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The Pattern of Ukrainian
Immigration and Settlement

The Prairies remained relatively empty until 1896. Between 1874 and 1896 an average of only 3,000 homestead entries were being made yearly and very many of these were cancelled shortly thereafter. The first transcontinental railway - the CPR - had been completed in 1885, but fear of grasshopper infestations, global economic depression, lacklustre promotion and the fact that the railroads had yet to select the lands to which they were entitled, all combined to reduce immigration to an insignificant trickle. Although a few

Ukrainian settlers arrived between 1891 and 1895, organized Ukrainian emigration from Galicia and Bukovyna to Canada began in 1896 and did not assume mass proportions prior to 1898.

Mrs. Fred (Sophie) Hrynchuck, Ukrainian settler, Redwater, Alberta, 1912. Born in Galicia, 1891.

When they arrived, Ukrainian immigrants did not settle on the open prairie lands which stretched across the southern half of the Prairie provinces. Instead they settled on lands in the "park belt" and forest areas further north. The oldest and largest Ukrainian settlement on the Prairies, the one in east central Alberta, straddled the frontier between the "park belt" and the forest region. By 1916, it covered an area of about 2500 square miles.

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  • Ivan Pylypow and Wasyl Eleniak Come to Alberta - Who were the first Ukrainian settlers, and why did they head for Alberta? Hear the story, now!
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  • Ukrainian Settlement, Part Two - Hear the story of Ivan Pylypow, one of the first Ukrainian settlers in Alberta.
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  • Ukrainian Settlement, Part Three: Joseph Oleskiw - Joseph Oleskiw helped his fellow immigrants come to Alberta. Hear how he did it!
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            For more on the history of settlement in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.