Internees’ stories can finally be told (Ukrainian internment in Canada)

From the Globe and Mail:

Beginning today, Prof. Luciuk and the descendants of some of the people who were prisoners there are hoping to fill in that missing chapter with a new fund that will support research and commemorative projects on the period. The fund was started with a $10-million endowment from the federal government and is designed to support a wide range of work, from scholarly papers to works of art or literature.

"It’s all about remembering," Prof. Luciuk said. "When I first started doing this research, I had people telling me this never happened. "

It’s been nearly a century since Canadian authorities rounded up thousands of immigrant families they considered enemy aliens and sent them to labour camps during the First World War. More than 8,500 people, mostly from what is now Ukraine, were sent to 24 internment camps across Canada between 1914 and 1920, because of their homeland’s links to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many men were used for forced labour, and 81 women and 156 children lived in the camps. Despite the scale of the internment, little evidence remains. No known survivors are still alive and many of the official records were destroyed.

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This sad chapter in Canadian history is finally getting the recognition it deserves thanks to Prof. Luciuk and others with the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.

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2 thoughts on “Internees’ stories can finally be told (Ukrainian internment in Canada)

  1. Prof. Luciuk indeed deserves much commendation for bringing light to this issue, and for persisting despite resistance from within the academic, political, and even Ukrainian communities. I myself was quite annoyed with him for bringing up this “negative” issue when I first learned of it back in the 1990s. But in time I saw the wisdom in it and am now writing a book about it myself.

    It is because of Prof Luciuk, and other authors like Marsha Skrypuch who have persisted in disseminating this information that Canadians now are acquiring a fuller knowledge of our history.

  2. Prof. Luciuk indeed deserves much commendation for bringing light to this issue, and for persisting despite resistance from within the academic, political, and even Ukrainian communities. I myself was quite annoyed with him for bringing up this “negative” issue when I first learned of it back in the 1990s. But in time I saw the wisdom in it and am now writing a book about it myself.

    It is because of Prof Luciuk, and other authors like Marsha Skrypuch who have persisted in disseminating this information that Canadians now are acquiring a fuller knowledge of our history.

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