At first, only the bravest settled in Canada
BY OKSANA BASHUK HEPBURN, OTTAWA CITIZEN – JULY 2, 2011
When Canada was merely 24 years old, two settlers arrived from Ukraine. Today, the Canadian census counts 1.2 million claiming Ukrainian heritage.
Leaving Ukraine for Canada 120 years ago was akin to settling on the moon; only the bravest dared. Reaching the prairies, they were unceremoniously dumped where the train track stopped. There was nothing to mark human progress; distances were overwhelming and other people far away. When meeting them in towns, “established” Canadians mocked the new arrivals’ dress and sneered at their language and religion, heart-wrenchingly described in Pierre Burton’s The Promised Land. There was the ultimate slap-down: go back where you came from if you don’t like it here.