Category Archives: Educational

Fate of the “Russian Gang”

Michael Bahry, Thomas Konyk, Alexander Martiniuk, Filip Rotinsky and Sam Zalusky. All were Ukrainian by nationality.

On the night of 22 June 1919 the “Russian Gang” donned masks, and raided a bunkhouse near Havelock, Ontario. One robber, Konyk, was carrying a loaded pistol. It discharged and a Macedonian worker, Philip Yanoff, was hit and bled to death.

Tried and found guilty, Martiniuk, Rotinsky, and Zalusky got life in Kingston Penitentiary. Bahry and Konyk received death sentences.

Nine clergymen appealed to the Minister of Justice, 8 December 1919, Their plea was rejected, as was a last-minute attempt to save Bahry from execution, Konyk’s lawyer, Mr P T Ahern, affirmed his client was holding the gun when it went off and that Zalusky — not Bahry It was not to be.

A double execution was carried out in the Peterborough County Jail, 14 January 1920, Ukrainian New Year’s Eve on the Julian calendar. Arthur Ellis, one of Canada’s most notorious hangmen, presided. The Peterborough Daily Review reported how this “gruesome spectacle” had “attracted a number of the morbidly curious.” Following their judicial execution the felons were laid in coffins, heads to the west, conforming
to an old belief that when our Saviour returns it will happen in the east, the geography of their placement allowing the dead to walk toward Him at the Second Coming.

Until August 1994 Michael and Thomas were all but forgotten, disinterred during an archaeological survey conducted 80 years after the Great War began. Their skeletons were removed to the University of Western Ontario, examined carefully.

When we discovered what befell these “enemy aliens” we passed no judgement on how others, long before our time, decided their fate. Yet we were determined to give these two young men, convicted criminals if you will, shelter in hallowed ground, for that is a Christian duty.

Bahry and Konyk will now rest in peace until that final Day of Judgement that awaits us all.

Lubomyr Luciuk serves as Director of Research for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (www.uccla.ca)

UCCLF supports new feature film about Canada’s first national internment operations

Armistice Films

For immediate release: Toronto, On. Oct. 16, 2012
Feature Film receives support from Ukrainian Foundation:
At a meeting in the Nation’s capital, Actor/Film Maker Ryan Boyko appealed to the executive of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation (UCCLF) for support of a new Feature Film about Canada’s First National Internment operations of 1914-1920.

The film “Enemy Aliens” is a fictional account that takes historical events from 24 internment camps and the culture of hysteria at the time and weaves them into a fantastic tale of adventure, betrayal, love, injustice, hope and a struggle for survival against all odds.

In particular, “Enemy Aliens” tells the story of two brothers who leave Ukraine in 1913 for the promise of a better life in Canada, only to be swept up in the politics of the War Measures Act under which they are deemed “enemy aliens”. One alarming turn after another shapes an epic adventure that changes lives forever.

The members of UCCLF in attendance voted unanimously in favor of supporting the project. UCCLF contributed the sum of $25,000.00 toward the Feature Film. Further to their donation, UCCLF’s members took an extra step by earmarking “Enemy Aliens” as one of their supported projects. Donations to “Enemy Aliens” can now be made directly to UCCLF, a not-for-profit organization that will issue tax receipts for donations.

This project has also received support from the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund www.internmentcanada.ca.

For more information on this and other upcoming projects, please visit www.ryanboyko.com.

Latest Civil Liberties Award Winner Announced

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation (UCCLF) is pleased to announce the recipient of this year’s fourth annual High School Civil Liberties Award writing competition.

Valued at $500.00, the High School Civil Liberties Award is given to the high school student who submitted the highest-quality research essay based on a civil liberties theme, an initiative undertaken in recognition of Ukraine’s Holodomor Famine-Genocide of 1932-33.

This year’s winner is Grade 10 student, Jane Sofia Last of Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, whose essay, “Misconceptions of the Ukrainian Genocide”, was adjudicated to have been the best researched, most convincingly argued and most powerfully written.

The UCCLF would like to congratulate Jane and all the students who submitted an essay.  Each participant in this writing competition will be awarded a copy of Into Auschwitz, For Ukraine by Stefan Petelycky for their efforts.

Congratulations, Jane!

Educational Materials Program

The UCCLF Educational Materials Program aims to educate the greater Canadian public about historical injustices that were perpetrated against Canadian and Ukrainian civil liberties: Canada’s first national internment operations in 1914 – 1921 and the Holodomor, the Great Famine of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine.  The benefits realized by increasing the distribution of these books include reaching a wider audience inclusive of children and adults of all ethno-cultural backgrounds not jst of Ukrainian background; preserving the cultural heritage of all people involved in the Holodomor and Canada’s first national internment camps; and educating and stirring debate among the general public about the causes and consequences of injustices that have been perpetrated against civil liberties in Canada and abroad.

In 2008, UCCLF provided funding support to publish a series of essays by leading journalists, politicians and scholars entitled, Holodomor: Reflections on the Great Famine of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor).

In 2008 and 2009, UCCLF distributed Holodomor and Into Auschwitz for Ukraine to high schools and libraries through Canada.

UCCLF distributed Silver Threads to elementary schools, libraries and churches throughout the Canada.  Silver Threads is a folk tale picture book written by Marsha Skrypuch (www.calla.com) and illustrated by Michael Martchenko.  It was the first work of fiction to tackle the subject of the World War I internment of Ukrainians in Canada.

Civil Liberties Opinion Editorial Award

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation
Presents the 4th annual
Civil Liberties Opinion Editorial Award

Background:

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation focuses on researching and educating the public on civil liberties themes.  In 2008, the Foundation established the Civil Liberties Opinion-Editorial Award to coincide with the 75th anniversary of one of the 20th century’s greatest violations of civil liberties – the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine known as the Holodomor.  Meanwhile, the year 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the commencement of Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920, during which thousands of Ukrainian Canadians were labeled “enemy aliens” and were interned throughout the country.  Finally, the 21st century has seen an alarming increase in the activity of the human trafficking industry, with hundreds of thousands around the world falling victim to this form of modern-day slavery every year.  The Foundation offers an annual award to commemorate the many victims of both events.  In so doing, the Foundation seeks to engage high school and post-secondary (university, college, etc.) students in researching, writing and submitting opinion-editorials to newspapers.

Value:

$1000.00   (In the event the opinion-editorial of more than one student is published in a major Canadian newspaper, the top two submissions, adjudged according to quality of content, will be eligible for a prize of $1000.00 and $500.00, respectively.)

Conditions:

The award is open to all currently‐enrolled high school and post‐secondary students who are residents of any province or territory in Canada. The award will be presented for an English‐ or French‐language opinion‐editorial based on a civil liberties theme. The award is restricted to op‐ed publication (print or online edition) in the following newspapers and no others:

  • Calgary Herald
  • Calgary Sun
  • Edmonton Journal
  • Edmonton Sun
  • Globe and Mail
  • Halifax Chronicle‐Herald
  • Kingston Whig‐Standard
  • Le Devoir
  • Montreal Gazette
  • National Post
  • Ottawa Citizen
  • Ottawa Sun
  • Quebec Chronicle‐Telegraph
  • Regina Leader‐Post
  • Saskatoon StarPhoenix
  • Toronto Star
  • Toronto Sun
  • Vancouver Province
  • Vancouver Sun
  • Victoria Times Colonist
  • Winnipeg Free Press
  • Winnipeg Sun

There is no limit as to the number of submissions students make, nor does it matter to how many newspapers. However, the Foundation will grant a maximum of one award per student‐author.

Suggested Topics

Students must write their opinion‐editorial based on a civil liberties theme. The following are potential topics for students to consider
in order to narrow down their research within this vast topic area. Students do not have to stick to these topics.

  • Why do Canada’s first national internment operations not figure prominently into Canadians’ knowledge of their nation’s history?  What might be done to promote greater awareness of this episode of Canadian history?
  • New York Times columnist Walter Duranty repeatedly denied the existence of a Ukrainian famine in his 1933 articles.  Is false reporting grounds for revocation of his Pulitzer Prize for journalism?
  • What should the Canadian government do in an effort to combat the ever-growing worldwide human trafficking industry and curb the increase in victims of forced labour, exploitation and other incidences of human trafficking?

Submissions and Awarding

It is up to the student to correctly submit their opinion‐editorial to the newspaper(s) of their choice. Most newspapers require contact information (address, daytime phone number, etc.) in addition to one’s name.
In the event that a student’s opinion‐editorial appears in print or online in one or more major newspapers, the student shall be responsible for notifying the Foundation of this publishing. As such, the student must provide a hard or electronic copy of the print edition opinion‐editorial or an electronic copy of the online edition opinion‐editorial within five days of publication. In addition to the published piece, students must provide a completed application form (included below).

The mailing address for hard copy is as follows:
Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation Award
48 Woodcrest Close SW
Calgary, Alberta T2W 3P9

The email address for either hard copy or electronic copy, or if you have any questions, is as follows:
scholarships@ucclf.ca

The name of the award recipient will be made public. The Foundation reserves the right to publish the winning opinion‐editorial(s) in major Ukrainian Canadian newspapers (e.g., Ukrainian News).

Application deadline

Submissions must appear in a given major Canadian newspaper no later than October 31 of each year.

OpEd_Award_Application

High School Civil Liberties Award

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation
Presents the annual
High School Civil Liberties Award

Background:

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation focuses on researching and educating the public on civil liberties themes.  In 2008, the Foundation established the High School Civil Liberties Award to coincide with the 75th anniversary of one of the 20th century’s greatest violations of civil liberties – the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine known as the Holodomor.  Meanwhile, the year 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the commencement of Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920, during which thousands of Ukrainian Canadians were labeled “enemy aliens” and were interned throughout the country.  Finally, the 21st century has been characterized by an alarming increase in the activity of the human trafficking industry, with hundreds of thousands around the world falling victim to this form of modern-day slavery every year.  The Foundation offers an annual award to commemorate the many victims of such mass civil liberties violations.  In so doing, the Foundation seeks to encourage high school students who are actively engaged in research essay writing and / or coursework related to civil liberties themes.

Value:

$500

Conditions:

The award is open to all high school students aged 13-18.  The award will be presented for a paper focusing a civil liberties theme.  Student submissions must be in English-language essay format (double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12-point font) of up to 1500 words.  Proper referencing of source material is required.  Students may choose the format with which they are most comfortable (e.g., in-text citations, footnotes, endnotes).  Incomplete essays or work submitted in other formats (e.g., short story, poetry, etc.) will be considered ineligible.  Only one entry per applicant may be submitted per writing competition.  The essay must be the original work of the student-author only.

Application

Eligible student applications must include the following two items:

  • A completed High School Civil Liberties Award application form
  • A completed English language essay with references.

Student submissions must be mailed and  emailed in order to be considered.

The mailing address for hard copy is as follows:
Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation Award
48 Woodcrest Close SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2W 3P9

The email address for either hard copy or electronic copy is as follows:
scholarships@ucclf.ca

The name of the award recipient will be made public.  The Foundation reserves  the right to publish themajor Ukrainian Canadian newspapers (e.g., Ukrainian News).

Determining award recipient

An award selection committee, comprising Foundation members and academic volunteers, will determine the recipient of the award.  Scoring of the essays will be based solely on the quality of the essay and its content.  The decision of the committee will be final.

The name of the award recipient will  be made public.  The Foundation reserves the right to publish the winning essay in  major Ukrainian Canadian newspapers (e.g., Ukrainian News) and/or other media (e.g., websites).

Application Deadline

Submissions must be post‐marked (mail) no later than October 31 of each year.

Downloadable application form

Civil Liberties Award Winners Announced

January 3, 2011Valued at $500, the High School Civil Liberties Award is given to the high school student who submitted the highest-quality research essay based on a Holodomor theme, an initiative undertaken in recognition of Ukraine’s Famine-Genocide of 1932-33.This year’s winner is Grade 12 IB student, Lesia Kinach of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, whose essay was among numerous submissions which were adjudicated by the award selection committee, which included Ludmilla Voitkovska, Associate Professor at the Department of English, University of Saskatchewan. Lesia’s paper is deemed to have been well researched, convincingly argued and powerfully written, and Lesia demonstrated good analytical skills.

The UCCLF would like to congratulate Lesia and all the students who submitted an essay.  Each participant in this writing competition will be awarded a copy of Into Auschwitz, For Ukraine by Stefan Petelycky for their efforts.

For the first time since its introduction, the Civil Liberties Opinion-Editorial Award is given to two students — Larissa Volinets Schieven of Toronto and Roman Storoshchuk of Calgary.  This award is given to the high school or post-secondary student who had their opinion-editorial published in a major Canadian newspaper.  Larissa is in her third year of pursuing a Bachelor of Journalism degree at Carleton University in Ottawa. Roman is also a third year student, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Philosophy, at the University of Calgary.

Larissa’s op-ed, entitled “Revoke writer’s undeserved Pulitzer”, appeared in the Nov. 25, 2010 edition of Saskatoon’s The StarPhoenix, while Roman’s op-ed, entitled “Ukrainian famine is a genocide largely unrecognized”, appeared in the Nov. 27, 2010 edition of the Calgary Herald.

The UCCLF would also like to congratulate both Larissa and Roman for their participation in this writing competition.  Each winner will receive a $1,000 prize for their efforts.

For more information, please visit www.ucclf.ca

This email sent on behalf of the UCCLF by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (www.UCCLA.ca).

Follow the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ucclf

UCCLF Announces Two New Writing Competitions

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation would like to introduce two new awards focused on recognition of Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920, during which thousands of Ukrainian Canadians were labelled “enemy aliens” and were interned in camps throughout the country.

The Internment Recognition High School Award requires high school students to submit an essay of up to 1500 words on the topic, while the Internment Recognition Opinion-Editorial Award requires high school or post-secondary students to have their opinion-editorial published in a major Canadian newspaper.  Both awards have a deadline of April 30, 2011.

More information can be found on our Facebook page, on our Twitter page (twitter.com/ucclf) or by emailing us at scholarships@ucclf.ca.

Civil Liberties Opinion-Editorial Award deadline fast approaching

The deadline for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation’s third annual Civil Liberties Opinion-Editorial Award is November 30, 2010.

This writing competition requires high school and/or post-secondary student applicants to submit an opinion-editorial to a major Canadian newspaper, based on the Holodomor — the Famine-Genocide that took place in Ukraine in 1933.

Please see the Student Scholarship Program section for more information and to apply.  Further inquiries can be directed to scholarships@ucclf.ca.