Saskatchewan Examiner

Why does Saskatchewan have a strong pro-Ukraine sentiment?

Why is there such strong support for Ukraine in Saskatchewan?

Key Takeaways:

  • On Thursday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Lesya Ukrainka statue on the University of Saskatchewan campus for a rally in support of Ukraine.
  • According to the 2016 census from Statistics Canada, 143,700 Saskatchewan residents are of Ukrainian descent, accounting for only 13% of the province’s population.

On Thursday afternoon, dozens of people gathered in front of the Lesya Ukrainka statue on the University of Saskatchewan campus for a rally supporting Ukraine.

“They’re in pain,” said Jensen Beaudoin, president of the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students Association, which is collecting donations and donating to the Red Cross.

The outpouring of support for Ukraine in Saskatchewan is a testament to the province’s long and illustrious history with Ukrainians.

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“All of my family is from here,” Beaudoin explained, “but my family didn’t come from Ukraine — it came from the waves before generations.”

Nadya Foty-Oneschuk also attended the rally.

She is the interim director of St. Thomas More College’s Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage.

“Many of the people here today are descendants of those individuals,” Foty-Oneschuk said, “and I believe it is because of their bravery and courage that we’ve been able to study as well as learn about Ukraine and Ukrainians at a place like the University of Saskatchewan.”

Carol Cisecki, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada administrator, claims that Ukrainians first arrived in the area in 1891.

Why is there such strong support for Ukraine in Saskatchewan?
Why is there such strong support for Ukraine in Saskatchewan? Image from Global News

“In Canada, a minister named Clifford Sifton wanted to bring agrarian immigrants to the prairies,” she explained. “He wanted farmers to come to the prairies and settle them, which appealed to the Ukrainians.”

She claims that when the Immigration Act was changed in 1923, in the years leading up to and after World War II, and after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, more Ukrainians immigrated to Saskatchewan and Canada.

According to Stats Canada’s 2016 census, 143,700 Saskatchewan residents are of Ukrainian descent, accounting for just 13% of the province’s population.

“I’m sure everyone knows Ukrainian.” “They understand how hardworking they are and that they are community leaders,” Cisecki said.

“We are very worried because there is a war going on in our country, in our homeland. It’s heartbreaking to see the country’s natural beauty destroyed by what we perceive to be a senseless war.”

Source: CTV News

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