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BC Ferries renames MV Kuper in the spirit of reconciliation

Press Release

VICTORIA – BC Ferries renamed its motor vessel Kuper to Pune’luxutth, honoring Indigenous heritage, at a name unveiling ceremony at Victoria’s Point Hope Maritime today.

Pune’luxutth is the Hul’qumi’num’ word for Penelakut and was the name chosen by Penelakut Tribe. The previous name of the vessel, Kuper, was widely associated with the former residential school of the same name, cultural assimilation and painful history.

“Penelakut Tribe is relieved to see the removal of the colonial name Kuper; furthermore, we are proud to see the use of our Hul’qumi’num language,” said Josh James, Councillor, Penelakut Tribe. “We look forward to continue building our relationship with BC Ferries.”

The vessel has been serving the Chemainus-Thetis-Penelakut route since 2007 and over the past few months has been in its five-year dry-docking and refit. Some of the projects conducted during the refit include an overhaul of main engines, right angle drive units, generators and deck machinery, recertification of safety equipment, and cleaning and painting the ship. This is where it also went through the process of a name change.

“By renaming our vessel to a name that acknowledges and honors Indigenous heritage, we aim to foster mutually respectful relationships and move forward with the Indigenous communities we serve in a positive and meaningful way,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO of BC Ferries. “It demonstrates our commitment to acknowledging past wrongs and correcting hurtful historical naming where we can.”

The renaming of the vessel reflects BC Ferries’ commitment to reconciliation, listening and making changes in support of Indigenous communities. The Pune’luxutth is scheduled to resume services on December 9, 2023.

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Media Contact:
BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267

Customer Contact:
Victoria: (250) 410-1465
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)

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