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THE FULLNESS OF TIME: Ukrainian Stories from Alberta
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EPISODE: 11 "The Fullness of Time"
Directed by Halya Kuchmij


Ukrainian storyteller Harvey Szpak takes the viewer back to the turn of the century in Canada. In the province of Alberta we experience the life of the first Ukrainian settlers and the development of the Ukrainian communities that have enriched the western landscape.


  • Spiritual bond between the land and the settlers
  • Hardships and tragedies experienced by the early settlers to the west
  • Reasons for Ukrainian immigration


  • Immigration wave
  • Star-Edna
  • Homestead
  • Tuberculosis
  • Promised land


  • To understand the contributing factors of Ukrainian immigration
  • To appreciate the significant role the Ukrainian immigrants made in opening up and settling the west
  • To identify the hardships experienced by the early settlers


  1. On a map of Alberta, find the Szpaks area of settlement. Identify the names outside this area that might be associated with Ukrainians. How important were the Ukrainians settlements for the development of Canada's West? Repeat the same procedure for Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

  2. Analyze the poem Dancing in the Dust. In your analysis, determine what it tells the reader/listener about the early Ukrainian experiences in Canada.

  3. Listen to the story of The Missing School Teacher. Do one of the following:
    • Write a newspaper article about finding the teacher's body and the speculation about what occurred.
    • Write a newspaper article 50 years later about the story and the confession. Be sure to include the reaction of the local residents.
    • Write a 12 - line poem about the story from the perspective of the teacher's boyfriend.

  4. The style(s) portrayed of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches are unique and different. Research the history of their architecture as well as the basic beliefs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church..

  5. In small groups, determine the following:
    • How was Canada the promised land for Ukrainian immigrants prior to 1914?
    • Is it a promised land for you? Consider Canada today and its future.

  6. Listen to examples of Ukrainian folk music. What does it tell you about Ukrainian culture? Identify instruments particular to Ukrainian culture.

  7. Not all Ukrainians stayed in Canada. Some returned to the Ukraine. In a group of four, develop a dialogue of a conversation between the Oleskiws (husband and wife) and the Kiriaks (husband and wife). The Oleskiw family are returning to the Ukraine while the Kiriak family are remaining in Alberta. In your conversation, be sure to include the following:
    • What they like / dislike about Canada;
    • What the benefits are if they remain in Canada or if they return to the Ukraine;
    • A list of problems they have encountered since they have arrived in Canada;
    • The future benefits for their children in the Ukraine and in Canada.

  8. Discuss how improved farming technology affected the Ukrainian farming families in western Canada.

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