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Canada's Ukrainians

Canada's Ukrainians: Changing Perspectives, 1891-1991

Lubomyr Luciuk
Stella Hryniuk
Copyright Date: 1991
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  • Book Info
    Canada's Ukrainians
    Book Description:

    This collection of essays, first published in 1991, presents an overview of the community's experience, and brings together the works of over twenty scholars in history, politics, and sociology.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7174-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Ramon John Hnatyshyn

    As Governor General of Canada and the representative of Her Majesty The Queen, the responsibilities of my position have evolved in rhythm with the changing structures and moods of the nation. Nevertheless, one element remains constant: the symbolism of the vice-regal office. The milestones of our individual lives, from birth through school graduations, marriages, and anniversaries, are marked by ceremonies and symbols which represent important values as well as a continuum in the history of our nation. In much the same way, the Crown embodies the structures and values of our parliamentary democracy as well as the multitude of political...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    Paul Robert Magocsi
  5. Editors’ Introduction
    (pp. xvii-xxii)
    Lubomyr Y. Luciuk and Stella Hryniuk

    Reflection on a hundred years of the Ukrainian-Canadian experience is appropriate in this centennial year. As scholars we felt the best way of accomplishing this would be to strike a committee, to organize public seminars and a symposium, and, most important, to publish a selection of essays dealing with the experience of Canada’s Ukrainians from the earliest period of settlement to the present. Our goal was to help Canadians to understand what has happened to Canada’s Ukrainians between 1891 and 1991. These considerations led to the incorporation of the Ukrainian Canadian Centennial Committee, affiliated with the Chair of Ukrainian Studies...

  6. Part 1 To Canada:: Immigration and Settlement

    • ‘Sifton’s Pets’: Who Were They?
      (pp. 3-16)

      A considerable literature has accumulated on the background to the immigration of Ukrainians to Canada at the turn of the century and on their early history in this country. With varying degrees of emphasis various authors have maintained that Ukrainians were victims of social, political, and even religious oppression, suffering from lack of economic and educational opportunities, fleeing from a stagnant, backward, and impoverished society. Such gloomy accounts are to be found in both popular and scholarly writings and are due, perhaps, to limited knowledge of the appropriate sources for the history of Eastern Galicia and Bukovyna.¹ That recent scholarship...

    • Sifton’s Immigration Policy
      (pp. 17-29)

      Standard historiography has it that under the astute direction of Clifford Sifton, minister of the Department of the Interior between 1896 and 1905, the Laurier administration embarked upon an enormously successful campaign to secure agriculturists for the settlement and development of the Northwest. In particular, Sifton has been credited with devising a policy to satisfy the economic requirements of the prairies by encouraging immigrants who hitherto had been deemed only ‘marginally acceptable.’ Focusing his attention on the Ukrainians of Galicia and Bukovyna, Sifton argued that these ‘stalwart peasants’ would make desirable settlers and that their economic value outweighed negative social...

    • Peopling the Prairies with Ukrainians
      (pp. 30-52)
      JOHN C. LEHR

      Between 1892 and 1914 Ukrainian immigrants from Galicia and Bukovyna settled large tracts of the plains of western Canada.¹ The immigrants seldom dispersed themselves among settlers of different ethnic backgrounds but settled adjacent to one another on quarter-section homesteads, with the result that extensive areas of agricultural land in the West became almost totally Ukrainian in character. This type of settlement also occurred among other ethnic groups, but it generally arose when the government set aside land for the exclusive settlement of a specific group as in the case of the Mennonites, Icelanders, and Doukhobors.² The Ukrainians were not accorded...

    • The Ukrainian Impress on the Canadian West
      (pp. 53-80)

      A journey through the western interior of Canada, in the zone where the grasslands mix with the aspen-poplar forest, reveals extensive districts that stand out as one of the most distinct ethnic landscapes to be found anywhere in Canada and indeed in all of North America. They are the areas settled by Ukrainian immigrants and their descendants who began arriving in western Canada one hundred years ago. To uninitiated travellers, the onion-domed churches with their detached bell towers provide perhaps the strongest clue that they have entered a different ethnic environment. Closer inspection reveals additional features found predominantly, if not...

    • ‘Non-Preferred’ People: Inter-war Ukrainian Immigration to Canada
      (pp. 81-102)

      I wonder who was the last Ukrainian off the last boat in 1914? That year marked the outbreak of the Great War and also the end of the ‘Great Canadian Migration.’ Some 2.5 million immigrants had entered Canada during the Laurier-Sifton years, 1896–1914. Among them were over 170,000 ‘Ukrainians.’¹ Armistice Day, 1918, marked the cessation of hostilities, and Canada, faced with the possible renewal of the pre-war mass migration, re-evaluated its immigration policy. My apocryphal Ukrainian of 1914 had made it just in time.

      Ultimately, another 1.6 million persons were admitted during the 1919–39 period, including 68,000 Ukrainians.²...

    • ‘This Should Never Be Spoken or Quoted Publicly’: Canada’s Ukrainians and Their Encounter with the DPs
      (pp. 103-122)

      Millions of Ukrainians became refugees during the Second World War. No one foresaw just how important Canadian servicemen of Ukrainian descent would be in providing relief and resettlement assistance to hundreds of thousands of these displaced persons (DPs). Yet it was these soldiers who in January 1943 set up the Ukrainian Canadian Servicemen’s Association (UCSA), around which they subsequently formed the Central Ukrainian Relief Bureau (CURB).¹ At first, the bureau was ‘a strictly Canadian venture.’² Later, Ukrainian Americans came to play an important role in financing its operations, although the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (UCC) in Winnipeg continued to provide much...

    • The Resettlement of Ukrainian Refugees in Canada after the Second World War
      (pp. 123-154)

      Post-war refugees comprised the third and most recent wave of Ukrainian immigration to Canada.¹ The previous two groups had consisted chiefly of economic immigrants from Western Ukraine (Austria-Hungary before the First World War and Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania between the wars). By contrast, the post-war refugees, who were part of the 2.5 to 3 million Ukrainians who found themselves in war-torn Germany in 1945, came from all parts of Ukraine.² Among them were young people who had been pressed to work in the German military-industrial complex, prisoners of war who had served in the Polish and Soviet armies, nationalists who...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
  7. Part 2 Among Ourselves:: Community Politics and Religion

    • Consolidating the Community: The Ukrainian Self-Reliance League
      (pp. 157-186)

      In November 1940 the nationally conscious Ukrainians of Canada became consolidated in the form of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (Komitet ukraintsiv Kanady). An umbrella organization, the committee (renamed the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in 1989) has represented the majority of the non-Communist Ukrainian community associations in Canada and has claimed to speak on behalf of all Ukrainian Canadians. That such a body came into being was in itself a major achievement on the part of the highly individualistic and factious Ukrainians, who in 1940 constituted the largest Slavic group and fourth largest minority (305,000) in Canada. Concerned with the preservation of...

    • Swallowing Stalinism: Pro-Communist Ukrainian Canadians and Soviet Ukraine in the 1930s
      (pp. 187-205)

      When the National Committee of the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians met in Toronto on 10–12 November 1989, it adopted a resolution in which it announced that the time had come for ‘an honest, frank, and objective appraisal of some particular periods and practices in our history … in light of revelations brought out by the processes of reconstruction, openness, and democratization in the Soviet Union.’ During the era of Stalinism, the AUUC said, ‘monstrous crimes and disastrous errors’ had been committed. ‘The atmosphere of defending everything Soviet without question led us into serious errors: embracing the cult of...

    • Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Francophone Missionaries among Ukrainian Catholics
      (pp. 206-217)

      The first chapter in the religious history of Ukrainian Canadians, which set the stage for the split that occurred in 1918, has been examined in many ways – from the secularizing and democratizing effects of the prolonged shortage of priests to the pluralizing effects of proselytizing by denominations that were not part of the Ukrainian Christian tradition. Recently opened archival materials of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church at the Central State Historical Archives in Lviv, Ukraine, shed light on yet another important dimension of this story – the missionary work of francophone Roman Catholics among the Ukrainian immigrants to Canada....

    • ‘A Portion for the Vanquished’: Roman Catholics and the Ukrainian Catholic Church
      (pp. 218-237)

      The words of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky of Lviv offered a challenge to the Latin Catholics of Canada to help build a strong Uniate church in this country. For Ukrainian Catholics, Sheptytsky’s comments offered hope and confidence that a Greek Catholic church could be built in Canada. For Latin Catholics his words could have served as warning to those who confused their own burgeoning nationalism with the interests of the Catholic faith. Throughout much of their early history in Canada, Ukrainian Catholics found themselves squarely in the midst of a struggle between the two host cultures for control of the Canadian...

    • Wedded to the Cause: Ukrainian-Canadian Women
      (pp. 238-253)

      The 1970s saw women’s history emerge as a legitimate discipline in Canada. Critics of conventional male-dominated scholarship resolved to rescue the ‘second sex’ from invisibility and trivialization by making women independent actors and subjects of enquiry. Individual achievers or ‘Great Women’ to complement the ‘Great Men’ of nation building, together with female participation in such landmark events as two world wars, incorporated women into the traditional framework of Canadian history. More importantly, women’s historians demanded recognition of the female experience on its own terms, liberated from the restrictions and distortions of patriarchal criteria. The mass of ordinary women – and...

    • The Changing Community
      (pp. 254-268)

      Has the Ukrainian community in Canada changed in any significant way in the past twenty years? Do new issues occupy it, and what difference do they make to its character and structure? The following discussion does not answer these questions completely or even adequately. It simply tries to suggest a way of looking for the answer.

      I am focusing on the last twenty years for a variety of reasons. The last ‘good’ census of Canada was conducted in 1971, and since then only the 1986 20 per cent sample census has produced a set of published data useful to my...

  8. Part 3 Of Canada?: Ukrainian Canadians and the State

    • Divided Loyalties: The Ukrainian Left and the Canadian State
      (pp. 271-287)

      Between 1914 and 1946 war and social disruption greatly affected the relations between the Ukrainian Left and the Canadian government.¹ Although there had been periodic concern over radical activity among foreign workers before 1914, the war years and the Red Scare of 1919 greatly intensified the fear of the radical alien. Individuals and groups now tended to be deemed loyal or disloyal, law-abiding or revolutionary, according to their conformity to the norms of the Anglo-Canadian middle class. These same attitudes, particularly on the part of Canadian business groups and law enforcement officials, surfaced again during the Great Depression. Renewed efforts...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • Without Just Cause: Canada’s First National Internment Operations
      (pp. 288-303)

      On 30 May 1916 the superintendent in charge of the Regina District of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP) signed a report that stated in part: ‘I came to the decision that this man is a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and that he was shielding his brother who was crossing and re-crossing the International Boundary line between Canada and the United States.’¹ Philip Marchuk was quickly sent to an internment camp at Brandon, Manitoba, and then to a camp at Banff, Alberta, where he became prisoner number 589. Like many before and after him, he had had a quick...

    • British-Canadian Intellectuals, Ukrainian Immigrants, and Canadian National Identity
      (pp. 304-325)

      To understand the experiences of immigrant peoples it is necessary to appreciate relations between the existing residents, the so-called host peoples, and the waves of immigrants, the new peoples. These relations include the ideas about nationality, ethnicity, and ethnic relations held by the host peoples and the newcomers. The ideas of the host peoples are particularly important in the Canadian case for two reasons. First, Canadian society historically has been characterized by a high degree of social, economic, and political hierarchy. In John Porter’s classic formulation, Canada was a ‘vertical mosaic’ in which a British-Canadian elite dominated, although only by...

    • Tracy Philipps and the Achievement of Ukrainian-Canadian Unity
      (pp. 326-341)

      One of the most perplexing and difficult issues facing the Canadian government on the home front during the Second World War was its relations with the country’s Ukrainian community. The reasons for the existence of a ‘Ukrainian question’ in Canada during the war were complex and numerous. Canada's Ukrainians constituted the most influential immigrant ethnic group in the country. Numbering over three hundred thousand, demographically they were well ahead of other immigrant groups, with the exception of people of German ancestry, who had little political influence at the time. The Ukrainian group, moreover, was made up mainly of recent arrivals...

    • Ukrainian-Canadian Politics
      (pp. 342-361)

      For a long time our understanding of Ukrainian-Canadian politics was clouded, rather than clarified, because much of the literature was written by partisans engaged in internecine ideological battles. Just as Vera Lysenko’sMen in Sheepskin Coatsignored the anti-Communist national movement, so Paul Yuzyk’s anticommunism detracted from his otherwise scholarlyThe Ukrainians in Manitoba.¹ On both sides of this ideological divide the early literature was self-laudatory, coming from the school of ethnic boosterism, celebrating Ukrainian-Canadian advances. It sought to highlight what Ukrainians had in common rather than their differences. Authors were keen to demonstrate the loyalty of Ukrainians as Canadians...

    • Looking for the Ukrainian Vote
      (pp. 362-376)

      One of the enduring myths and mysteries of Canadian politics is the ethnic bloc vote. It is the Big Foot – or, if you prefer, the Ogopogo – of political lore in Canada. No one has seen it, except for an infrequent and fleeting shadow, but everyone believes it exists. Politicians in particular are prone to pay homage to it in victory and to blame it in defeat.¹ The hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Ukrainian immigrants in Canada, therefore, provides an appropriate – some would say compulsory – opportunity to re-examine this myth as it applies to these immigrants...

    • Still Coming to Terms: Ukrainians, Jews, and the Deschênes Commission
      (pp. 377-390)

      From February 1985 to September 1987, the Ukrainian and Jewish communities in Canada were involved in a heated dispute over the identification of alleged Nazi war criminals and the means of bringing them to justice. Though the bitterness between the two sides has subsided, the conflict has revealed the importance of historical consciousness and the use of history to advance the goals of the two diaspora communities. But how did the issue of Nazi war criminals bring these goals into conflict?

      Joseph Mengele, the notorious ‘Angel of Death’ who had performed cruel experiments on the inmates of Auschwitz, was one...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 391-494)
  10. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 495-496)
  11. Index
    (pp. 497-510)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 511-511)