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New campground in Port Alberni aims to bring truth and reconciliation to the area

There will be a new campground outside of Port Alberni this spring that is aiming to build relationships and bring Indigenous education to the area.

The ʕaʔuk ʔaama k̓anis (ah-uk aah-ma ka-niss) campground is being built through a partnership between Mosaic Forest Management and the Hupačasath First Nation. The campground will be opening in spring 2022 at Loon Lake and will have 27 campsites on a stocked fishing lake, according to a media release from Mosaic Forests.

The new campground also aims to bring truth and reconciliation to the area through its name as well as education for visitors to the area.

“As such, the campground will be called “ʕaʔuk ʔaama k̓anis” (ah-uk aah-ma ka-niss), and literally translates to ‘lake loon camp and rest area’ in our language,” said Elected Chief Brandy Lauder, Hupačasath First Nation in the release.

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Elected Hupačasath councillor Jolleen Dick added the campground will also feature an information kiosk for visitors to learn more about the people and surrounding areas.

“We hope that with the information kiosk that we will be installing that they’ll learn about Hupačasath people, the language, the flora and fauna of the area and just really take in and understand where they are,” said Dick.

Mosaic and Hupačasath First Nation have worked together for many years, according to the release, and recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

Dick said that the Hupačasath First Nation hopes to continue working with Mosaic, showing the importance of partnerships in truth and reconciliation.

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“We just hope that partnerships and relationships mean a lot and that this is an example of reconciliation in action,” she added.

MLA for Mid-Island Pacific Rim Josie Osborne said the campground will resonate with west coasters and hopes it will be shared with the community and visitors in the region.

“Spending time outdoors has always been a big part of who we are as West Coasters,” said Osborne. “It’s incredible to see the partnership between Mosaic and the Hupačasath First Nation moving forward with the naming of the new campsite.

“This work is something everyone involved should be proud of, and is an excellent way to share the best of our communities with visitors to the region.”

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