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Canada’s First World War internment camps to be remembered

By Johnna Ruocco, The Graphic

The Ukrainian Connection of Portage la Prairie is inviting the public to the official unveiling of the plaque commemorating a dark piece of Canada’s past.


The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation, with the support of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund, will be distributing plaques recalling Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914 to 1920.

The unveiling will take place on Island Park at the Ukrainian Easter Egg monument on Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. One hundred of these plaques are being unveiled at 11 a.m. across the country beginning in Amherst, N.S., heading west and culminating in Nanaimo, B.C., creating a wave across Canada.

Portage la Prairie was chosen as one of the locations due to its significant Ukrainian Canadian population (19.8 per cent in 2011).

“It’s quite an honour really for us to be getting it,” said Adeline Pressey, vice president of the Ukrainian Connection. “We’re hoping the public will support us and come.”

There will be a brief ceremony followed by light refreshments served at the Ukrainian band stage on the Island.

Thousands of Ukrainians and other Europeans were imprisoned needlessly and forced to do labour in 24 internment camps located in the country’s frontier hinterlands during Canada’s first national internment operations.

Twitter: @PDGJohnna 

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