Ukrainians came to Quebec in
three discernible waves, in three separate time periods.
effect the three waves have had on the character of the community has
been evaluated systematically, although it is generally agreed that the
community has been invigorated by the arrival of the third wave.
History of Ukrainians in Quebec
Yarema Gregory Kelebay
Ukrainians brought with them more that their language, customs,
and folklore. Each wave of immigration also brought a different
baggage or mentality. For example, the two clusters of pre-1947
came largely for economic reasons, whereas the post-1947 group was
compromised of political refugees.
One can look at these immigrant waves in terms described by Louis Hartz
in his Founding of New Societies as three distinct "fragments" thrown
from Ukrainian society in Europe.(1)
The Hartzian approach was to study new societies founded by Europeans
United States, English Canada, French Canada, Latin America, Dutch
Africa, Australia) in a way that could lead to an understanding of the
ideological development of the new society. While still being
of the Mother country, the ideologies borne by the founders of the new
society were not representative of the whole ideological spectrum of
mother country, but rather of only a fragment of it.
Keeping in mind that an ideological spectrum ranges from feudal or Tory
through liberal Whig to liberal democrat, French Canada and Latin
could be qualified as "feudal fragments." They were founded by
of feudal or Tory values; they had left Europe before the liberal
The United States, English Canada and Dutch South Africa, on the other
hand, could be seen as "bourgeois fragments," founded by bearers of
individualism who had left the Tory end of the spectrum behind them.
The significance of the fragmentation process lies in the fact that the
new society, isolated from the mother country by geography, was also
from the stimulus, interchange, and continuity of social development
the whole, represented by the mother country, had provided. The
spectrum of Europe developed out of the continuous confrontation and
of the four elements noted above. They were related to one
not only by antagonists but also as parents and children.
A "fragment" thrown off from Europe which had left a large part of the
past behind it, however, could not develop its future ideologies
For that to happen, the continued presence of the whole ideological
would be necessary. The ideology of the founders of the new
was thus congealed at the point of origin.(2) The new societies
"single-myth" societies, nearly frozen, as it were, in time.
Although Hartz's theory of colonial history was intended to explain the
character of new colonial societies, it can also be used as a guide to
help in understanding ethnic minorities, for the distinct waves of
can also be seen as fragments thrown off from their homeland at a
time. The Hartzian approach can thus also be effectively utilized
for understanding immigration to canada, in particular case, the
that came to Quebec.
Here will be sketched a broad outline of the basic intellectual
of the leading element of each fragment of Ukrainian immigration that
to the province. In applying this approach, one runs the risk
of over generalization and oversimplification. However, the
to be given of immigrant fragments are intended neither to be
nor to represent complete and coherent systems of thought. They
simply map out the central ideas in the mentality of each of the three
fragments that came from the turn of the century to 1960, in order to
the reader an inside view of one immigration process and an insight
the intellectual life of one ethnic group.
As previously stated, the Ukrainian community in Quebec is the product
of not only one immigration fragment but of three. Each fragment
had a unique thrust. That mentality tended to shape the
future intellectual agenda and challenge the existing one.
The first group of Ukrainian settlers, which we will call Fragment I,
in Quebec between 1902 and 1914 and can be described as
Fragment II, the "emigré-Patriots," arrived between 1922 and
Fragment III, the Refugee-Nationalists," arrived between 1947 and
The term "pioneers," "emigrés" and "refugees" are used as
of different historical contexts to characterize the different waves of
Ukrainian settlement in Quebec.
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