Ukrainian heritage of Manitoba

St. Michael's church (the building on the left), dedicated on October 14, 1899, was the first Ukrainian Orthodox church in Canada. It was built by immigrants from Northern Bukowina who came to Manitoba in 1896. The building on the right is a bell tower built later. In the background is a graveyard used till 1950s. The parish was under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Mission to Canada until 1922, and it then joined the newly founded Canadian Greek Orthodox Church. It is situated in southern Manitoba about 10 km from the Minnesota border, between the villages of Tolstoi and Gardenton. Nobody lives vithin several miles of this church today. It lies in the region where a group of enthusiasts is buying out land from farmers in an attempt to restore at least a little bit of the original prairie.

The cross in the middle is from 1910. The whole site has the status of a historical monument. Most of the tombstones have been repaired recently.

There are only short inscriptions on the tombstone crosses: just the name and the date of death. It is interesting that the word for "year" used for this purpose alternates between the Russian "god" (more often on the older graves) and the Ukrainian "rok".

And this is the Orthodox Ukrainian church of St. Peter and Paul built in 1944 on the outskirts of the village of Sundown about 25 km farther to the East from the old St. Michael's church.



All these pictures were taken on Aug. 10, 1997.

These two pictures show the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral built in 1951-1962 on Main Street in Winnipeg in the northern part of the city, which has traditionally been the home of the immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Not far from the cathedral one can find a large Ukrainian nursing home (on the left) and a few blocks further to the south on the Main Street there is another much smaller Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral of St. Ivan Suchovsky (right photo).


These four pictures were taken on September 14, 1997.

Similar small churches can be found all over Manitoba, where about half of the people (about half a million) have Ukrainian ancestors. These Manitobans are mostly fourth generation Ukrainians, and only a few of them can still speak Ukrainian fluently. Of the rest, many can still say at least a few Ukrainian words.

An example of the thriving performing art: Hoosli Ukrainian Folk Ensemble of Winnipeg.

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