Tseshaht First Nation and Catalyst Paper, a Paper Excellence company, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding that sets out the intentions of both parties to build a collaborative relationship together.
“This document outlines many objectives. None are more important than all of us recognizing and respecting the aboriginal rights of the Tseshaht Nation,” said Walter Tarnowsky, General Manager, Catalyst Port Alberni. “While the signing of this document marks the culmination of a lot of people’s efforts, it truly marks the beginning of a process. We must not look at this process of reconciliation as one of simply understanding and empathizing. It must be a process of genuine change and resolution.”
“For Tseshaht it is really important, not just because of the location of the paper mill here, but the history that was once here as a village, as a community, as employment for many of our community members from decades ago until recently. We have members who work here now. It’s a totally interconnected feeling for us, it’s not just about jobs; it’s about sharing history, it’s about sharing culture. It’s about their connection to the Somass River here and how close they are. We’re excited about it,” said Wahmeesh Ken Watts, elected Chief Councillor for Tseshaht First Nation.
Paper Excellence believes reconciliation through collaboration and an open-minded approach creates enduring and meaningful connections. With that in mind, Paper Excellence focuses on building long-term high value partnerships with communities in its operating areas and where practicable to align its vision, values and corporate policies with local Indigenous Peoples.