First Ukrainian immigrants arrive in Alberta

April 14, 2017

First Ukrainian immigrants in Alberta

Photo: William James Topley. Library and Archives Canada, PA-010401


During the fall of 1891, the first Ukrainian immigrants arrived in Alberta (then still part of the Northwest Territories), but the real flood of Ukrainian immigration did not begin until 1896. In that year the Canadian government, under Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his Minister of the Interior Clifford Sifton, adapted its immigration policies to attract experienced farmers who could thrive under harsh pioneer conditions on the Prairies. By 1914, approximately 170,000 mostly rural and poor Ukrainians had arrived in Canada. While maintaining their language, religious traditions and cultural customs, they helped to develop and settle Western Canada.

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