First Wave of Ukrainian Immigration to Canada, 1891-1914

Creator(s): Taras Shevchenko Museum

Between 1891 and 1914, a total of 180,000 Ukrainians left their homeland for Canada, most of them landless peasants or peasants with small holdings who were promised "lots of land" by shipping companies and the Canadian government. Most settled in Manitoba and areas of the Northwest Territories that in 1905 became the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Ukranian Farmers in the Prairies

In the early years Ukrainians were known by several names such as Ruthenians, Rusins, Carpatho-Rusins, Galicians, Lemkos and Bukovinians. These pioneers brought with them foods such as borshch beet soup, perogies (varenyky), cabbage rolls (holubtsi), kasha (buck-wheat), kolach (chala), and bublyky (bagels) that today are familiar favourites on the Canadian menu.This Community Stories exhibit celebrates the lives of those early Ukrainian settlers, who established the Canadian prairies as part of the bread basket of the world. Their hardship and struggles, unimaginable today, and their vision, determination and perseverance laid the foundation for the great strides and accomplishments of succeeding generations.

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