst Port Alberni.

Over the coming weeks and months, a group of staff will 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. E-transfer to (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”.

If you are in need of support, please reach out:
• IRSSS Toll-Free Line: 1-800-721-0066
• 24hr National Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
• KUU-US Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717
• Tsow-Tun-Le Lum: 1-888-403-3123

Left to right: 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.
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.


Paper Excellence, headquartered in British Columbia, is a diversified manufacturer of pulp and specialty, printing, writing, and packaging papers. The company operates seven mills and a large-scale cargo distribution centre in Canada producing and shipping over 2.8 million tonnes annually with a workforce of more than 2,800. Paper Excellence is poised to continue to grow with its strategy of operational excellence and high-quality, cost-effective products.

Media Contact: Graham Kissack, Vice President, Environment, Health & Safety and Corporate Communications | | Mobile: (250) 732-7991