The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) wishes to expresses its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Peter Lougheed, to the government of Alberta and to all Albertans. CIUS was established at the University of Alberta on 1 July 1976 during the premiership of Mr. Lougheedfollowing a decision of cabinet to provide institutional support for the development of Ukrainian scholarship and cultural heritage at the University of Alberta.
This decision took place in the context of the early years of the country’s recognition of its cultural diversity, which was expressed on the national level as multiculturalism and here in Alberta as recognition of the needs of cultural heritage groups. These changes represented an important step towards a much greater and more inclusive role for ethno-cultural minorities in shaping Canadian public life, and an important shift in attitude toward minorities overall.
Ukrainian Canadian organizations had been urging governments to introduce Ukrainian studies at the post-secondary level since the end of World War II. At that time, the very survival of Ukrainian language and culture appeared tenuous in the face of strong assimilatory pressures upon second- and third-generation Ukrainians in Canada, as well as the communist regime’s relentless Russification and Sovietization of Ukrainians in their homeland.
It is to the great credit of Mr. Lougheed and the government he headed that it paid serious attention to the efforts of Ukrainian community leaders and of scholars of Ukrainian heritage to support the creation of a scholarly institution that would promote the academic study of Ukraine and its people, including their contributions to the building of Canada and Alberta, where Ukrainians played a pioneering role in settling and working the soil. It was also under his leadership that the province took the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village under its wing and lent support to the establishment of bi-lingual education programs in Alberta’s primary and secondary schools, including Ukrainian.
Mr. Lougheed’s legacy has been and will continue to be long-lasting and deeply appreciated.
Volodymyr Kravchenko, Director
Bohdan Klid, Assistant Director