Employees at Alberni Brewing Company dressed in orange on Monday, Oct. 25 for the first burger fundraiser night for Tseshaht First Nation’s residential school memorial fund. The event raised $225. The next burger fundraiser will take place on Nov. 29. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Employees at Alberni Brewing Company dressed in orange on Monday, Oct. 25 for the first burger fundraiser night for Tseshaht First Nation’s residential school memorial fund. The event raised $225. The next burger fundraiser will take place on Nov. 29. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Alberni Brewing’s first burger fundraiser for Tseshaht AIRS memorial a success

Business created monthly fundraiser in consultation with Tseshaht First Nation

A Port Alberni business will be holding monthly fundraisers for a residential school memorial.

After consulting with Tseshaht First Nation, Alberni Brewing Company made the decision to donate $5 from every burger sold on the last Monday of every month to Tseshaht First Nation and their fund to create a commemoration/memorial in recognition of the children who attended and those who did not make it home from the Alberni Indian Residential School (AIRS).

Alberni Brewing also encourages staff and visitors to wear orange shirts on fundraising days.

The first fundraising event took place on Oct. 25 and was “very successful” said Alberni Brewing co-owner Heather Welsh.

“We had lots of people coming throughout the day and sharing their support,” said Welsh. “It meant a great deal for us to be involved in this, and we hope it gains more momentum as the year goes on.”

The event raised $225 for Tseshaht First Nation.

Welsh says the fundraiser will continue “for the foreseeable future.” The next fundraising date will be Monday, Nov. 29.

Over the coming weeks and months, Tseshaht will be researching and gathering names of former AIRS students to prepare for the construction of a memorial sometime in 2022. People who wish to donate directly to Tseshaht have two options:

1. Send an e-transfer to donations@tseshaht.com (making a note that it is a “Tseshaht AIRS donation”).

2. Deliver or mail a cheque to “Tseshaht First Nation” (5091 Tsuma-as Drive, Port Alberni, B.C., V9Y 8X9), making a note that it is a “Tseshaht AIRS donation.”

Support is available for former residential school students and those affected:

24-hour Indian Residential School Survivors Society Toll-Free Line: 1-800-721-0066

National Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419

KUU-US Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717

Tsow-Tun-Le Lum: 1-888-403-3123

Port Alberniresidential schools