Students Promote Genocide Awareness

USUSA members in the Arts Tunnel – “Holodomor-in-a-Box” interactive learning experience – November 22, 2018

Members of the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students Association marked Holomodor Awareness Week with several activities on campus.
On Sunday, November 18 they held a Wheat Sheaf Making and Distributing event in the STM Student Lounge. Wednesday, November 21 saw USUSA members creating awareness in the Arts Tunnel with their “Holodomor-in-a-Box” interactive learning experience. A vigil commemorating Holomodor victims was planned for Thursday, November 22 in the STM Chapel.

Each event was designed to bring awareness to the Holodomor, a genocide of the Ukrainian people that occurred between 1932-1933 and engineered by the leadership of the Soviet Union. Millions of individuals in the Ukrainian countryside died of starvation as an instrument of terror and repression. The policy of starving the countryside was aimed at destroying the peasantry as the foundation of the Ukrainian nation; hence, the genocidal nature of the policy.  For generations to follow, Soviet authorities imposed a blanket of secrecy on the event, keeping it hidden while disseminating disinformation about the cause and extent of the Holodomor.

USUSA executive member Sam Campling wrote a press article, describing the historical event and its significance in the context of Ukraine’s struggle for national self-determination. The article was posted on the St. Thomas More College website as part of the campaign to promote awareness on this dark page in Ukraine’s past and world history.

Annual Ukrainian Studies Reception

The PCUH was proud to co-host with the STM Dean’s Office the annual reception for Ukrainian Studies on Tuesday, October 9th. Current students enrolled in the program and others were in attendance this year along with STM faculty.

The master of ceremonies was Dr. Nadia Foty-Oneschuk who welcomed the students to STM’s Chelsea Lounge where the reception was held. Speaking briefly about the college and the Ukrainian program at the college, Dr. Foty-Oneschuk invited other faulty and staff to speak directly to recent efforts by the college and PCUH to enhance Ukrainian programming at the UofS.
Prof. Kordan, PCUH Director, spoke about the role of the centre on campus, highlighting the centre’s financial support for course instruction, students, and their activities. He encouraged the students to avail themselves off all that the college offers as a way to discover Ukrainian culture and identity and to make friendships with each other.  He reminded them that these were the best years of their life and that what they did now will remain with them forever. Mr. Mykola Dolgy of the Ukrainian Students’ Union spoke next, inviting the uninitiated in the crowd to join the student group as a way to know more about Ukrainian student-based activities on campus. He mentioned in passing that the UofS group was the largest of its kind in Canada and a testament to the interest of the students and the strength of institutional support.
The Dean of St Thomas More College, Dr. Arul Kumaran, spoke of the college as the natural home of Ukrainian Studies on the UofS campus, underscoring how the program has provided students with a unique opportunity to explore their Ukrainian heritage. He encouraged them to enroll in the courses and to consider the Spring Session in Ukraine (SSU) as a way to round out their undergraduate experience. It was message reiterated by Mr. Cooper Muirhead, who not only provided further information on the SSU but also invited several past participants in the program to share their thoughts and impressions about the study abroad in Ukraine experience.
Dr. Foty-Oneschuk followed with a brief synopsis of the Ukrainian Studies Minor on campus and encouraged students to consider the Minor program as a course of study.

The students and faculty were finally able to mingle and share information over a bowl of punch and dainties. It was a fitting end to an informal meet and greet session, which the students unanimously agreed found to be informative and useful.

Ukrainian Language Curriculum Workshop

The PCUH was proud to sponsor a Ukrainian language curriculum workshop August 23, 2018.

Organized by Nadia Prokopchuk, the workshop was hosted by the College of Education at the U of S.
PCUH Affiliates Dr. Nadya Foty-Oneschuk and Nadia Prokopchuk learned about Ukrainian language program-changes being proposed and introduced elsewhere across the country, and how these may be introduced in beginner-level language courses (UKR 114 and 117) at STM College.

The new course program, entitled “ Ukrainian for Beginners. Blended learning model,” is a new approach to language-learning and a pioneering effort in the study of the Ukrainian language, combining face-to-face lecture time in the classroom with online components. Authors Dr. Alla Nedashkivska and PhD candidate Olena Sivachenko, who led the workshop, have successfully piloted this program at the University of Alberta, resulting in students becoming quickly conversationally competent.  Dr. Foty-Oneschuk, who is responsible for Ukrainian language delivery at the University of Saskatchewan, is excited to collaborate with these colleagues in implementing the program changes at STM.

Peace Studies Lecture in STM


“Determination, Devotion, Diplomacy: Women Building Peace in Ukraine” is a special lecture presented by Dr. Maureen Flaherty, Mauro Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Manitoba. The presentation is sponsored by the Peace Studies Initiative and the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage at St Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan.


Reaching Out to the Community: PCUH and SSU at Folk Fest and Ukrainian Day in the Park

Ukrainian Day in the Park: (l-r at the table) Matthew Selinger, Oksana Dubasov, Iryna Kozina

Following last year’s information campaign, PCUH, Spring Session in Ukraine (SSU), and Ukrainian Studies Minor program, were again represented at two major Saskatoon community cultural events – Folk Fest (August 16-18) and Ukrainian Day in the Park (August 25). Both events were well-attended by the local community. Interested community members were eager to learn more about the Ukrainian Studies projects and initiatives at St. Thomas More College and expressed satisfaction that so much was being done at the university. The promotion campaign was faciliated by Iryna Kozina, SSU and PCUH Administrative Assistant, helped by Oksana Dubasov and Matthew Selinger, SSU 2018 participants.

Promotion at Folk Fest 2018

Dedication of Eaton Interment Memorial Garden

Eaton Memorial Garden,
Saskatchewan Railway Museum

The Saskatchewan Railway Museum (SRM) is the site of WWI internment in Canada. On May 25, 2018, a dedication of the Eaton Memorial Garden on the grounds of the SRM took place.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress in co-operation with the SRM and in partnership with the German Canadian Council and the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage initiated a project to create a memorial garden at the site. A place of remembrance and reflection, the garden is part of an ongoing initiative to reclaim the historical memory of internment, a time when 8,579 ‘enemy aliens’ were arrested and interned in camps across Canada such as at Eaton. In 2005, the PCUH erected a monument on this site. The garden is an extension of that project. The centre will continue to work with the museum and other partners in creating an interactive museum educational display that will provide further information on the experience and be used as a teaching tool for students and others.

For more information on the plaque unveiling ceremony, see

PCUH Supports the National Ukrainian Teachers’ Conference

a photo of the four locations on the screen, with Saskatoon as the fifth

The National Ukrainian Teachers’ Conference took place on Saturday, May 5, 2018. The conference, which was held online for the first time, brought together Ukrainian language educators from across Canada for a full day professional learning forum. The conference was organized by the Ukrainian Language Education Centre, University of Alberta, and the National Ukrainian Education Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

materials made available to Saskatoon participants

The conference was hosted by five centres: Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal. The Saskatoon session, which was arranged and supported by PCUH, took place at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. Twelve Ukrainian language educators from Saskatoon and Regina were in attendance. A conference session on Ukrainian Language Assessment was delivered by PCUH Affiliate Nadia Prokopchuk and teaching colleagues Olena Kovpak and Olena Andrusyak.


The PCUH awards student excellence through its Undergraduate Essay Prize in Ukrainian Studies. The 2017-18 prize was awarded to Jacob Yuriy for his paper “Patient and Doctor Experiences During Ukrainian Healthcare Reforms” submitted as a course requirement for ANTH 233 Anthropological Perspectives on Contemporary Ukraine during the 2017 Spring Session in Ukraine.

Jacob Yuriy, Ukrainian Studies Research Showcase, 2018


The PCUH oversees and funds the Chernivtsi/ UofS Graduate Exchange Program. The purpose of the program is to place a UofS graduate or post-graduate for a single semester (Feb 15 – May 31) at the Hnatyshyn Center for Canadian Studies, Chernivtsi National University. The student, whose graduate work is in the Canadian Studies field, teaches and works at the Center. The 2018 graduate exchange student is Mitchell Dowie who is currently teaching two advanced courses: Canadian Foreign Policy; and Innovation in Canada and Public Policy.

Mitchell Dowie, Chernivtsi National University

The placement provides a rare and exciting international experience for graduate students, offers an opportunity for recent graduates to acquire desirable teaching experience in their field of study, helps promote interest in Canadian Studies as well as Canada and Saskatchewan more generally, and strengthens the educational bond between the two universities.
I am thankful to have had this invaluable opportunity to live in Ukraine and lecture at Chernivtsi National University. The teaching experience I gained will serve me well as I begin my Ph.D. studies at Carleton University in Ottawa this fall. My Ukrainian students have also benefited, being exposed to new ways of teaching. Overall, the experience has made a strong impression on me. I learned much about Ukraine and its people. My only regret is that I could not stay here longer!

2018 USUSA Pysanka and Vinok Workshops

As a part of Culture Week at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students Association (USUSA) hosted Pysanka and Vinok workshops on March 20 and 22, 2018 respectively. Both events took place at St. Thomas More College in the student lounge and were well-attended by students, staff and community members.

The Pysanka workshop has become a traditional annual spring event organized by the USUSA. The event is student-led and looks to educate and promote the artful Ukrainian skill of “writing” Easter eggs. This year’s workshop had 30 participants. The success of past Pysanka workshops suggested that a Vinok (Ukrainian wreath) workshop would also be of interest and was organized by members of the association.  All profits from Pysanka workshop will be donated to “Stream of Hopes” in Saskatoon, a non-profit organization, whose efforts are aimed at helping disadvantaged children in Ukraine
Vinok (flower crown) Workshop was held for the first time at the U of S campus. The event was put on by the USUSA and Vesna Festival. Mrs. Jennifer Fedun, the workshop instructor, discussed the meaning of vinok in Ukrainian culture. In the past, vinok was worn as a symbol of maidenhood by unmarried girls. The flower crown has also become a statement of patriotic identification and feminine strength. It also has a prominent place in Ukrainian stage dance costuming. There were 25 participants at the workshop. The organizers provided the participants with all the supplies as well as some wine and appetizers.