UCCLA news release, (Monday, 14 September 2009) - Ottawa
The Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund was launched officially today with a notice published in the national edition of The Globe and Mail (Focus & Books section/see attached). Thousands of postcards and posters are also being distributed to individuals, public and university libraries and to various ethnocultural communities across the country providing information about how to apply for a grant to do research, commemorate or otherwise recall what happened to thousands of Ukrainians and other Europeans during Canada's first national internment operations of 1914-1920.
The endowment, valued at $10 million, was established on May 9, 2008 following over two decades of work on the part of the Ukrainian Canadian community. Interest earned on that principal shall be distributed annually by an endowment council representing several of the affected communities. The fund is held in trust and managed by the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko, in Winnipeg, itself established by an Act of Canada's parliament in 1963.
Commenting on the endowment's goals, Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, chairman of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association and a member of the council said:
"The few internees who were alive when we began our campaign for symbolic redress always told us that what was important to them was that other Canadians should learn about how they had been branded 'enemy aliens,' interned, forced to do heavy labour for the profit of their gaolers, disenfranchised and subjected to other state-sanctioned indignities - even though they were innocent of any wrongdoing. "The Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund fulfills their hope of an acknowledgment for, fundamentally, this initiative is about memory, not money. I am proud that I was able to play a role in hallowing all of the internees and in righting an historic injustice, making sure that no other Canadian ethnic, religious or racial minority ever again suffers what the victims of Canada’s first national internment operations did.”
For more information on the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund please go to www.canadianinternment.ca