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Re-Imagining Ukrainian-Canadians

Re-Imagining Ukrainian-Canadians: History, Politics, and Identity

Rhonda L. Hinther
Jim Mochoruk
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 448
  • Book Info
    Re-Imagining Ukrainian-Canadians
    Book Description:

    Re-Imagining Ukrainian-Canadiansuses new sources and non-traditional methods of analysis to answer unstudied and often controversial questions within the field.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8686-1
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-20)
    Jim Mochoruk and Rhonda L. Hinther

    Perhaps this book should start with a confession. Despite the title and the overwhelmingly Ukrainian-Canadian content of the essays in this collection, this work is more about Canadian history – writ large – than it is a basic study of Ukrainians in Canada. Indeed, it is not even purely historical in nature, as the contributors come from a broad range of academic, professional, and disciplinary traditions and as such are concerned with questions that go well beyond the typical scope of the historian. This is only fitting, though, as the field of Ukrainian-Canadian studies has long benefited from the contributions of curators,...

  5. Part One: New Approaches to Old Questions

    • [PART ONE Introduction]
      (pp. 21-22)

      What itmeansto be Ukrainian has been, and remains, a complicated question, and the essays in this part highlight this complexity. The three contributors take a new and theoretically sophisticated approach to examining community hall life, museums, and literature, respectively. In so doing they interrogate various manifestations of Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian identity and challenge essentialist notions that there is a common and uncontested ‘Ukrainian-ness’ — notions that were all too apparent in the work of so many early scholars of the Ukrainian-Canadian experience. The essays here raise important questions regarding conflicting identities, divided loyalties, and various Ukrainians’ relationships with other...

    • 1 Generation Gap: Canada’s Postwar Ukrainian Left
      (pp. 23-53)
      Rhonda L. Hinther

      Zenovy Nykolyshyn was born in 1935. He grew up in the West Toronto Ukrainian Labour Temple. His mother was an active member of ‘the hall,’ and his father, when he was not busy running the family’s store, helped at plays by volunteering as a prompter. They enrolled young Zeny in Ukrainian school at the labour temple. There he also took violin and Ukrainian dance lessons and served a term as president of the Junior Section. As a teenager he was an active member of the hall’s Youth Club and, through the Labour Temple, the peace movement — a risky pursuit at...

    • 2 Locating Identity: The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village as a Public History Text
      (pp. 54-84)
      Karen Gabert

      On the long section of the Yellowhead Highway between Saskatoon and Edmonton, one of the most memorable landmarks is the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. As one cruises past at highway speed, it is difficult to miss the towering grain elevator, onion-domed Orthodox church, and thatch-roofed barn, all in remarkable proximity. This is the largest open-air museum in Alberta and one of the most visited historic sites in the province. Situated in the Ukrainian bloc settlement of east-central Alberta, it showcases the period of Ukrainian settlement in the area (from 1892 to 1930). Historic buildings have been moved to this site...

    • 3 ‘A Vaguely Divided Guilt’: The Aboriginal Ukrainian
      (pp. 85-102)
      Lindy Ledohowski

      Ethnic identity is often viewed as something shed by successive generations after they immigrate from the ‘Old World’ to the ‘New World.’ For instance, in writing about Armenian-American identity, Anny Bakalian charts a generational movement towards assimilation as involving a progression from ‘being’ to ‘feeling’ Armenian, with ‘being’ including such ethnic markers as Armenian language, culture, and social structures and ‘feeling’ as something different, something diluted.¹ A similar trajectory from ‘more’ to ‘less’ ethnicity was commonly perceived as the path laid out for early Ukrainian immigrants to Canada. For example, Manoly Lupul has written that the movement from being a...

  6. Part Two: Leaders and Intellectuals

    • [PART TWO Introduction]
      (pp. 103-106)

      This part takes two well-known figures from the Ukrainian-Canadian community and the leadership of two high-profile Ukrainian nationalist organizations and places them under the historian’s microscope, resulting in a remarkably fresh reconsideration of men’s experiences as leaders and activists. Indeed, these studies lend a much-needed dimension to our understanding of Ukrainian men as historical actors, intellectuals, and (sometimes controversial) political theorists and agents while similarly highlighting the fruits of their political and community labours. Readers will note that the three contributions make considerable mention of their subjects’ religious affiliations. These reflected the three most influential religious movements among Ukrainian Canadians:...

    • 4 ‘Great Tasks and a Great Future’: Paul Rudyk, Pioneer Ukrainian-Canadian Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
      (pp. 107-128)
      Peter Melnycky

      There is a rich and growing literature on the Ukrainian community in Canada. However, one topic that has received scant attention is the history of urban commerce and entrepreneurship, especially during the pioneer era preceding the First World War. The Western homesteader, ‘the stalwart peasant in a sheepskin coat,’ and to a lesser extent the industrial worker on the frontier, are predominant in the literature on this period. Less often studied are those Ukrainians who gravitated towards urban centres and who undertook non-traditional economic livelihoods. While the earliest Ukrainian immigrants were not totally homogenous, they were overwhelmingly of rural peasant...

    • 5 The Populist Patriot: The Life and Literary Legacy of Illia Kiriak
      (pp. 129-172)
      Jars Balan

      Illia Kiriak¹ is best known as the creator of the epic trilogySyny zemli, a sprawling fictional account of Ukrainian colonization in the Canadian West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Spanning almost 1,100 pages, the trilogy is widely regarded by critics as one of the most significant and ambitious literary works produced in the Ukrainian language in Canada. Originally self-published in three instalments between 1939 and 1945, it was later translated into English and issued posthumously in abridged form asSons of the Soil

      The novel is a fitting monument to an unassuming bachelor who unselfishly devoted...

    • 6 Sympathy for the Devil: The Attitude of Ukrainian War Veterans in Canada to Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933–1939
      (pp. 173-220)
      Orest T. Martynowych

      Though they were a small fraction of the seventy thousand Ukrainians who immigrated to Canada during the interwar years, war veterans quickly established themselves as the most active and dynamic newcomers in the Ukrainian-Canadian community. By the mid-1930s they had established secular mass organizations like the United Hetman Organization (UHO) and the Ukrainian National Federation (UNF), were playing an influential role in the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood (UCB), and were consistently challenging prewar immigrants for leadership. When the Ukrainian Canadian Committee was founded in 1940 to represent the anticommunist majority, a war veteran was chosen its president and organizations led by...

  7. Part Three: Diplomacy and International Concerns

    • [PART THREE Introduction]
      (pp. 221-222)

      A number of essays in this volume demonstrate that despite planting roots in Canada, many Ukrainians remained actively interested in the affairs of the Old Country. As Hinther, Mochoruk, and Makuch indicate, events in Russian and (later) Soviet Ukraine directly influenced the activism, experiences, and circumstances of those tied to the ULFTA and AUUC. Similarly, Martynowych’s work illustrates how at least some high-profile Ukrainian-Canadian nationalists found inspiration in the promises of German Nazism and European-based anticommunism during the interwar period.

      The essays in this part provide a multifaceted examination of how concerns about affairs of state, international relations, and perceptions...

    • 7 The ‘Ethnic Question’ Personified: Ukrainian Canadians and Canadian–Soviet Relations, 1917–1991
      (pp. 223-256)
      Jaroslav Petryshyn

      In its relationship with the Soviet Union, the Canadian government had to be cognizant of minorities whose geo-ethnic origins were within Soviet boundaries. This was especially true when it came to the Ukrainian community; indeed, it seems that until after the Second World War, when government officials spoke of the ‘ethnic question’ in Canadian–Soviet affairs they were referring invariably to the ‘Ukrainian problem.’ Ukrainian Canadians were far from a monolithic polity – many were either ignorant of or unconcerned about events in their homeland – yet at the same time, it is undeniable that ethnic consciousness was rising among many individuals...

    • 8 Monitoring the ‘Return to the Homeland’ Campaign: Canadian Reports on Resettlement in the USSR from South America, 1955–1957
      (pp. 257-278)
      Serge Cipko

      In 1955, on the tenth anniversary of the end of the Second World War and two years after Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s death, the Soviet Union and allied Warsaw Pact countries put in motion a worldwide campaign to persuade expatriates to return to their homelands. A Committee for the Return to the Homeland was established, headquartered in East Berlin. This committee published newspapers and non-periodical literature and ran a radio broadcasting service that featured return-home appeals. Sentimental chain letters from relatives and friends in the Soviet Union reinforced this campaign, which was said to be well-subsidized by the Soviets. A...

    • 9 Polishing the Soviet Image: The Canadian-Soviet Friendship Society and the ‘Progressive Ethnic Groups,’ 1949–1957
      (pp. 279-328)
      Jennifer Anderson

      The Canadian-Soviet Friendship Society (CSFS), launched in 1949 with Dyson Carter as its president, had the implicit approval of both the Canadian-based Labor-Progressive Party (LPP)¹ and authorities in Moscow to promote Soviet interests in Canada.² But as a phenomenon, this group was hardly new to Canada. Soviet friendship groups had existed since 1918, organized by radical Canadians who admired the Soviet socialist experiment. Then, after the Soviet Union became a valued – and necessary – wartime ally, friendship with the Soviets was promoted by some of the most prominent Canadian politicians and businessmen of the time. Indeed, during the Second World War,...

  8. Part Four: Internal Strife on the Left

    • [PART FOUR Introduction]
      (pp. 329-330)

      Few topics have been quite so controversial in the field of Ukrainian-Canadian history – or in the internal politics of Ukrainians living in Canada – as the role played by those who were associated with the procommunist left. Careful readers will have noted that in one way or another, almost every essay in this collection has raised the issue of radicalized Ukrainians. Paul Rudyk and Illia Kiriak eventually rejected radical politics in favour of more mainstream political and religious affiliations. For the leaders of the veterans’ organizations Martynowych has studied – and for many of those mentioned in the works of Petryshyn and...

    • 10 ‘Pop & Co’ versus Buck and the ‘Lenin School Boys’: Ukrainian Canadians and the Communist Party of Canada, 1921–1931
      (pp. 331-375)
      Jim Mochoruk

      In the late 1990s, while doing research on a cooperative located in the heart of Winnipeg’s North End, a disquieting feeling began to settle over me. This institution, which had been founded by members of the left-wing Ukrainian-Canadian community, and which was routinely attacked for its affiliations, did not always act in ways one might expect. As the records of the People’s Co-op made clear, this cooperative did not always follow the path laid down by the Anglo-Celtic leadership of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC).¹

      For those who know something of the history of the radicalized Finns, Ukrainians, Russians,...

    • 11 Fighting for the Soul of the Ukrainian Progressive Movement in Canada: The Lobayites and the Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association
      (pp. 376-400)
      Andrij Makuch

      In March 1935, Danylo Lobay, a stalwart lieutenant of the Ukrainian-Canadian left, gave an impromptu address to a gathering of representatives of the Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Mass Organizations (ULFMO) in Winnipeg. They had assembled prior to the start of the Fifteenth Convention of the Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association (ULFTA). He spoke forcefully and candidly regarding a variety of issues vexing him and other comrades – in particular, their concern about recent events in Ukraine. In short order Lobay had been declaredpersona non grataand had resigned from the leading Ukrainian progressive newspaperUkrainski robtinychi visty(Ukrainian Labor News, orURV). Lobay’s...

  9. Part Five: Everyday People

    • [PART FIVE Introduction]
      (pp. 401-402)

      This part considers the ways in which everyday Ukrainians – not the leaders of mass movements or even of Ukrainian-Canadian organizations, but men and women simply attempting to live their lives – were perceived by the dominant society. Just as important, this part details the experiences of Ukrainian Canadians outside the usual setting of the Prairie West, where Ukrainians at least had the solace of large and often well-organized community structures.

      S. Holyck Hunchuck’s study of a small and seemingly unimportant Ukrainian Labour Temple in Ottawa – and the people who made it their home away from home – provides a vivid illustration of...

    • 12 ‘Of course it was a Communist Hall’: A Spatial, Social, and Political History of the Ukrainian Labour Temples in Ottawa, 1912–1965
      (pp. 403-435)
      S. Holyck Hunchuck

      Ottawa, in eastern Ontario between Toronto and Montreal, is the midsized capital city of Canada.² It is a modern, post-industrial urban centre with a picturesque setting on the Ottawa River between Ontario and Quebec. The city has a population of about 800,000 and is officially bilingual in English and French. Architecturally, it contains many monuments to government, the Christian church, and domestic wealth; in socio-cultural terms it is perceived as well-educated, prosperous, and complacently bourgeois. Indeed, Ottawa is known colloquially as ‘Fat City,’ and the conventional view holds it to be an affluent quiet city of civil servants and politicians,...

    • 13 ‘I’ll Fix You!’: Domestic Violence and Murder in a Ukrainian Working-Class Immigrant Community in Northern Ontario
      (pp. 436-464)
      Stacey Zembrzycki

      Between 1913 and 1939 there were seven capital murder trials in Sudbury, Ontario, five of which involved Ukrainian working-class immigrants.² The murders, all of which took place in and around the spaces the victims would have identified as their home, included one male-on-male murder, one infanticide, and three domestic murders of women by former partners and admirers who were not the husband. Unlike the scandalous cases studied by Franca Iacovetta, Karen Dubinsky, and Carolyn Strange, there is nothing truly exceptional about any of the murders that occurred in this Northern Ontario mining community.³ They did not attract international attention, nor...

    • Conclusion
      (pp. 465-468)
      Jim Mochoruk and Rhonda L. Hinther

      While it is dangerous to make claims about the overall impact of a volume that has examined so many different aspects of the Ukrainian experience in Canada, it is perhaps fair to say that, when taken together, this collection of essays has reflected certain recent trends in historiography and has ‘pushed’ the historiographical discourse in new directions. To begin with, several of the essays have overtly challenged older, essentialist definition(s) of what it has meant to be Ukrainian or Ukrainian Canadian. It is also the case that collectively the authors have challenged the portrayal of Ukrainian Canadians that is still...

  10. Contributors List
    (pp. 469-472)
  11. Index
    (pp. 473-482)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 483-485)