Reading Maryka Omatsu's book, Bittersweet Passage: Redress and the Japanese Canadian Experience (1992), is a poignant exercise for a Ukrainian Canadian. During the Second World War, members of the Omatsu family were interned in Canada under the provisions of the War Measures Act. Years later, in 1988, as a member of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC), Ms. Omatsu helped her community negotiate the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement with the Government of Canada. That achievement was all the more remarkable given the contrary rumblings of an entrenched "old guard" within the Japanese-Canadian community, which tried, time and again, to prevent the redress issue from being raised and, after it was, attempted to dilute its import. To her credit, Ms. Omatsu is blunt in her descriptions of the struggle among Japanese Canadians over whether and how their community's redress issue should be carried forward, and by whom. As some of the materials reprinted here reveal, the Ukrainian-Canadian community's efforts have been similarly bedeviled.
Nevertheless, Ottawa's settlement with the NAJC established a moral and legal precedent for the resolution of other communities' redress cliams, as Ukrainian-Canadian spokesmen and media pundits observed at the time, Perhaps surprisingly, few claims have actually been registered since. Amongst these, the Ukrainian-Canadian case has probably been articulated and broadcast more vigorously than the others, as evidenced by the large-selection of newspaper articles, editorials, letters to the editor, government documents and other materials reprinted in this collection. If nothing else, this compilation is a testament to how much can be achieved through persistent research, educational and lobbying efforts. Certainly an episode about which very few Canadians knew, the internment of Ukrainian Canadians as "enemy aliens" in Canadian concentration camps during the First World War period, has now been reclaimed and introduced into the historical record of Canada. That is no small achievement in and of itself.
Yet the community's campaign for acknowledgement and redress has not, unlike that of our fellow Japanese Canadians, achieved all of its goals, despite ten years of effort. In large measure this is because those officials responsible for dealing with the Ukrainian-Canadian community's claims (and those of other communities which have brought forward redress issues) have quite deliberately and systematically attempted to dismiss and delay any resolution of the Ukrainian-Canadian case. They have reacted only when community-based initiatives have forced their hand (as testified to by many articles found in this collection) or when, in the weeks just before the fall 1988 and fall 1993 federal elections, their political masters felt some need to placate a Ukrainian-Canadian constituency numbering over one million people. Otherwise the Ukrainian-Canadian redress issue has all but been ignored. Ottawa has used what might be referred to as a "wait and hope they go away" strategy, in no way different from the one earlier deployed against the NJAC.
I have been priveleged to know two people who were unjustly imprisoned during these internment operations. One, the late Mr. Nikola Sakaliuk, came to Canada as a young man, from Bukovyna, in 1912. Between 1914 and 1917 he was held in Fort Henry (Prisoner #875) near Kingston, and later at the Petawawa and Kapuskasing internment camps (Prisoner #2315). The other, Mrs. Mary Manko Haskett, was born in Montreal. She was imprisoned with other members of her family in the Spirit Lake camp, near what is today known as the town of La Femme, Quebec. She is the last known survivor of the internment operations. In speaking with Mr. Sakaliuk and Mrs. Haskett I was struck by the fact that neither of them was particularly bitter about what had been done to them, no matter how wronged they had been. Instead, all they asked is that we remember their experience, their sufferings.
I do not think their entreaty is extravagant, nor do I believe other Canadians will. And so, this collection is humbly dedicated to Mr. Sakaliuk and Mrs. Haskett, and to all the other innocents who suffered along with them during Canada's first national internment operations, eighty years ago.
Lubomyr Luciuk, PhD
Director of Research
Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association
The newspaper articles, letters to the editor, editorials and government documents reproduced here have not been altered, aside from the correction of a few spelling and typographical errors. Archival photographs have been included to provide readers with a visual impression of Canadian internment operations between 1914-1920.
Just before this book went to print, Canada's national television network, the CBC, refused to show Montreal film-maker Yurij Luhovy's documentary on the internment operations, Freedom Had a Price, which Alan Kellogg, film critic for the Edmonton Journal has described as a "powerful piece of work", (22 June 1994). That decision precipitated a nation-wide protest, co-ordinated by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Whether the CBC will reverse its decision remains to be seen. On a more positive note, the leader of the Reform Party of Canada, Mr. Preston Manning, MP, wrote to the Prime Minister endorsing the Association's redress position and another survivor of the Spirit Lake camp, Stephanie (Mielniczuk) Pawliw, a Montreal-born infant of 15 months when she was interned, has come forward, adding to our store of personal recollections about Canada's first national internment operations. Articles about these developments are included and have been indexed but, for technical reasons, appear in an Addendum to this book.
LYL, Kingston, 1 July 1994
The Other Shame: Do the more than 8,000 so-called enemy aliens interned during the First World War deserve an apology?
 Apology to Ukrainian Canadians Urged
 How Ukrainians were exiled to Quebec gulag
 Set a good precedent
 Out of War Measures
Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Standing Committee on Multiculturalism, 7-8 December 1987, Toronto, Ontario
 Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Legislative Committee on Bill C-77, An Act to authorize the taking of special temporary measures to ensure safety and security during national emergencies and to ammend other Acts in consequence thereof, 15 March 1988, Ottawa
 House of Commons Debates, Official Report (Hansard), Volume 131, #202, 2nd Session, 34th Parliament, 7 June 1990, Mr. Joe Fontana (London East), "Ukrainian Canadians"
 House of Commons Debates, Official Report (Hansard), 12 June 1990, Ms. Audrey McLaughlin (Yukon), "Ukrainian Canadians"
 Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, 22 January 1991, Third and last Proceedings on: Bill C-63, An Act to establish the Canadian Race Relations Foundation
 House of Common Debates, Private Member's Business, Volume 132, #37, 3rd Session, 34th Parliament, 27 September 1991, Mr. Peter Milliken (Kingston and the Islands), "Ukrainian Canadians: Redress for Internment".
Afterword: Mary Manko Haskett, Survivor, Spirit Lake Internment Camp
CBC rejects documentary on internment of Ukrainians
 Manning backs quick resolution of Ukrainian-Canadian grievance
 The dark side of Kingston's past
Sculptor John Boxtel's preliminary sketch for a commemorative marker at the Castle Mountain internment camp, in Banff National Park. (22 June 1994)
The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association is a non-partisan, non-profit and educational organization mandated by the Ukrainian-Canadian community to negotiate an acknowledgement and redress agreement with the Government of Canada. We thank the following individuals, publishers, and newspapers for permission to reprint the articles, editorials, letters to the editor, photographs and other materials found in this collection: Alberta Report, Canadian Speeches: Issues of the Day, Calgary Branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, The Calgary Herald, The Canadian Press, Mr. Arthur Drache, QC, The Financial Post, The Gazette, The Gazette (University of Western Ontario), The Glenbow Museum and Archives (Calgary), The Globe and Mail, The Edmonton Journal, Professor Bohdan Kordan, La Presse, Leonard Leshuk, The Limestone Press, Professor Lubomyr Luciuk, Mr. Yurij Luhovy, Matrix, Montreal Daily News, the Ron Morel Memorial Museum (Kapuskasing), Professor Desmond Morton, the Multicultural History Society of Ontario, the National Archives of Canada, The Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Sun, Fran Ponomarenko, Public Record Office, The St. Lawrence Parks Commission, Star-Phoenix, Studnetz, The Toronto Star Syndicate, Ukrainian Echo, The Ukrainian Canadian, The Ukrainian Weekly, The Vancouver Sun, The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (Banff), The Whig-Standard, The Windsor Star and The Winnipeg Free Press.
Index to Righting An Injustice
Copyright © 1994, Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Copyright © 1994, Lubomyr Y. Luciuk
Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data
Righting an Injustice: the debate over redress for Canada's first national internment operations.
1. World War, 1914-1918 -- Evacuation of civilians -- Canada. 2. World War, 1914-1918 -- Concentration camps -- Canada. 3. World War, 1914-18 -- Reparations. 4. World War, 1914-1918 -- Ukrainian Canadians.* I. Luciuk, Lubomyr Y., 1953- II. Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
D627.C2R5 1994 940.3'1771 C94-930668-1
Graphic Design by Amanda Anderson.
Archival Research by Alexandra Chyczij, Bohdan Kordan, Leonard Leshuk, Yurij Luhovy and Peter Melnycky.
Typing by Peggy Dartt
Cover Illustration: Internees under guard at Kapuskasing internment camp circa 1917. Photo courtesy of the Ron Morel Memorial Museum, Kapuskasing, Ontario.
Published by The Justinian Press, 28 Riverview Gardens, Toronto, Canada, M6S 4E5.
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