The Ukrainian Canadian Internment was a period of confinement of "enemy aliens" during and after the First World War, spanning from 1914 - 1920, under the terms of the War Measures Act.​


Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: Correspondece - re the Internees of the 1914-18 World War, 1960

Old Age Assistance correspondence for Mr. Ivan (John) Budey, Mr. Mike Hrycaniuk, and Mr. George (Meron) Meroniuk.

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117, Vol 19, File, Correspondence re Prisoner of War 1914-19 (220), 1952

Correspondence with Mr. Stefan Balansky; Mr. Jan Facuk; and Mr. Peter Chassney in regards to their Old Age Security

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: no stamp on back of document, 1951

Internment Operations Branch Special Account and Records, 1914 - 1918 WWI, June 1951

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: 219 Blue Binder. 1951

Department of Finance, Canada and the Department of The Secretary of State discuss what should be done with the remaining unexpended balance in the open account and the disposal of the records.

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: Iwan Pluha 1914-18 World War, 1942

Correspondence from Iwan Poluha and the Assistant Deputy Custodian of Enemy Property.

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: Prisoners of 1914-1918 War, Reel: Earnings and Cash Balances (223), 1938

Statement of Earnings and Cash Subject to Claims by Ex-Prisoners of War; Proof of Figures Shown on Statement Attached with Balances in Cash Book; Statement of Earnings and Cash Subject to Claim by Ex-Prisoners of War as per Individual Ledger

Library and Archives Canada, no stamp on back of file

Various correspondence on Internee Earnings and Property. Mr. Americo Serchia and Mrs. Joseph Koenig.
List of Prisoner of War Property, claims, etc. forwarded to the Custodian of Alien Enemy Property.

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: The Custodian, Clearing, Reparations and Internment Offices 1914-18 World War, 1933

Claims by former prisoners of war for wages earned during internment or cash taken from them on arrest are still being presented. April 20, 1933.

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: no stamp on back of document, 1926

1914-1918 World War
Exhibit No. 5
Prisoners of War as per Individual Ledger A/CS - As on June 30th, 1926

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: 219 (1920's)

Property of Prisoners
34. Prisoners of war are only allowed to have in their possession such sums of money or other property as the Commandant may from time to time allow.
35. All other money or property belonging to prisoners of war will be in charge of an officer for that purpose who will keep an account.

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: Effects, 1920

List of Property of Prisoners

Internment Operations 1914 - 1920 Report by Major General William Otter, Director of Internment Operations, September 30, 1920

An Appeal to the Legislative and Executive Bodies and to our Fellow Citizens, undated but probably 1919, Library and Archives Canada, Dmytro Yanda Fonds, R16139-0-0-E.

An appeal from the Ukrainian Canadian Citizens Committee during the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: Instruction and Information re: Office Work (221). December 20, 1919

Enemy Nationals in Canada - And Their Property in Canada

Library and Archives Canada, RG 117 Vol 19, File: List of Prisoners of War 1914-18, Property, Claims, etc, (222) 1919

List of Prisoner of War Property, Claims, etc. forwarded to the Custodian of Alien Enemy Property

Borden's Breach of Faith, The Daily British Whig, September 8, 1917

Kingston's Daily British Whig admonished: "It is very probable that if this proposal becomes law, the 'alleged' foreigners and hitherto 'naturalized' Canadians will bear their reproach meekly, but they will have sown in their hearts the seeds of a bitterness that can never be extirpated. The man whose honour has been mistrusted, and who has been singled out for national humiliation, will remember it, and sooner or later it will have to be atoned for."

Henry Lambert, British Under Secretary of State, February 8, 1915, British Foreign Office 383/1

From London instructions were sent out on February 8, 1915 which called for the governments of British overseas dominions and colonies to bring their practices in regard to the treatment of "special classes" of interned enemy subjects into conformity with those pursued in Great Britain. Signing for the under secretary of state, Henry Lambert of the Colonial Office noted that "preferential treatment" should be accorded not only to "inhabitants of French extraction of Alsace and Lorraine," but also to "the following races which are considered to be hostile to Austro-Hungarian rule: Czechs, Croats, Italians (from Trieste and the Trentino), Poles, Roumanians, Ruthenes, Serbs, Slovaks, and Slovenes."

The War Measures Act, August 22, 1914, Library and Archives Canada

Note: The German word "Ruthene" was introduced in 1772 to describe the Ukrainian population of the Austro-Hungarian population, being translated into English as "Ruthenian". In Canada, "Ruthenian" preceded the use use of the word "Ukrainian."

The Hague Convention, International Committee of the Red Cross, October 18, 1907

Signed in 1907, the Hague Convention guaranteed the rights of prisoners of war held in camps. The rules of the Convention were not always or completely respected by Canada during the First World War. The Convention made a distinction between prisoners of war and civilians, but the Canadian authorities to a large degree ignored this distinction. The twenty-four camps that accommodated internees were mostly located away from cities, such as remote areas in the Rocky Mountains.

A Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette

Official publication of the Government of Canada, notably containing Orders in Council.

Orders-in-Council, Library and Archives Canada

Official publication of the Government of Canada, notably containing Orders in Council.From the outset, the Canadian government adopted many measures by Order in Council to respond to the new exigencies of war, including the restriction of some civil liberties. Canadian authorities were given the right to arrest, to detain, to censor, to exclude, to deport, to control or to capture all persons and property considered as a potential threat to Canada. Any resident not naturalized who had been a citizen of the now enemy states were considered de facto "enemy illegal residents." Some of these persons were ultimately subject to detention in camps. The War Measures Act was subsequently approved by Parliament. The Act in addition to authorizing future actions, also legitimized the decisions implemented in the early days of the war by the Privy Council (Cabinet).

Thematic Guides - Internment Camps in Canada during the First and Second World Wars, Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada holds an extensive collection of governmental and private records generally consisting of textual documents on paper or on microfilm as well as publications and films about internment camps located in Canada during both World Wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945). Please note that this guide relates mainly to the internment camps in Canada. At the end of this guide, you will find a section related to internment camps abroad.

Library and Archives Canada, Internment Camps: First World War

This guide lists the relevant sources in the Government Archives Division for the study of people who were confined in internment camps in Canada during the Fist World War. The guide contains references to German, Austrian, Hungarian, and 'Ukraihian prisoners of war. These references were retrieved from RG 2 Privy Council Office, RG 6 Secretary of State, RG 7 Gove;rnor General's Office, RG 9 Militia and Defence, RG,;L~ Parliament, RG 18 RCMP, RG 24 National Defence, RG 76 Immigration;.;RG ',117 Office of the Custodian of Enemy Property, MG 26 Borden'I>apers, and MG 30 Otter Collection. The references in this guide in,a9dt~ion to providing the appropriate RG and MG numbers also provide the volume number, file number, description of file contents,a.i1d dates.

Laying Up Trouble For The Country, Calgary Daily Herald, Jan 27, 1899

Only a few years after these Ukrainian pioneer settlers arrived in the North-West Territories, a clergyman, Father Moris, expressed his loathing for them in Calgary’s Daily Herald (January 27, 1899):

“As for the Galicians I have not met a single person in the whole of the North West who is sympathetic to them. They are, from the point of view of civilization, 10 times lower than the Indians. They have not the least idea of sanitation. In their personal habits and acts [they] resemble animals, and even in the streets of Edmonton, when they come to market, men, women, and children, would, if unchecked, turn the place into a common sewer.”

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