For more than 60 years, the League of Ukrainian Canadians (LUC), formerly Canadian League for the Liberation of Ukraine, has helped to foster and promote Canadian values and to share our Ukrainian cultural heritage with our fellow Canadians.
LUC also has worked to raise awareness about the Ukrainian nation’s centuries-long struggle for freedom and, since 1991, to marshal support for Ukraine’s efforts to consolidate its hard won independence into a secure, democratic, and prosperous state.
With its founding in the aftermath of WWII, LUC joined with like-minded organizations including the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women (LUCW), the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYM), Society of Veterans of UPA, and “Homin Ukrainy/Ukrainian Echo” newspaper. Together they comprise the Canadian Conference in Support of Ukraine (CCSU), a chapter of the International Conference in Support of Ukraine (ICSU). Through ICSU, they are affiliated with the Ukrainian World Congress and are members of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
LUC, LUCW and CYM, individually and collectively, carry out programs and projects that have significantly contributed to Canada’s development, and to the integration of new immigrants into Canadian society.
Today, these organizations operate in more than 20 cities and maintain 18 cultural and community centres. The facilities and resources are used by Ukrainian and other ethnic communities and civic organizations to further strengthen the unique multicultural mosaic that defines Canada.
The collective mission is to preserve and promote the Ukrainian and Ukrainian Canadian heritage, facilitate the integration of new immigrants into Canada, and safeguard and further develop the multicultural identity, civic institutions, and democratic values at the core of Canadian society.
Another focus of the mission is to share the Ukrainian Canadian historical experience and our Canadian values with the people and Government of Ukraine.
OUR WORK FOR CANADA
During the 1950s and 60s, LUC, LUCW and CYM were among the originators and advocates of the concept of multiculturalism. We are proud that the Ukrainian Canadian community and its leaders are acknowledged as having been instrumental in making multiculturalism a fundamental characteristic of Canadian society.
Subsequently, we have worked to make Canada’s multicultural and immigrant experience an enduring part of Canadian life. To this end, we supported the establishment of the Pier 21 Museum in Halifax on Canadian immigration. Moreover, LUCW is engaged in assuring that the full story is told about Ukrainian immigrants during and after WWII, why some by choice and others as political refugees did not return to their homeland but made the welcoming shores of Canada their new home.
Sharing with our fellow Canadians Ukraine’s cultural heritage, history, and current events is also a major focus of the work of LUC, LUCW and CYM. Concerts, exhibits, conferences, seminars, documentaries, books, websites and the “Homin Ukrainy/Ukrainian Echo” newspaper are a constant means by which Canadians are informed about the Ukrainian Canadian community, the Ukrainian Diaspora, and Ukraine.
LUC and LUCW continue to provide support for programs and projects that assist new immigrants, including acclimating young Ukrainian immigrants to Canada through the work of CYM. CYM is a major youth organization that fosters Canadian values, as well as awareness of and appreciation for one’s community, Ukrainian heritage, and ancestral homeland. With chapters from coast to coast, CYM conducts weekly meetings, camps, conferences, and maintains choirs, marching bands, dance groups, and bandurist ensembles (the bandura is the national instrument of Ukraine). Ukrainian heritage schools, theatre groups, and sports clubs also are maintained by our organizations.
OUR WORK FOR UKRAINE
Throughout the era of the Cold War, LUC, LUCW, CYM, the Society of Veterans of UPA, and “Homin Ukrainy/Ukrainian Echo” were at the forefront of defending the human and national rights of Ukraine. We supported Ukraine’s struggle for independence and other captive nations opposing Soviet Russian domination. Since independence in 1991, work is being conducted with like-minded civic organizations, as well as educational and research institutions in Ukraine and Canada, on restoring Ukraine’s historical identity in the nation building process.
Through these joint efforts there is now a better understanding of the horrific toll in human life that was exacted by Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany during Ukraine’s arduous march to freedom and independence. Major programs in this regard are the Holodomor Education Project that is being integrated into the Canadian educational system, and the research programs on the Ukrainian liberation movement during the XX century. We are also directly engaged in a host of other collaborative humanitarian, civic, educational, and research projects with our counterparts in Ukraine.
As we look to the future, our essential mission remains unchanged. We will be vigilant in safeguarding core Canadian values that sustain the freedoms and well-being of our fellow citizens. We will continue to promote the development of the Ukrainian Canadian identity in accordance with multiculturalism. We will continue to assist new immigrants in fulfilling their hopes and dreams of a new life by integrating them into the Ukrainian Canadian community and Canadian society.
We will stand with the Ukrainian people in fighting policies and measures that undermine their freedom and independence. We will oppose the Russian government’s efforts to reimpose its colonial control over Ukraine. In this, the goal is to bring the social and political values to Ukraine that make Canada the envy of the world: democracy, human rights, rule of law, civil society, tolerance, and respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all countries.
Family and community, God and patriotism, hard work and sacrifice, heritage and understanding, have sustained the Ukrainian Canadian community for more than five generations.
The League of Ukrainian Canadians, League of Ukrainian Canadian Women, Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada, Society of Veterans of UPA, “Homin Ukrainy/Ukrainian Echo,” and the Ukrainian Canadian community as a whole are proud of their contribution to the betterment of Canada, and of their fidelity to their Ukrainian roots. As such, we will continue to serve our Ukrainian Canadian community, our country-Canada, and our ancestral homeland-Ukraine.
LUC, LUCW and CYM Branches: