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.


PCUH Faculty Honored at Gala Dinner as Kobzar Award Nominees

The 2018 Kobzar Literary Award ceremony was held in Toronto, March 1. The gala dinner saw five shortlisted finalists, including PCUH faculty Professors Natalia Khanenko-Friesen and Bohdan Kordan, read selections from their nominated books. Co-editors Lisa Grekul and Lindy Ledohowski were awarded the prize of $20,000 for their book Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home.

The biennial Kobzar Award, presented by the Shevchenko Foundation, recognizes a Canadian work that most effectively presents a Ukrainian Canadian theme. These may include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. Speaking of the shortlisted books, the jury members praised the writers for their “creativity and insightful understanding of Ukrainian-Canadian identity, culture and history.” The 2018 Kobzar Literary Award shortlist included:

  • Lisa Grekul and Lindy Ledohowski, ed. for Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home, published by University of Toronto Press (2016) – Winner
  • Bohdan S. Kordan for No Free Man: Canada, the Great War and the Enemy Alien Experience, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press (2016)
  • Natalia Khanenko-Friesen for Ukrainian Otherlands: Diaspora, Homeland, and Folk Imagination in the Twentieth Century, published by University of Wisconsin Press (2015)
  • Erin Moure for Kapusta, published by House of Anansi Press (2015)
  • Alexandra Risen for Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden (a memoir), published by Viking, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Ltd. (2016)

For more information on the shortlisted publications, see http://open-book.ca/index.php/News/This-Story-Has-Lessons-for-all-Canadians-The-2018-Kobzar-Literary-Award-Finalists-on-Ukrainian-Canadian-Writing-Culture

2018 Mohyla Lecture: One Hundred Years Of Modern Ukrainian Statehood

Dr. Serhy Yekelchuk, U of Victoria, the 2018 Mohlya lecturer.

21st Annual Mohyla lecture was delivered by Dr. Serhy Yekelchuk, Professor Slavic
Studies and History at the University of Victoria and current president of the Canadian Association for Ukrainian Studies. The lecture was entitled One Hundred Years of Modern Ukrainian Statehood. Professor Yekelchyk is author of six books on Ukrainian history and Ukrainian-Russian relations, including Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation (OUP, 2007), which has been translated into five languages. His monograph, Stalin’s Citizens: Everyday Politics in the Wake of Total War (OUP, 2014), was the recipient of the best book award from the American Association of Ukrainian Studies. Dr. Yekelchyk’s most recent book is The Conflict in Ukraine (OUP, 2015). He is currently completing a history of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917–1920.​

This year’s lecture was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Ukrainian People’s Republic’s (UNR) declaration of independence which was meant to break ties with Russia while establishing a modern democratic Ukrainian state. Prof. Yekelchuk talked about the meaning of this historic event as a continuation of the longer Ukrainian historical tradition of statehood. He discussed in what way the proclamation and defeat of the UNR influenced twentieth-century struggles for a free and independent Ukraine, which emerged in 1991, and whether the current conflict with Russia is a replay of the “hybrid war” the Bolsheviks conducted against the UNR in 1918.

The 2018 Mohyla lecture was held on February 15, 2018 in Shannon Library, St. Thomas More College. The event was hosted by the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage and co-sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Saskatchewan Provincial Council. This year’s lecture was well attended with about thirty students, faculty and guests present. It was followed by informal reception in the Shannon Library.





Ukraine Study Abroad Program – Partnership Agreement Signed

Signing the 5-year SSU Agreement: (l-r) Dr. Kumaran (STM), Dr. Huzar (TNPU), and Dr. Vannelli (UofS)

On January 23, 2018, St. Thomas More College signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Saskatchewan and the Voldymyr Hnatiuk Ternopil National Pedagogical University (TNPU) regarding the college’s Ukraine Study Abroad Program. The five-year agreement establishes the institutional basis for a continuing partnership with TNPU to offer STM’s Spring Session In Ukraine (SSU), which has been in existence since 2001. The SSU is an intensive language and cultural immersion program offered overseas in Ternopil, Ukraine.  The program is co-ordinated by Dr. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen and supported in part by the PCUH. Dr Olena Huzar, the local Ternopil coordinator, represented the TNPU at the signing ceremony. Dr. Arul Kumaran (Dean) and Dr. Anthony Vannelli (Provost) signed the agreement on behalf of STM and the University of Saskatchewan respectively. The PCUH provided funding in support of Dr. Huzar’s visit. While in Saskatoon, Dr. Huzar spoke with several stakeholders regarding additional steps to strengthen the program and explored other academic opportunities.

2nd Annual Ukrainian Studies Research Showcase

The 2nd Annual Ukrainian Studies Research Showcase hosted by the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students’ Association (USUSA) in association with the PCUH was held on the evening of January 16, 2018. The event helps showcase both undergraduate and graduate research in the field of Ukrainian Studies on the UofS campus, providing a unique academic opportunity for students to communicate with their peers and the community at large the work being undertaken as part of their course of study at the university.

The event commenced with a roundtable discussion. Jakob Yuriy, Mykan Zlipko, Alexander Clark and Alexa Kowaluk – Spring Session in Ukraine 2017 program participants – offered perspectives on health and wellbeing in Ternopil where the students conducted original research during their study abroad program. The roundtable was followed by graduate presentations. Iryna Kozina, an MA candidate in History, shared her research on the Yorkton Ukrainian Redemptorists and their response to sociocultural changes on the Prairies during the 1960s. Mitchell Dowie, a recent MA graduate in Political Studies, subsequently spoke on the findings of his thesis: Canada’s relations with Ukraine in the immediate post-Maidan period under the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. The evening ended with a reception organized by the USUSA, allowing the conversation to continue freely in a more informal setting.

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.


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.