Released on January 5, 2016The provincial government is recognizing the many and varied contributions of citizens of Ukrainian descent by designating 2016 as the Year of Saskatchewan Ukrainians.
Premier Brad Wall said the proclamation acknowledges the 125th anniversary of the first wave of Ukrainian immigration to Canada and Saskatchewan and launches anniversary events and celebrations that will occur across the province.
“Ukrainian culture and traditions are deeply embedded in the Saskatchewan mosaic,” Wall said. “Settlers from Ukraine helped build our province, bringing to their new home what our motto proudly proclaims: ‘From Many Peoples, Strength.’ Those traditions manifest themselves today in countless community celebrations, in educational programs, and in the longstanding relationship Saskatchewan enjoys with Ukraine.”
More than 13 per cent of Saskatchewan residents trace all or part of their ancestry to Ukraine, according to the last census. Ukraine is currently the fourth top source of immigration to the province.
Saskatchewan has a number of city-twinning arrangements and academic exchange agreements with Ukraine. In 2009 the government revitalized the Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations Advisory Committee (SURAC) to provide recommendations on such arrangements and on various program initiatives, such as the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program.
SURAC has also played a key role recently in raising awareness of humanitarian concerns around the escalation of political violence in Ukraine, and was instrumental in a community- and government-supported project that saw four donated ambulances from Saskatchewan and Alberta sent to Ukrainian hospitals last fall.
Events commemorating the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration will be announced across the country in the coming weeks. Regina will play host to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’s 25th Triennial Congress of Ukrainian Canadians September 29 to October 2, 2016.
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