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WW1 Ukranian Internment in Canada

 
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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 16 Jul 2006 7:55    Onderwerp: WW1 Ukranian Internment in Canada Reageer met quote

EDMONTON - Maksym Boyko was walking home from work in Ottawa in the autumn of 1914 when he was confronted by two police officers and promptly arrested.

The 42-year-old unmarried carpenter, who came to Canada from the Ukraine in 1911, had committed no crime. But he was a Ukrainian immigrant.

Boyko's personal effects, including his prized pocket watch and the $150 cash he had saved since arriving in Canada, were seized and he was interned at Camp Petawawa, Ont., where he was forced to build facilities for the army.

Boyko was one of more than 8,000 eastern Europeans, mainly Ukrainians, who were confined in internment camps across Canada -- including some in Alberta -- between 1914 and 1920 under the War Measures Act.

Another 80,000 of these immigrants were not sent to camps, but were forced to report to police and had their liberties and movements restricted. Some were deported; others were stripped of their right to vote.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Paul Martin signed an agreement recognizing Canada's historical wrongs committed against Ukrainian-Canadians during the First World War.

Maksym Boyko's son, Otto, a retired RCMP officer in Edmonton, is part of an Edmonton-based group of internee victims' descendants.

"We're still kind of angry, not only that it happened, but that the acknowledgement isn't there," Otto said.

"If Dad had been a threat to the security of Canada, I would have no problem. But I do have problems with the seizure of his property -- what little he had -- and it not being returned."

With the outbreak of the First World War, many Canadians were suspicious of immigrants from eastern Europe, many of whom were unemployed because of the recession.

The 1914 act allowed the government to arrest and remove these "enemy aliens" from public sight.

"You had the perfect storm happening," Andrew Hladyshevsky, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko, said Wednesday.

"You had the storm of wartime hysteria, economic pressure and the people that did not fit in with existing society. At that point, people not of Anglo-Saxon heritage were easy to attack."

There were 24 internment camps across Canada, including ones in Vernon, Banff, Jasper, Brandon and Kapuskasing, Ont.

Some camps housed only men, while others, like the large Spirit Lake camp, held women and children, too.

The camps provided a cheap way of clearing land, benefiting government and private industry at the expense of second-class immigrants, and reduced unemployment in cities.

Workers were meant to be paid 20 to 30 cents a day, but many didn't get their money.

"Nine holes of the Banff Springs golf course was hacked out of the bush with this slave labour," Hladyshevsky said.

Otto remembers his father telling him about life in the camps.

"He said it was very cold, the food was substandard and the guards were very rough. If (the internees) felt sick, they wouldn't get food for the day, so that was a way of getting them out to work."

Otto's father told him camp guards used racial slurs like 'bohunk' when they talked to the immigrant labourers. Some who tried to escape were shot; others died of disease or exposure. There are internee cemeteries in both Kapuskasing, Ont. and Spirit Lake.

In June 1916 Maksym was released from Spirit Lake (he had been transferred from Camp Petawawa) on the condition that he work in a steel mill in Hamilton. After the war ended, he moved to St. Catharines, then Saskatoon, where he married and raised a family. The carpenter's watch and money were not returned. The Canadian government auctioned off immigrants' confiscated possessions following the war.

Maksym died in 1948, at the age of 77, when Otto was only 12. The government still owed Maksym $24.61 for his labour.

Otto, now 69, said his father's treatment affected their entire family.

"I recall when the Second World War was on, he called the whole family together, and he said, 'If you see anybody come to the house that you don't recognize, you let us know right away,' " Otto said. "He was still concerned that the same thing might happen again."

He said it still bothers him that his father's prized watch wasn't returned.

But he's happy the government is finally recognizing its historical mistreatment of Ukrainian-Canadians.

"Our organization is quite elated, after all these years of pursuing this, that finally, finally, something is coming forward," Otto said.

©
Elizabeth Withey
The Edmonton Journal
http://www.orangerevolution.us/blog/UkrainianDiasporaCanada/_archives/2005/8/26/1171015.html

Meer over dit onderwerp:

http://209.82.14.226/history/internment/

http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=4642
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Laatst aangepast door Yvonne op 08 Okt 2006 10:03, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Okt 2006 10:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Story of Ukrainian internment remains little known



Katherine Wilton, The Montreal Gazette
Published: Monday, October 02, 2006

MONTREAL — While researching the plight of Ukrainians interned in Canada during the First World War, author Marsha Skrypuch was contacted by a young French Canadian girl eager to learn about her grandmother, who lived at a camp in rural Quebec when she was just 15 months old.

Skrypuch recently published a poem that 14-year-old Kim Pawliw had written about her grandmother, Stephania Mielnickzuk, who lived with her parents at the Spirit Lake Internment Camp in Abitibi, Que., for two years. Saturday morning, the two descendants of Ukrainian internees were to meet for the first time, on the grounds of two former internment camps near Quebec City. They were to gather with other members of Quebec's Ukrainian community to unveil two trilingual plaques in honour of the hundreds of Ukrainians and other Europeans detained at the Beauport Armoury and CFB Valcartier between 1914 and 1916.

The federal government used the War Measures Act to intern about 5,000 Ukrainians in 24 camps across Canada from 1914 to 1920. During the ceremony, Pawliw was to read her recently-published poem honouring her grandmother, who died in 2003 at 88.

"I want to talk about her and I want her story to be known," said Pawliw, a Sherbrooke, Que., student who remembers eating perogies and borscht in her grandmother's Eastern Townships home in Cowansville, Que. "They had no right to do that to innocent people."

At the time of her death, Mielnickzuk was one of the last two known survivors of Canadian internment camps set up during the First World War. Many of those interned had come to Canada from territories under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Once Canada went to war against their former homeland in 1914, they were dubbed "enemy aliens," and were used as forced labourers in camps across the country.

Mielnickzuk's father was working for the Canadian Pacific Railway and her mother for Molson Breweries when their property was confiscated and they were put on a train to Spirit Lake, Que., 600 kilometres northwest of Montreal. In an interview with The Montreal Gazette in 1998, Mielnickzuk said her father told her that "people were very scared" at Spirit Lake.

"He had to work every day, cutting wood, and he got no pay," Mielnickzuk said of her family's two-year internment. Since 1994, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association has erected historical markers at 20 of the 24 former camps to remember those who were unlawfully detained.

"If we had remembered what happened to these Ukrainians in the First World War, then, perhaps, we would have been a little more careful about how we handled Japanese Canadians (20,000 were interned) during the Second World War," said UCCLA director of research Lubomyr Luciuk.

In 2005, after years of lobbying from the Ukrainian community, former prime minister Paul Martin described the internment as a "dark chapter" in Canada's history. In one incident in Point St. Charles, Que., the police rounded up 400 members of one church parish and shipped them up to Spirit Lake, where the men were forced to clear trees and build roads, said Skrypuch, who has written extensively about Canada's Ukrainian community. Some were paid 25 cents a day.

"They were told they would get a little farm where they could grow vegetables," said Skrypuch, whose grandfather was also interned. "But when they got there, they had to do hard labour in harsh conditions."

Some were held in camps for 18 months after the war because their labour was so cheap. Before they were interned, many young men had been fired from jobs for "patriotic reasons" and were left homeless, Skrypuch said.

The Ukrainian community in Canada has spent years seeking redress for past discrimination and prejudice. In 2005, the federal government promised to provide $2.5 million to the community to fund commemorative projects and educational exhibits, but so far, they haven't received a penny.

"They are ignoring us," said Luciuk, adding the prejudice his community suffered during the First World War should remind Canadians about the importance of respecting human rights.

"We have to be vigilant in defence of civil liberties, especially during domestic crises."
© The Montreal Gazette

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=c2534d86-2373-46a9-a85b-e5392a262873&k=78710
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Mei 2008 8:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Multimillion dollar grant from Ottawa recognizes First World War internment

amara King, THE CANADIAN PRESS

WINNIPEG - Ukrainian Canadians closed a painful chapter in their community's history Friday as the federal government announced a $10 million grant to recognize the internment of Eastern European immigrants in Canadian work camps during the First World War.

The money is going into an endowment fund that will allow the community to better educate Canadians about the forced labour camps.

"After more than two decades of community pressure and a string of broken political promises, the troubling issue of Ukrainian internment during World War One has finally been resolved," said Oleh Gerus, vice president of the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko, the Winnipeg-based foundation that will administer the funds.

"I guess we can say it's about time."

The internment lasted from 1914-1920 and mostly affected immigrants and new Canadians with Eastern European heritage. Thousands of people were stripped of their possessions and forced into work camps while thousands more were labelled enemy aliens and were required to report regularly to police.

"Canada's past includes actions which are inconsistent with the values Canadians hold dear today," said Treasury Board President Vic Toews in a Winnipeg speech Friday to several dozen representatives from the Ukrainian Canadian community.

It was the closest statement to an apology. Through the years of lobbying, the Ukrainian Canadian community did not ask for an apology, instead favouring the government's recognition of the internment along with educational programs - something Toews acknowledged.

"Our government believes it is important to ensure that Canadians have opportunities to learn about our history, including and perhaps especially, the difficult periods that are part of our past," he said at Friday's announcement in an area of north Winnipeg that's long been a hub of Ukrainian culture.

Lesia Szwaluk, executive director of the Shevchenko foundation, said while the transfer of the funds formally recognizes the community's struggles,

"The work only starts today," she said, referring to the projects that are planned, like commemorative plaques and interpretive centres in some of the national parks that once housed the work camps.

Though a Ukrainian group will manage the funds, other ethnic communities who were affected will be able to apply for money.

The grant follows up on a promise made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2006 to commemorate the internment. The former Liberal government also made a pledge to acknowledge the First World War internment, although the money did not flow.

A similar grant announcement took place Thursday in Toronto. Jason Kenney, secretary of state for multiculturalism and Canadian identity, gave $5 million to create programs to educate Canadians about the Chinese head tax and other prejudicial immigration policies.

http://www.940news.com/nouvelles.php?cat=23&id=509120
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2008 9:37    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Internment of Ukrainians in Canada 1914-1920

This site intends "to inform the general population about the Canadian Government's internment of Ukrainian Canadians in Concentration Camps in Canada during the period of 1914-1920." Includes photos, a map of internment operations in Canada, sample internment documents, requests to the Canadian government for restitution, contemporary reactions from Canadian political parties, related articles, and a bibliography.

http://www.infoukes.com/history/internment/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Dec 2010 16:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund

http://www.internmentcanada.ca/

Hiervan:

About Internment - Canada's First National Internment Operations

http://www.internmentcanada.ca/CFWWIRF_Pamphlet_English.pdf
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BerichtGeplaatst: 12 Jan 2011 11:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Roll call: Lest we forget
Lubomyr Y Luciuk, Natalka Yurieva, Roman Zakaluzny

(...) The result of their labours during the summer of 1999 is the document entitled Roll Call. It represents a first attempt to provide specific information about the Ukrainians and other Europeans who were imprisoned as “enemy aliens” during Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920.

http://www.uccla.ca/Roll_Call_2000.pdf
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