Between 1914 and 1920, thousands of Canadian citizens were interned simply because of their heritage. Yet relatively little is known about these operations.
Lubomyr Luciuk, a professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, speaks with The Mark about why the national internment operations were started in the first place, who was affected, and what the repercussions were for Ukrainian and other Eastern European communities across Canada.
Fort Henry, now a UNESCO World Heritage site in Kingston, Ontario, was once the site of an internment camp during the early 20th century. On June 20, 2010, a memorial service was observed at Fort Henry to honour the various Eastern European communities affected by Canada’s first national internment operations. Guests included Peter Milliken, MP for Kingston and the Islands, and Ihor Ostash, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada.
Lubomyr Luciuk, professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, joins The Mark to speak about how the Ukrainian Canadian community and other Eastern European communities finally received recognition from the Canadian government that internment operations did in fact happen.
Marsha Skrypuch, an author and internee descendant, tells The Mark about her grandfather, who was one of thousands of Ukrainian and Eastern European Canadians who were interned during and after the First World War. She speaks about how her family discovered her grandfather’s past and the toll it took on his life.
Canada’s first national internment operations remain an unknown part of our country’s history. And even though the subject has entered school curricula in all provinces, it’s not necessarily being taught by our teachers. Various members of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund Endowment Council, as well as participants in the 2010 CFWWIRF Kingston Symposium, speak about how to better educate the public about the internment of Ukrainian and other Eastern European Canadians.
After the Canadian government interned Ukrainian and Eastern European Canadians between 1914 and 1920, they did the same with Japanese Canadians during Second World War hysteria. Various members of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund Endowment Council, as well as participants in the 2010 CFWWIRF Kingston Symposium, spoke with The Mark about why Canadians need to learn from the past. Their message is that education about Canada’s internment operations will hopefully keep further injustices like these from occurring again.