UCC Concerned with Canadian Museum for Human Rights
December 11, 2010-Winnipeg, Manitoba-The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) calls upon all Canadians to voice their concern over the content and layout proposed for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Specifically, we are concerned about the objectivity of the Museum’s governance bodies and that neither Canada’s first national internment operations nor the Holodomor have permanent and prominent galleries in the Museum.
The Canadian Museum of Human Rights, at the suggestion of its content advisory committee, is proceeding at present with only 2 permanent galleries, one on the Holocaust and one on Indigenous population.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress politically supported this government-funded Museum and members of our community donated millions of dollars, on the basis that it would:
be reflective of the broader Canadian experience; and
that the Holodomor and Canada’s first national internment operations would be given a permanent and prominent place in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
At present, the museum has begun construction and there are no plans to distinctively and appropriately commemorate these two tragedies.
Why WW1 Internment Operations?
The experience of Ukrainians and other Europeans unjustly imprisoned during Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914-1920 should be included in a permanent gallery exhibit. During this tragic period thousands of Ukrainians and other East Europeans were unjustly imprisoned and disenfranchised only because of where they had come from. Furthermore, this event gave precedence to other well known human rights abuses in Canada including the Chinese Head tax, Internment of Japanese and Italians during WW2.
Why the Holodomor?
The Holodomor should be provided equal prominence in this publicly-funded museum to the Holocaust for the following reasons:
1. it is a genocide recently recognized (May 2008) by the Parliament of Canada and one which is relatively unknown;
2. by its geographical focus and intensity is arguably one of the greatest genocides in human history;
3. is an example of the human rights violations suffered by the victims of communism around the world (the crimes of communism receive no mention in the Content Advisory report); and
4. highlights the crimes of the communist dictatorship of Joseph Stalin and the Soviet regime.
UCC calls upon all Canadians to:
1. write and call their MPs to voice their concerns.
2. write and/or call (819)-997-7788, Minister of Canadian Heritage, The Hon. James Moore
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
UCC branches/provincial councils together with their member organizations will be meeting with federal Ministers during the Christmas Parliamentary break (Dec.16-January 30, 2011) to address these concerns.
UCC National has begun discussions and will be meeting with the CEO of the Museum and key federal Ministers to find a resolution to our concerns.