LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
UCCLA leader rejects allegation
John Granatstein is quite right in stating that the Victoria Cross won by the Ukrainian Canadian, Filip Konowal, does not belong only to our community, but belongs to all Canadians, those of Ukrainian heritage included, who do have a right to expect our nation's military treasures to be well cared for in the Canadian War Museum (August 1). Obviously, Mr. Konowal's VC wasn't.
As for Mr. Granatstein's assertion that the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association is engaged in "straight out blackmail" to get the museum to install an exhibit dealing with the internment operations, his allegation is utterly ludicrous, to say nothing of intemperate. We have always said that we would much prefer to have a permanent exhibit dealing with Canada's first national internment operations in Banff National Park or in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, although I do note that the Ottawa Citizen recently editorialized in favor of an internment exhibit at the Canadian War Museum.
Obviously Mr. Granatstein is out of step with public opinion.
Lubomyr Luciuk, Ph.D.
The writer is director of research for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Where are those tens of thousands?
I was glad to learn that Sergey Chikakov is reading The Ukrainian Weekly, and I do hope that he is an active member of our community. I would like to differ on several points made in his letter to the editor (August 15).
The community, or "hromada," in the United States does not have a "huge blind spot" regarding the newly arrived. Ukrainian communities have opened their homes and hearts to the new wave. However, many (not all) newly arrived expect to be given everything, and when they do get it, they leave. We managed to get 30 people jobs in the Chicago area, yet not one of newly arrived is active in the community.
Start a dialogue? Great, let's get started. But, many (not all) are not interested in a dialogue or becoming involved in the community. In Chicago, some would come to the meetings, find out there were no giveaways and then leave.
I resent Mr. Chikalov's exhortation "don't look down your noses at recent arrivals," and I am angry about the comment that we stay in the safety of our homes and "love Ukraine vicariously." These are counterproductive comments that show Mr. Chikakov is not familiar with the history of Ukrainian Americans. He should read the history of Ukrainian immigration by Dr. Myron Kuropas.
The Ukrainian American community had high hopes for the newly arrived from Ukraine. Everyone believed that a fresh infusion of Ukrainian blood would galvanize the communities to higher levels of activity. Alas, this didn't happen to any large degree. There are exceptions, but we do not see "tens of thousands" of new activists.
Mr. Chikakov, I suggest or rather challenge you to start a dialogue with the newly arrived. Ask your friends: the question "Why?" It's easy to blame others, but look at yourselves, first.
Roman G. Golash
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, August 22, 1999, No. 34, Vol. LXVII
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