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Remembering Canada’s Forgotten Internment Operations, Cave and Basin Interpretive Centre

Updated: Jun 12, 2018

During Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920 thousands of Ukrainians and other Europeans were branded as “enemy aliens,” forced to work for the profit of their jailers, disenfranchised, and subjected to other state-sanctioned censures, not because of anything they had done but only because of who they were, where they had come from.

For over 20 years the volunteers of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association campaigned to have this still-little known episode in Canadian history recognized. Following passage of Bill – C331, Internment of Persons of Ukrainian Origin Recognition Act (2005), UCCLA participated in negotiations with the Government of Canada that created the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund and secured additional resources for a permanent exhibit at the Cave & Basin camp site in Banff National Park. 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.

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Enemy Aliens, Prisoners Of War: Canada’s First World War Internment Operations, 1914-1920 Cave & Basin National Historic Site, Banff National Park, Alberta Remembering Canada’s Forgotten Internment Operations Visit the new exhibit opening officially 20 June 2013

Au cours des premières opérations d’internement nationaux du Canada de 1914 à 1920, des milliers d’Ukrainiens et d’autres Européens ont été stigmatisés comme «étrangers ennemis», obligés de travailler pour le bénéfice de leurs geôliers, privés de leurs droits et soumis à d’autres censures sanctionnées par l’État, et ce, non à cause de tout ce qu’ils avaient fait, mais à cause de leur origine.

Depuis plus de 20 ans, les bénévoles de l’Association ukrainienne-canadienne des droits civils (UCCLA) font campagne pour que cette épisode méconnue de l’histoire canadienne soit reconnue. À la suite de l’adoption du projet deloi –C331, Loi portant reconnaissance de l’internement de personnes d’origine ukrainienne (2005), UCCLA a participé aux négociations ayant mené à la création, par le gouvernement du Canada, du Fonds canadien de reconnaissance de l’internement durant la Première Guerre mondiale et à l’allocation de ressources additionnelles pour une exposition permanente au site historique national Cave and Basin, situé au Parc national Banff.

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