Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ukrainian Socialists in Canada, 1900-1918

By Peter Krawchuk
From The Socialist History Project

The Ukrainian Labour Temple, Regina. This building
was used from 1918 to 1927. The Association moved
into a new facility in 1928. SAB.
When the Canadian Communist movement was born after World War I, a large portion of its founding members and supporters were socialists who had emigrated to Canada from Ukraine. In this chapter from his book on the Ukrainian left, historian Peter Krawchuk examines the origins and evolution of the Ukrainian socialist movement in Canada, from its beginnings in the early 1900s to the time of the Russian Revolution.

Peter Krawchuk was born in western Ukraine in 1911. After he emigrated to Canada in 1930, lhe became active in the Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association (ULFTA), joining the staff of Ukrainski robitnychi visti (Ukrainian Labour News) in 1936. Over the next six decades, he wrote dozens of books, pamphlets and articles about the Ukrainian Left in Canada. He was president of the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, the ULFTA’s successor organization, from 1979 to 1991. Peter Krawchuk died in Toronto in February 1997, not long after publication of his major work on the Ukrainian left in Canada, Our History: The Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Movement in Canada, 1907-1991.

Over 100,000 people came from Ukraine to Canada in the 1890s, and by 1911 the number had grown to at least 215,000. Most settled in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta, and most hoped to make a living as farmers. Some of the immigrants had been active in socialist and revolutionary-democratic movements before coming to Canada. That immense migration is the background to Chapter One of Our History — “The Birth of Organized Life.”

Read more HERE.

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