Peasants in the Promised Land

Canada and the Ukrainians

by Jaroslav Petryshyn

This is the first book to focus on the formative period of Ukrainian settlement in Canada.  Drawing on exhaustive research, including rich Ukrainian-language archival sources, the author brings history to life.

For many years following Confederation, Canada remained an absurd country: with its vast West still free of agricultural settlers, John A. Macdonald's vision of a great nation bound together by a transcontinental railway and a nationalist economic policy remained an unfulfilled dream.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the present-day Ukraine was vastly overpopulated with "redundant" peasants. Their increasingly precarious existence triggered emigration: more than 170 000 of them sailed for Canada. Life in the promised land was hard. Many Canadians seemed to think that the only good immigrants were British; some went so far as to suggest that the Ukrainian newcomers were less than human. But on the harsh and remote prairies, the Ukrainians triumphed over the toil and isolation of homesteading, putting down roots and prospering.

Peasants in the Promised Land is the first book to focus on the formative period of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. Drawing on his exhaustive research, including Ukrainian-language archival sources, Jaroslav Petryshyn brings history to life with extracts from memoirs, letters and newspapers of the period. His text is illustrated with maps and historical photographs.

About the Author

Jaroslav Petryshyn

JAROSLAV PETRYSHYN teaches history at Grande Prairie Regional College in Alberta.

Subjects (BISAC)

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