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Official Opening Of Spirit Lake Internment Centre
On November 24, the Camp Spirit Lake Internment Interpretive Centre was officially opened before a crowd of over 100 people from the Ukrainian Canadian Community, the Government of Canada and the local community in a moving and historically significant ceremony.
The interpretive centre provides inf
ormation on the Spirit Lake Internment Camp, one of twenty four which were established by the Government of Canada which interned over 1200 Ukrainian men, women and children who were unjustly interned as “enemy aliens” during World War I. The Spirit Lake site was the second largest internment camp in Canada and sadly many Ukrainians died there.
The opening of the interpretive centre was organized by Mr. James Slobodian of Camp Spirit Lake Corporation who has shepherded the project to completion over the past decade. The interpretive centre is located in the La Ferme church which the Corporation purchased in 2007, near Amos, Quebec.
The event was attended by representatives of the three groups who successfully concluded the negotiations with the federal government on the establishment of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund: The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) , the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko (TSF) and the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA).
On Saturday, November 26 at 7:32pm Canadians lit a candle to honour the memory of the victims of the Holodomor.
Statement By The Prime Minister Of Canada on the 78th Anniversary Of The Holodomor
“On Saturday, November 26, I join Canadians in remembering and honouring the millions of men, women and children who suffered horribly and perished during the Ukrainian famine-genocide of 1932-1933. Moreover, I encourage all Canadians to participate in the many Holodomor commemoration ceremonies taking place this weekend across the country to learn about this terrible episode in human history.
“The Ukrainian famine, under the oppressive Soviet communist regime of Josef Stalin, remains one of the most atrocious crimes against humanity ever perpetrated. It also reminds us of the real importance of our country’s commitment to the protection and promotion of freedom, democracy and human rights.
“In 2008, Canada became the first nation to recognize the Holodomor as an act of genocide and passed legislation which establishes the fourth Saturday in November as Holodomor Memorial Day. Two years later, in October 2010, I had the honour of visiting the Holodomor Memorial and Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine where I observed a moment of silence in remembrance of its victims.
“Canada is home to more than one million Canadians of Ukrainian descent, many of whom lost loved ones in the Holodomor. We join with them on this solemn day to remember this sad chapter in their history that we vow never to forget.”
Human Rights museum criticized at public meeting [CBC News]
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights was again forced to defend its proposed content against questions and criticisms during the institution’s first annual public meeting in Winnipeg.
The meeting started with officials offering superlatives about the facility -the first museum of its kind in the world; the most advance architecture in the country; the first national museum outside of the country’s capital region; and a huge draw expected to bring in more than 250,000 visitors a year.
But when the floor was opened to questions, there were shouts about why the museum’s Examining the Holocaust gallery will be devoted almost entirely to the genocide of European Jews, while other genocides recognized by Canada will be squeezed into a different gallery, Breaking the Silence.