In 2008, the Government of Ukraine, the United States Senate, the Senate of Canada, and the United Nations joined more than 40 other jurisdictions around the world to officially condemn the Holodomor or recognize it as genocide. That same year, Saskatchewan was the first province in Canada to recognize the genocide, unanimously passing legislation that designates the fourth Saturday in November each year as Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day. Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have since passed similar legislation.
Our schools commemorate this tragic event in November through various whole school and classroom based student engagement.
To help schools observe this tragic historical event, whole school and classroom materials are available and posted through the above links
There are many school districts and governments in Canada that provide various materials for teachers and students and they are encouraged to research Holodomor beyond what is provided here. We gratefully acknowledge the many shared resources and their creators.
The official site for Holodomor is the Ukrainian Canadian Congress at http://www.ucc.ca/programs/committees/national-holodomor-education/
Holodomor remains as the greatest mass murder of civilians undertaken during peace time. Despite this infamy, Holodomor is still a little known and little understood event.
Holodomor is a Ukrainian word with two parts: Holod, which means hunger, and moryty, which means a slow, cruel death. Adding to this tragedy is that outside of Ukraine, little was known about Holodomor, and even inside Ukraine, to speak of this event was forbidden.
The plan behind Holodmor was calculated and deliberate: for collectivization to be successful in Ukraine, the breadbasket of Europe, independent farmers had to be eliminated. Beginning in 1932, all food was removed by Soviet police and soldiers from targeted areas of Ukraine, and Ukraine’s borders were sealed, denying people the opportunity to search for food. At the height of the genocide, 25,000 people per day were dying from starvation. Once the campaign of engineered famine was completed, Ukraine’s religious, artistic, intellectual and political leaders were arrested, deported or executed. The russification of Ukraine followed.
For decades the Soviet government tried to conceal the atrocities it committed from the rest of the world. In Ukraine under the Soviets, any mention of the Holodomor was considered a crime against the state and subject to imprisonment, exile or execution. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the once highly classified documents of the Soviet government and communist party were opened up to researchers. Holodomor has been documented in detail by many historians and eyewitness accounts have been gathered, revealing the magnitude and the deliberate intentions of the genocide. Some of the eyewitness accounts have been gathered from survivors currently living in Edmonton.
That Holodomor was genocide is supported by incontrovertible facts established through examination of archival documents, eyewitness accounts and demographic analysis:
- farmers’ seed grain was taken from them and then all food was removed from Ukraine’s villages
- villages that did not cooperate were blacklisted, that is, these villages were surrounded by secret police, all food was removed, and anyone who tried to flee was executed
- Ukraine was the only Soviet republic where borders were sealed, denying starving people the opportunity to search for food
- The Famine Genocide targeted Ukraine as well as the Kuban region in Russia, which was predominantly settled by ethnic Ukrainians.
- Ukraine experienced a sizable loss in population while the rest of the Soviet Union showed population growth in the 1930’s. Demographic studies have shown a disproportionate loss of life in Ukraine during the 1930s compared to other parts of the Soviet Union.
Following the mass-famine was a very deliberate campaign of “russification”. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, predominant in eastern Ukraine where Holodomor was most widespread, was destroyed, priests were exiled or executed and overnight, Ukrainian Orthodox churches were reduced to rubble. Ukrainian intellectuals and artists were exiled or executed and the Ukrainian language and culture were suppressed.
Saskatchewan Catholic Schools joins the governments of Canada, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec in establishing a Holodomor Memorial Day as a way of paying tribute to the millions who died. Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba also include Holodomor as a mandatory topic to be taught in their curriculum.
- Holodomor 60 slide
- Holodomor – 19 slide PPT
- Holodomor – 60 slide PPT
- Holodomor 19 slide
- Holodomor Posters
- Holodomor Prayers of petition
- Junior High – Holodomor from Sask govt
- Junior High – Holodomor, ppt from Sask govt
- Prayer from 2011
- Prayer for the Starving
- Prayer and Power Point
- Prayer from Toronto Holodomor
- Whole School Presentation – Short -Secondary
Older Student resources
- 150 greet Flame in Vegreville despite pouring rain – May 15-28, 2008 – Ukr News
- 750 attend moving Flame ceremony at AB legis
- About Stefan Horlatsch – April 17-30, 2008 – Ukr News
- Anniversary of atrocity
- Canada’s heritage forever connected to Holodomor – Dec 9-31, 2010 – Ukr News
- CIUS director visits Ukraine – Dec 10-27, 2009 – Ukr News
- Current regime a setback for Ukraine – Aug 24, 2011 – Edm Journal
- Edm commemorates the Holodomor – Nov 27-Dec 10, 2008
- Edmonton commemorates the Holodomor – Nov 27-Dec10, 2008 – Ukr News
- Famine a symbol of man’s inhumanity
- Famine and Genocide in Ukraine 1932-1933 – Brochure
- Famine victims reburied – Nov 29, 2009 – Ukr News
- Harper falls short of calling Holodomor genocide – Nov 29-Dec12, 2007 – Ukrainian News
- Harper joins Ukr Canadians to mark 1932 famine – Nov 29, 2007 – Edm Journal
- Harper joins Ukrainian Canadians to mark 1932 famine – Nov 29, 2007 – Edm Journal
- Holocaust memorial vandalized in Lviv – Mar 29-Apr 11, 2012 – Ukr News
- Holodomor fits UN definition of genocide – May, 2008 – Edm Journal
- Holodomor Flame continues its journey – May 15-28, 2008 – Ukr News
- Holodomor Ukr Famine- Genocide 1932-33 – document
- Holodomor Ukrainian Genocide in 1932-33 – Brochure
- Interview with Stephan Horlatsch – June 26-July23, 2008 – Ukr News
- Kremlin bullied neighbours over Holodomor – Dec 9-31, 2010 – Ukr News
- MB enshrine Holodomor Comm
- Medvedev’s refusal to attend Famine
- Quebec recognizes Holodomor as genocide – June 10-23, 2010 – Ukr News (2)
- Quebec recognizes Holodomor as genocide – June 10-23, 2010 – Ukr News
- Russia’s genocide denial like Holocaust denial – Jan1-19, 2011 – Ukr News
- Scale of Great Famine unfathomable – Nov 27, 2010 – Edm Journal
- Stalin’s persecutions in Ukraine recalled – June 7 – Edm Journal
- Stalin’s persecutions in Ukraine recalled – June 7, 1998 – Edm Journal
- Stop denying Holodomor; speaker – Nov 29-Dec 12, 2007 – Ukrainian News
- The Ukr Holodomor – was it a Genocide – May 19-Jun11, 2008 – Ukr News
- There’s no doubt that Holodomor was directed
- Ukr mourn Great Famine – Nov 27, 2005 – Edm Journal
- Ukr reburies famine victims shot in Soviet era – Dec 28, 2009 – Jan 19, 2010 – Ukr News
- Ukr’s Holodomor recalled – May 2, 2008 – Edm Journal
- Ukraine famine continues to haunt survivors (2)- Nov 25, 2007 – Edm Journal
- Ukraine famine continues to haunt survivors – Nov 25, 2007 – Edm Journal
- Ukraine marks anniversary of Great Famine – Nov 26, 2006 – Edm Journal
- Ukrainian wording document (2)
- Ukrainian wording document
- Ukrainians remember Soviet famine victims – May 10, 1998 – Montreal Gazette
- Yanukovych endorsed book glorifying Stalin-era secret police – Jan 1-18, 2012 – Ukr News
- Yanukovych has to apologize
- Yanukovych pays homage to Moscow – Mar 21-29, 2010 – Ukr News
- Yushchenko honours four Ukr Albertans – Nov 26-Dec26, 2009 – Ukr News
Some viewers may be disturbed by these videos – discretion is advised
Teachers and adults, watch first to determine suitability – Not for elementary students.
Harvest of Despair
Soviet Story (trailer):