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First Wave of Ukrainian Immigration to Canada, 1891-1914
Taras Shevchenko Museum
Toronto , Ontario


wheat), kolach (chala), and
bublyky (bagels) that today
are familiar favorites on the
Canadian menu.
   Unlike the Mennonites,
Icelanders, and Russian
Doukhobors, the early
Ukrainian settlers received
no financial assistance from
the Canadian government. In

fact, the government dumped
trainloads of Ukrainians in
the prairie wilderness and
abandoned them to survive as
best they could. The youngest
suffered most. In the NWT
colony, 40 per cent of
infants under two years of
age died.
   Life for these early

Ukrainian settlers was
extremely difficult. The
agricultural season was short
and many had to work in coal
mines, in lumber camps and on
the railroad laying tracks to
supplement their incomes. But
survival was made easier by
the bloc settlements of
Ukrainians that stretched in

a belt from southeastern
Manitoba northwest into
Saskatchewan and Alberta,
culminating in the 5,000-
square-mile Ukrainian
settlement around Vegreville
northeast of Edmonton. These
communities eased the
integration of every new wave
of Ukrainian immigrants into

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