First it was statues.Now British Columbia’s ubiquitous Crown corp., BC Ferries, is renaming one of its vessels to remove associations with its colonialist past and ties to residential schools.Reflecting what it said is a “commitment to reconciliation,” it renamed its vessel Kuper to Pune’luxutth at a special ceremony in Victoria on the weekend and after consultation with local indigenous groups. In a news release, BC Ferries said the previous name “was widely associated with the former residential school of the same name, cultural assimilation and painful history.”.“By renaming our vessel to a name that acknowledges and honours 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 CEO Nicolas Jimenez. “It demonstrates our commitment to acknowledging past wrongs and correcting hurtful historical naming where we can.”“(The) 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,” added Penelakut councillor Josh James. “We look forward to continue building our relationship with BC Ferries.”The Pune’luxutth which has been plying the southern Gulf waters of Chemainus-Thetis-Penelakut — formerly Kuper Island — since 2007 but has been undergoing a retrofit in dry dock as part of a recommissioning that will see it return to service on December 9. This is also where it went through the process of a name change, BC Ferries said. More, undisclosed, name changes could be in the offing, it added..Kuper Island Indian Residential School — also known as Kuper Island Indian Industrial School — was operated by the Roman Catholic Church with funding from the federal Department of Indian Affairs from 1889 to 1975.The school was nicknamed “Canada’s Alcatraz” owing to its remote location after two sisters drowned trying to escape in 1959. In 1995, Oblate Brother Glen Doughty pled guilty to three charges of indecent assault and gross indecency for offences committed at Kuper Island between 1967 and 1968.The Government of Canada took it over in 1969 and demolished the existing building in the 1980s.In 2021, the Penelakut First Nation announced more than 160 unmarked graves had been found on the grounds and foreshores of the island.