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[expand title=”Report to the UCC XXIII Congress  November 2010″]


Report to the UCC XXIII Congress  November 2010

Steering Committee Members:

Valentina Kuryliw (Chair)
Bohdan Huzyk (British Columbia)
Marusia Petryshyn (Alberta)
Robert Wucshenny (Saskatchewan)
Valentina Noseworthy (Manitoba)
Alex Chumak, (Ontario)
Marika Szkmabara (Ontario)
Marika Putko (Quebec)

Academic advisors:
Roman Serbyn (Quebec)
Frank Sysyn (Alberta/Ontario)

The National Holodomor Education Committee was struck in the fall of 2009 with the aim of co-ordinating efforts pertaining to Holodomor education across Canada.


1. To promote and support the inclusion of the topic of the Holodomor/ Ukrainian genocide into the school curriculum of each province at the appropriate K – 12 grade level.

2. To promote and support the inclusion of the topic of the Holodomor/ Ukrainian genocide in community Ukrainian schools at the appropriate grades.

3. To promote and support the Commemoration of the Holodomor at the K-12 grade level in school jurisdictions across the country.

4. To conduct research and development to ensure that the most effective teaching methods and latest findings are included in teaching resources on the Holodomor.

5. To share expertise with educational institutions, school boards, and ministries of education regarding curriculum, institutional approaches, and learning resources.

6. To share expertise with community groups seeking to make presentations to educational institutions, school boards, and ministries of education regarding curriculum, institutional approaches, and learning resources.

7. To develop and distribute teaching materials and resources on the Holodomor and support such development and distribution.

8. To facilitate in providing teacher in-service and training of teacher in-services on  the topic of the Holodomor

9. To  provide Internet access to information and teaching materials on the topic of  the Holodomor in the English, French and Ukrainian languages.


1. To set up a National Committee with provincial and/or regional representation to achieve the above goals

2. To set up subcommittees in each province and/or region to work with the National  Committee to carry out these goals. Social studies and history educators, teachers acquainted     with the education system,  as well as community members should be approached to participate in such a committee

3. To establish a Canadian Centre for Holodomor Study and Education (CCHSE) under the auspices of the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre. The National Holodomor Education Committee will serve as an interim advisory head to the Centre.

The mandate of the CCHSE will be to:

– research the Holodomor

– support the development of teaching materials on the Holodomor, their publication and distribution

– develop in-service and training of teacher in-services on the topic of the Holodomor

– promote a common understanding of the Holodomor.


1. To date, besides the Government of Canada,  the  provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and, most recently, Quebec, have passed  bills in their respective provinces  recognizing the Holodomor as a genocide against the Ukrainian people and set aside a Holodomor Memorial Day in their provinces. This has set the stage for the next step, the inclusion of the Holodomor into the curriculum.

2. To date, only two provinces, Alberta and Manitoba, have the Holodomor included as a topic to be taught in their schools through  the history and social studies curriculum of their provinces.

3. Status of Holodomor Education in the provinces:

i)  Ontario. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the largest school board in Canada,  passed two motions on the Holodomor in Sept. 2008.

– to commemorate Holodomor Memorial Day, the fourth  Friday in November in  their schools each year

– to prepare units of study on the Holodomor to be used in their school  programs, where appropriate.

This November 26th will be the third consecutive year for the commemoration of the Holodomor in the schools of the TDSB.  Other school boards have followed suit: The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board and, recently, the Durham District School Board in Oshawa. In all, there are 109 school boards or districts  across the province of Ontario and each one has to be approached separately to request this commemoration. To make sure that there is an announcement in each school on Holodomor Memorial Day,  the Holodomor Education Team (HET) of Toronto prepares the announcement and meets with the Superintendent in early November. A flyer with suggested activities and a list of speakers is prepared for Holodomor Education Week, which is also  distributed to each school.

Two units of study were prepared by the staff of the TDSB for the grade 12 World History course and the grade 12 Canadian and World Politics course. Valentina Kuryliw, a former department head of History served as a consultant to the writers.  The TDSB distributed the teaching units to all  their high schools in Nov. 2009 to be used as teachers see fit. This means that the units of study are supplementary teaching materials and not part of the regular curriculum.  In order for it to be taught on a regular basis, the Holodomor  must be included in the curriculum  by the Ministry of Education.  Only then will the topic appear in history texts. Upon request, the TDSB is willing and happy to share the  curriculum they have prepared with other school boards

Presently the NHEC and the Holodomor Education Team (HET) of Toronto are  working  with the Ministry of Education of Ontario Review Committee on Curriculum to include both the topic of the Holodomor and the Internment of World War 1 as  topics  in the history and social studies curriculum in the province which will be in effect until 2025. Stakeholder meetings have been attended, reports have been written showing where these topics may be included and the rationale for it  for four  history and social studies courses.  The draft document  of the Review Committee on the History and Social Studies Curriculum  will be available for our perusal  in  Feb. 2011.

ii) British Columbia In November 2009 the  Holodomor Education Team for B.C. was initiated with  BohdanHuzyk, a retired educator,  as the Chair.  They received  prepared handouts/templates  of letters and information for approaching school boards and the Ministry of Education of their province. The NHEC Chair will attend meetings to promote Holodomor Education when required.

iii) Manitoba: In June 2010 a Manitoba Holodomor Education Team was created to deal with upcoming issues concerning Holodomor Education. Valentina Noseworthy, an educator,  has consented to be the Chair and will continue to work on behalf of Holodomor Education. Several items that may  be addressed by this Team along with the NHEC could be providing input into curriculum being prepared for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg.  Recently, requests for information on the Holodomor were received and will be dealt with by the HET of Manitoba with a presentation by  their local experts.

Manitoba has successfully included the Holodomor in their curriculum and Holodomor Memorial Day is set in each school calendar in the province. The Holodomor is included on the Ministry web site with links to resources and lesson plans are available, thanks to the efforts of V. Noseworthy.

iv) Saskatchewan. In June 2010 contact was made with representatives of the community from Saskatchewan. Work is ongoing to set up an appointment between the  Minister of Education of Saskatchewan and the Chair of the NHEC and local community representatives.  Robert Wucshenny has consented to be the interim  representative for the province to the NHEC.

v) Alberta. Marusia Petryshyn has consented to be the chair of the Holodomor Education Team for Alberta. The Holodomor is in place in the Alberta curriculum and text books with Holodomor information are being produced. A meeting for establishing a HET for Alberta will be held during the Congress in November 2010.

vi) Quebec. In June 2010 Quebec proclaimed the Holodomor  a genocide and set aside Holodomor Memorial Day in their province. MarikaPutko has consented to be the interim representative from Quebec until a Holodomor Education Team is in place. A meeting with the Quebec Minister of Education is pending and will be attended by the Chair of the NHEC and representatives of the Ukrainian community.

vii) Nova Scotia and the Atlantic provinces. In October 2010 the Ukrainian Canadian Association for Dartmouth and Halifax was contacted by the Chair of the NHEC to inquire about Holodomor Education. As there are few Ukrainian organizations and individuals in these provinces, little progress has been made. Mike Stepanczak has consented to be the  the contact in Nova Scotia.  The NHEC  will have to initiate all contacts with the Ministry of Education in Halifax and set up meetings to familiarize them with the Holodomor.  New Brunswick,  Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. have  similar situations.

4. Resources on the Holodomor for schools. Valentina Kuryliw has prepared a Holodomor Teaching Kit for educators to be used in Canadian schools. It is generic with basic information, teaching materials, lesson plan suggestions, books and visual materials. A Workbook for students and teachers is also enclosed. This Kit has been successfully used to promote the teaching of the Holodomor to educators in Ontario through workshops,and in-service training sessions. on the Holodomor. A list of resources of web sites, books and audio-visual materials recommended for schools is included.

5.  Templates for School Boards and information for Ministries of Education. The Chair of the NHEC and the Toronto HET have prepared a comprehensive package of handouts for provincial councils  and branches of the UCC. These may be used to  request Holodomor Memorial Day and the inclusion of the Holodomor into their curriculum.

6. Creation of the Centre for Holodomor Study and Education.

This initiative will be pursed in conjunction with the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre in Toronto. Two publications that are not  available in Ukraine or Canada will be republished by the Centre for educational purposes. One is a book of 72 documents that was used by the Writing Team of the TDSB and will be included in the Holodomor Teaching Kit in the future.  The other is  a book on Raphael Lemkin by Roman Serbyn. Funding for these two initiatives will be required. .

Valentina Kuryliw

Chair NHEC

October  29, 2010