Barbed Wire

Disagrees with Martynowych

The Ukrainian Weekly
4 June 1989

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Body of Ivan Hryboryschuk, killed while attempting to scape from the Spirit Lake internment camp, Quebec, 7 June 1915 (Photo courtesy of Y. Luhovy)

Dear Editor:

After reading Orest Martynowych's article (April 9) about internment of Ukrainian Canadians, one could conclude that the Ukrainian-Canadian community should be grateful to the Canadian government of 1914 to 1920, and belatedly on behalf of the community the Ukrainian Canadian Committee should thank the Canadian government for internin about 5,000 Ukrainians.

Bohdan Vitvitsky recently gave a lecture in Toronto posing the question, "The Last Millennium, The Next Millennium and Do Ukrainians Have Any Rights?" From Dr. Vitvitsky's lecture, one could conclude that in theory Ukrainians have rights equal to other nations and national minorities in their countries of settlement. Ukrainians, however, have not yet attained either in Ukraine or indeed in the countries of settlement, the same measure of rights as other nations and national minorities. The impediments to the attainment of equal rights have, for the most part, been placed there by historical foes.

Orest Martynowych seems to conclude that early Ukrainian migrants to Canada deserved their incarceration as they were not entitled to the same rights as others. For Mr. Martynowych, incarceration of Ukrainians was acceptable because they were all migrants, drunkards and an embarrassment to the community.

Personal bias is not scholarship and Mr. Martynowych does a disservice to the Ukrainian- Canadian community and to the institution on whose behalf he writes.

Irene Bodnar

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Copyright © 1994 Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Copyright © 1994 Lubomyr Luciuk

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Originally Composed: Sunday November 24th 1996.
Date last modified: Thursday October 30th 1997.