The One Hundred Plaques Across Canada Initiative commemorate the 100th anniversary of Canada's first national internment operations
July 29, 2014
To mark the 100th anniversary of Canada's first national internment operations of 1914-1920, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation is unveiling 100 plaques on Friday, 22 August 2014, on the 100th anniversary of the War Measures Act.
The 100 plaques will be unveiled at 11:00 am on Friday, 22 August 2014, in Ukrainian, Croatian, Serbian, German and Hungarian churches and cultural centres, as well as, in local and regional museums and other public venues creating a wave of unveilings, moving from east to west, from coast to coast.
The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association began campaigning for official recognition in 1985. In 2005 the Internment of Persons of Ukrainian Origin Recognition Act recognized the violation of the civil rights of the people, which resulted in the establishment of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.
In 1994, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association began placing historical markers to recall the internment operations, at each of the 24 camp sites. Over the course of 20 years each internment camp location was marked. These plaques will be a memorial of all of the victims of the internment operations and a place to educate Canadians about this episode in history.
The War Measures Act provided the legal framework for the interment of thousands of innocent people: men, women, and children and declared many more as enemy aliens because of their nationality or place of birth.
The first national internment operations of 1914-1920 involved the internment of prisoners of war and thousands of civilians, most of whom were Ukrainians who came from western Ukrainian regions of Galychyna and Bukovyna which were, at that time, under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Labeled as enemy aliens, they were stripped of possessions, and subjected to other state sanctions. More than 8,500 prisoners of war and immigrants, not connected to the conflict, were sent to these camps to work on public projects such as the railroads.
This is the first time in Canadian history that any community has attempted to unveil 100 historical plaques from coast to coast at the same time. This could not happen without the support of hundreds of volunteers in 100’s of communities across the country, from Amherst, NS to Nanaimo, BC, from Grand Prairie, AB to Val D’Or, QB.
Everyone is invited on Friday August 22, 2014, at 11:00 am local time, to join in the unveiling of the plaques in their own community.
Please, come to remember.