BC Ferries says the MV Kuper, the vessel that serves Penelakut Island, has been renamed Pune’luxutth, the Hul’q’umi’num word for Penelakut.
The renaming of the vessel took place Friday at the Point Hope in Victoria where the vessel is undergoing its five-year dry-docking and refit.
BC Ferries says the change honours Indigenous heritage and was the name chosen by Penelakut Tribe.
The corporation says the previous name, Kuper, was widely associated with the former residential school of the same name, cultural assimilation and painful history.
Councillor Josh James says “Penelakut Tribe is relieved to see the removal of the colonial name,” and proud to see the use of the Hul’q’umi’num language.
BC Ferries president and CEO, Nicolas Jimenez, says “we aim to foster mutually respectful relationships and move forward with the Indigenous communities we serve in a positive and meaningful way.”
The ferry has been operating on the Chemainus-Thetis-Penelakut route since 2007.
Pune’luxutt is scheduled to resume service on December 9, 2023.