Holodomor’s Tragedy Deserves Appropriate Recognition in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights – Joy Smith, M.P.

Office of Joy Smith, M.P.

Kildonan-St. Paul

Bureau de Joy Smith, députée

Kildonan-St. Paul


February 24, 2011


Holodomor’s Tragedy Deserves Appropriate Recognition in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Winnipeg, MB: I have heard from many Ukrainian Canadians who took the time to share their concerns about the representation of Holodomor in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, being built here in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In 2008, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was established as a Crown corporation on the same footing as other national museums. It is the first new national museum in Canada in more than 40 years and the first to be created outside the National Capital Region.

I am aware that the Canadian Museum for Human Rights has committed to 12 permanent galleries including those dedicated to Indigenous Rights, the Holocaust, and Mass Atrocity. Currently, the Holodomor genocide is slated to have a permanent display in the Mass Atrocity gallery.

The Holodomor genocide was a terribly dark period of history, during which Ukrainians suffered under the savage regime of the Communist tyrant Josef Stalin. Millions of men, women and children died of starvation due to a man made famine. Those who refused to yield were slaughtered. It was a tragedy that touched the hearts of the world.

I believe the Holodomor genocide should be given a prominent presentation that is independent of the Mass Atrocity gallery. Providing a unique and prominent exhibit for the Holodomor will rightly expose the violations of human rights and restore the dignity of victims through the acknowledgement of their suffering. Visitors to the museum will learn of the brutal human rights abuses of the Holodomor genocide and this will enlighten them to strive for human rights for all people.

The Holocaust and the Holodomor were both black spots of history of humanity. Having both stories as prominent displays is imperative. Nations must learn so these tragedies will never happen again.

I also believe the Ukrainian community should have a representative voice on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Canada boasts the third largest Ukrainian population in the world and our Parliament has officially recognized the Holodomor as a genocide. Thus it is appropriate that strong Ukrainian representation be present when planning a national museum about Human Rights.

The new Canadian Museum for Human Rights will be a beacon of hope for all, and I am grateful for the support of our federal government. It will educate Canadians, especially our youth, and help them understand the sacrifices many immigrants made to escape tyranny and come to Canada to build our great nation.

Joy Smith, B.Ed., M.Ed,

Member of Parliament

Kildonan – St. Paul


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For more information please contact:

Joel Oosterman

Chief of Staff

Office of Joy Smith, MP

Phone: (613) 992-7148

Email: smithj8@parl.gc.ca

Website: www.joysmith.ca

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