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Powell River hospital renamed

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Powell River’s hospital now has a new name in partnership with the Tla’amin Nation.

The former Powell River General Hospital is now called qathet General Hospital. The new name was announced Monday, after being suggested in 2021 by the Tla’amin Nation.

The Nation says the name is more culturally appropriate, explaining Powell River was named after Israel Powell, a public official in the 1800s.

The hospital news release states, “Powell promoted policies that continue to cause harm to Indigenous peoples today.”

Tla’amin Nation adds the name change represents a pivotal moment with VCH, and they are looking forward to the future.

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“Tla’amin Nation commends the leadership that Vancouver Coastal Health has exhibited with changing the name of the local hospital,” said Tla’amin Nation executive councillor Dillon Johnson.

“This name change is meaningful for our people as it addresses a barrier to culturally-safe care, and it symbolizes a positive path forward.”

To recognize the change, VCH says they will commission a Tla’amin artist to design a new sign for the hospital. The sign is planned to be installed at the entrance later in the year.

VCH president and CEO Vivian Eliopoulos says the new name represents their commitment to Indigenous care.

“Vancouver Coastal Health is deeply committed to advancing Indigenous cultural safety, and this new name reflects our organizational commitment to provide Indigenous peoples with safe, quality and culturally appropriate care,” said Eliopoulos.

“We would like to extend our immense gratitude to Tla’amin Nation, Elders and community
members for their invaluable collaboration and partnership as we continue along our journey towards respectful and meaningful reconciliation.”

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