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The newest ferry in Marine Atlantic’s fleet is named in honour of the M’ikmaq people

May 2, 2024

Marine Atlantic has chosen the name Ala'suinu, the Mi'kmaw word meaning traveler in honour of the region's Indigenous heritage, for its newest ferry. The name (pronounced Ah-laa-sue-in-ou) reflects the historical journeys of the Mi'kmaq people between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and symbolizes the continued familial and cultural links maintained by current travelers.

Ala'suinu is Marine Atlantic’s first vessel with dual-engine technology which significantly reduces its environmental footprint. The vessel has also specifically been designed to minimize underwater noise. The ice-class vessel is compatible for use on Marine Atlantic’s routes between North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and either Port aux Basques or Argentia in Newfoundland.

In response to one of the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Marine Atlantic named Ala'suinu to both honour the Mi’kmaq people and to help to preserve an Indigenous language by introducing Mi’kmaw to others. Through Ala'suinu, Marine Atlantic seeks to foster a deeper understanding and respect among all its passengers for Indigenous heritage. The vessel also displays the works of various Indigenous artists for the same purpose.

Ala'suinu’s other key new features include culinary options that range from quick snacks to fine dining, as well as pet-friendly cabins. The first Marine Atlantic vessel named in honour of Indigenous people, Ala'suinu has its initial voyage planned for Argentia in late June.