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Opening Ceremony of Parks Canada’s Exhibit of Canada’s First World War Internment Operations 1914-20

For immediate release (Calgary, Ottawa, June 13, 2019)


The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA), Parks Canada and the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund (CFWWIRF) invite you to attend the official opening of a new educational and commemorative exhibit marking one of the historic internment sites of Canada’s First World War internment operations.

Located west of the town of Field, B.C., Camp Otter in Yoho National Park was occupied by some 200 internees unjustly interned as enemy aliens from 1915-1916 under the War Measures Act. During Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914 to 1920, more than 8,000 men, as well as some women and children, were sent to 24 camps across Canada, including camps in Banff, Jasper, Mount Revelstoke and Yoho national parks.

The event will take place Saturday, June 22 at 1 p.m. (MT) near the Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park, B.C. (Driving directions).

UCCLA worked collaboratively with Parks Canada and the CFWWIRF to create the new exhibit recognizing Canada’s first national internment operations within the national parks system, after the previous exhibit at the Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park required extensive upgrading.

“Reconciliation requires recognition, and so we are grateful to Parks Canada and the Government of Canada for acknowledging the wrongs done to Ukrainians and other Europeans during Canada’s first national internment operations,” said UCCLA’s Borys Sydoruk. “The unveiling of this exhibit will teach and remind Canadians and other visitors to the park what happened to minorities like Ukrainians in this country in Yoho National Park, as well as 23 other sites across Canada, 100 years ago when the government of the day suspended basic civil liberties.”

The affected communities included Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Italians, Jews, Poles, Romanians, Russians, Serbians, Slovaks, Slovenes and others, of which most were civilians.

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To RSVP, please contact Borys Sydoruk 403-903-5013 or bsydoruk@telus.net.


For more information about UCCLA, please email media@uccla.ca, or visit:

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PO Box 57022 Somerset West PO, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6P0


Directions to the Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park, B.C. for those driving:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Calgary,+Alberta/Natural+Bridge,+Field,+BC/@51.2448504,-116.4216658,8z/am=t/data=!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x537170039f843fd5:0x266d3bb1b652b63a!2m2!1d-114.0708459!2d51.0486151!1m5!1m1!1s0x5379de3ce590a087:0x70e0c3d71f6b163d!2m2!1d-116.530182!2d51.381982


Camp Otter, Yoho National Park. Photo credit: © Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / Library and Archives Canada.

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (L'Association ukrainienne-canadienne des droits civils) is a non-partisan, voluntary, non-profit research and educational organization committed to the articulation and promotion of the Ukrainian Canadian community's interests and to the defence of the civil liberties and human rights of Ukrainians in Canada and elsewhere.