MA Thesis on Canada-Ukraine Relations Successfully Defended

Defence Committee (l-r): Roy Romanow (member); Colleen Bell (Chair); Charles Smith (member); Mitch Dowie; Bohdan Kordan (supervisor); Natalia Khanenko-Friesen (member)

On December 1 2017, Mr. Mitchell Dowie, a graduate student in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Political Studies, successfully defended his MA thesis titled “A Dangerous World: Stephen Harper’s Post-Maidan Ukraine Policy.” Focusing on Canada’s relations with Ukraine in the immediate post-Maidan period, the thesis seeks to explain the fervency in Canada’s support for Ukraine under the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. The study examines and assesses the ways in which various factors at the system, domestic, and individual levels helped shape the Harper government’s response, emphasizing the role that ideology played in lending a particular quality to the government’s position at the time.

Mr. Dowie was awarded a PCUH Graduate Thesis Scholarship to write the thesis.  The study was undertaken as part of the PCUH’s Canada-Ukraine Initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to nurture and encourage a wider understanding of current Canada-Ukraine relations at the governmental and non-governmental level.

HOLODOMOR AWARENESS ON THE UofS CAMPUS

USUSA Students at Holodomor Awareness Event

As part of Holodomor Awareness Week at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students’ Association (USUSA) in association with PCUH cohosted the showing of the feature film “Bitter Harvest” on campus, November 21. All UofS students and members of the community were invited to the event. An information display created as part of a national campaign “The Holodomor Education Project” was also showcased so that patrons might learn more about the artificially induced famine that claimed the lives of millions in Soviet Ukraine during 1932-33.

WWI Internment Exhibit and Opening at STM

Dr. Peter Macleod, Canadian War Museum

Dr. Peter Macleod, Canadian War Museum

A travelling exhibit created by the Canadian War Museum made its way to Saskatoon and the STM Art Gallery on the University of Saskatchewan campus. The display features photographs from the National Library and Archives of Canada as well as period artifacts from a private collection.

On November 10, an opening reception was held, which featured a guest speaker from the Canadian War Museum, Dr. Peter MacLeod, Director of Research, who spoke about the origin and genesis of the exhibit. Dr. Bohdan Kordan delivered remarks on the impact of internment and remembrance. This was followed by a selection of short readings – first-person accounts of the internment experience – presented by students
from the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students Association.

USUSA Students: Jake Yuriy, Christian Kordan, Sam Campling

Hosted by the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage (PCUH) in co-operation with the STM Art Gallery, the exhibit is supported by a travel grant from the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund. The exhibition will run from November 2, 2017 – January 15, 2018.

 

PCUH Graduate Scholarship Recipient

PCUH Graduate Scholarship Recipient - Iryna Kozina

PCUH Graduate Scholarship Recipient – Iryna Kozina

The Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage offers scholarships in support of University of Saskatchewan graduate students at the MA level, who are working on topics relevant to Ukraine, Ukrainian-Canadian identity, or the Ukrainian experience. MA Scholarships in the amount of $1500 are provided in direct support of the thesis-writing phase for students registered with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Graduate Studies and enrolled in a graduate degree program. 

 

In 2017-18, Iryna Kozina, an MA candidate in the Department of History, was awarded a scholarship for her thesis proposal “Prickly Questions: The Yorkton Ukrainian Redemptorists’ Response to Sociocultural Changes in Saskatchewan, Canada (1960-1980).” Iryna explores the writings of the Redeemer’s Voice Press, the Catholic publishing house of the Ukrainian Redemptorists of the Yorkton Province, and how the priests approached changes in the rapidly-evolving 1960s. The expected date of completion is summer-fall 2018.

Activities of PCUH Faculty

Dr. Khanenko-Friesen recently gave two presentations at the Oral History Association Annual Meeting in the Minneapolis (October 5-6, 2017). In the session on public history, she presented her collaborative project on Oral History of 20th Street: Many Faces of a City Core Neighbourhood, its online archives and documentary films. On the invitation from the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC, U of Toronto) she chaired a conference roundtable on Oral History and Holodomor and spoke about the digital oral history archive on collectivization in Ukraine, developed by her at the PCUH.

Dr. Khanenko-Friesen also traveled to Toronto to present her most recent book ‘Ukrainian Otherlands’ at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA), in the roundtable organized by the Kobzar Literary Award and held at the Harbourfront Centre on October 21, 2017. Both her and Dr. Bohdan Kordan’s monographs – Ukrainian Otherlands and No Free Man – are shortlisted for the Kobzar Literary Award 2018.

Meanwhile, Prof. Kordan presented a paper on Canadian internment at the international conference “Military and Civilian Internment in World War I: Differential Treatment, Its Motives and Long-Term Implications,” the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University, Israel, 13-16 October 2017. He and Nadia Prokopchuk, a PCUH affiliate, are also poised to receive the 2017 Nation Builders Award from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Saskatchewan), November 5, Art Hauser Centre, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Finally, Nadia Foty-Oneschuk successfully defended her doctoral dissertation at the University of Alberta. Congratulations Dr. Foty-Oneschuk!

PCUH Ukrainian Language Assessment Symposium

The Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage (PCUH) at St. Thomas More College, with the financial assistance of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Saskatchewan Provincial Council and the Saskatchewan Teachers of Ukrainian (STU) organized a Ukrainian Language Assessment Symposium on October 13-14, 2017. The symposium brought together educators representing a range of programs and institutions from across Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Alberta responsible for Ukrainian language education and training. The participants had an opportunity to learn more about the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), an international language reference tool that has gained considerable momentum in Canadian language learning programs in the past decade.

Dr. Laura Hermans-Nymark, principal author of The Common European Framework of Reference: A Guide for Canadian Educators, addressed the audience as the keynote speaker. This was followed by a series of presentations from specialists and practitioners that focused on Ukrainian language assessments and student language portfolios, which have aligned with CEFR levels.

Support for use of the CEFR in
Canadian language programs has
grown largely due to:

  • recognition of the scale’s reliability and validity across 47 European countries;
  • the CEFR’s positive approach to identifying what students know and can do in a language, rather than focusing on what students do not know;
  • skill descriptors based on real-life language use for various purposes;
  • equal attention to four skill areas – listening, speaking (production and interaction), reading, and writing; and
  • the central role of students in identifying their own language strengths and areas for improvement.

Symposium participants identified an overarching need for a bank of skill descriptors, compiled from existing Ukrainian and English language portfolios. Plans are underway for a follow-up phase to the Ukrainian Language Assessment Symposium. During the next several months, a working group of representatives from the symposium will review and sort descriptors by age of learners and stages of language learning. The goal is to gather samples and create a bank of Ukrainian language assessment tools that can help teachers to identify student language levels along the CEFR scale.

2017 Ukrainian Studies Reception at STM

The annual Ukrainian Studies Reception, co-hosted by PCUH and the STM Dean’s Office, took place October 10 at St. Thomas More College. This year’s reception was well attended with thirty students, faculty and guests present.

Dr. Tammy Marche, STM’s newly-appointed Associate Dean, brought greetings from the college and spoke of the prominence of Ukrainian Studies at STM. She was followed by several faculty that oversee various aspects of Ukrainian Studies program on and off campus – Profs. Khanenko-Friesen, Kordan, Foty-Oneschuk, and Prokopchuk. Each spoke of the work being done and the opportunities available for study as well as research. The support provided to the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students Association (USUSA) and its activities was emphasized.

Mr. Danylo Puderak, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-SPC, brought greetings from the community, encouraging students to apply for scholarships off and on campus. He also made note of how participating in the USUSA was a formative experience in his life and urged the students in attendance to be engaged and seize the opportunities presented. Mr.Tanner Prychak, co-President of the USUSA, familiarized the attendees with the activities and initiatives of the association and encouraged students to join the club.

Holodomor Mobile Classroom on the UofS Campus

The University of Saskatchewan
Ukrainian Students’ Association
in association with the PCUH hosted
the Holodomor Mobile Classroom
as part of this year’s Holodomor National Awareness Tour.
On October 5, 2017, students, faculty and the campus community had the opportunity to learn about Holodomor through specially designed interactive lessons. The Holodomor National Awareness Tour is a project of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation in partnership with
the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC).

PCUH – Public Relations and Community Outreach

Saskatoon, Ukrainian Day in the Park 2017- Mykan Zlipko & Iryna Kozina

Although the focus of the PCUH is to sponsor and support Ukrainian programming on the University of Saskatchewan campus, it does so as part of the community. As a community supported institution, the PCUH looks to convey information about its activities. This year, for the first time, Ukrainian related programming on the University of Saskatchewan campus – PCUH, Spring Session in Ukraine, and Ukrainian Studies Minor program – was promoted at Folk Fest (August 17-19) and Ukrainian Day in the Park (August 26) as part of its information campaign.

At the invitation of Mrs. Jennifer Fedun, UCC-Yorkton branch president, a promotional display was set up at the Svoboda (Freedom) Celebration event (September 17) commemorating Ukrainian independence and Canada’s sesquicentennial (150) anniversary. The event was well-attended by the local Ukrainian-Canadian community that showed great interest in the study abroad program Spring Session in Ukraine and PCUH projects. The PCUH has a close relationship with the Yorkton community, hosting several travelling exhibitions and having received valuable donations to the Letters from/to the Old Country Project as well as the Yorkton Redemptorists Seminary Library Collection.

The PCUH acknowledges the effort of the new PCUH Administrative Assistant, Iryna Kozina, in promoting the PCUH at these events.

Svoboda Festival in Yorkton, SK – Iryna Kozina (at the photo)

2017 Ukraine Study Abroad Program

SSU 2017 participants with Dr. Khanenko-Friesen – fieldtrip to Lviv

Spring Session in Ukraine (SSU), another of St. Thomas More College’s undergraduate study abroad programs, was offered during May 2 – June 8, 2017 in co-operation with STM’s university partner – Ternopil National Pedagogical University (TNPU). The program offers a combination of University of Saskatchewan language and culture courses for university credit in a study abroad setting. In 2017, five U of S students traveled to Ukraine where, under the supervision of SSU academic coordinator and STM anthropology professor Dr. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, they pursued their studies in the Ukrainian language and culture, in Ternopil and beyond. As part of their course activities, students traveled to Lviv, Kamianets-Podilsky, and the Caprathian mountains. In addition, TNPU language tutors and professors involved the students in many more cultural activities, including various creative workshops on handmade doll making, stones painting and wreath making. In their course work, drawing on their field experience, students researched and wrote on the shared theme of wellbeing and health in Ukraine. The presentation of student research findings is to be soon scheduled. The Prairie Centre for Ukrainian Heritage (PCUH) supported the program by offering travel bursaries to three participants on the basis of merit and need. The SSU 2017 participants were Jacob Yuriy, Maria Olenick, Alexander Clark, Alexa Kowaluk and Mykan Zlipko.