e-Poshta | 28Jan2008 | Myroslaw Prytulak

Toronto District School Board ignores the Holodomor

Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 1:30 pm www.google.ca listed 113,000 and www.yahoo.com 517,000 places in literature devoted to Holodomor (the 1932-33 Famine-Genocide in which the evil forces of Communism starved to death 7-10 million Ukrainians).

Indeed, over 40 countries have already recognized this, perhaps the greatest crime against humanity in the entire history of mankind, as Genocide.

I was, therefore, stunned to discover that the School Trustees of the Toronto District School Board unceremoniously decreed to exclude this horrific tragedy from its GENOCIDE: HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY IMPLICATIONS course intended for high school students under its jurisdiction.

Obviously, the School Board's decision will not only not eradicate the Famine-Genocide from any credible history book, but rather it will instead only unveil to the entire learned world its gross ignorance of the past. This decision will also desecrate the graves of 7-10 million starved-to-death Ukrainians, and ridicule and humiliate some 67 million Ukrainians scattered throughout the world, especially the 1.25 million Ukrainian Canadians, 100,000 of whom happen to be residents of the Toronto area.

In view of all these, then, wouldn't it be wise for the Board to reconsider its decision, or at least rationally explain how it was reached?

Myroslaw Prytulak
Windsor, Ontario

[W.Z. E-Poshta has been spearheading this "action item" to encourage Ukrainian organizations and individuals to protest the Toronto School Board decision to exclude the Holodomor (the Ukrainian famine-genocide of 1932/33) from its new course on genocide. Appended below is an excerpt from the previous edition of e-POSHTA (January 26, 2008) describing the issue.

Also, see
- Holodomor absent from CBC discussion of genocide, e-POSHTA, Jan. 03, 2008 and
- The Ukrainian famine is not one of the genocides on Toronto highschool curriculum, e-POSHTA, Dec. 24, 2007]

e-Poshta | 26Jan2008 | Toronto Holodomor Committee

The Toronto District School Board, with the approval of the Ministry of Education of Ontario is offering a new locally developed course for high school students in September 2008: Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications. A general overview on what constitutes a genocide will be studied and three genocides will be featured and taught: the Holocaust, Armenian and Rwandan. Other genocides may be explored as independent study units by students who are interested.

At no time was the Holodomor considered as a possible genocide to be taught through the regular curriculum. The above mentioned communities were contacted for resources, but not the Ukrainian community in Toronto. Even the extensive bibliography lacks a fair account of the Holodomor and is very slanted towards selected units.

Canada is the home of 1,250,000 Canadians of Ukrainian origin, which is a sizable number, most of whom are Canadian born. Approximately 100,000 of these Ukrainians live in the Toronto area, with quite a few new arrivals from Ukraine. Students of Ukrainian background attend TDSB schools, where they cannot learn about one of the greatest tragedies of the Twentieth Century, the tragedy of their own people, the Holodomor. The TDSB wants to show it is sensitive to all Canadians and their specific needs in their schools. The concerns of our children and our community are just as important as those of others. The suffering of one group of people is not more important than the suffering of others. Denying that suffering has left the Ukrainian community with no option but to fight for the right to be heard and not be denied. Denying the Holodomor is an act of cowardice and insensitivity. Acknowledgment of the genocide against Ukrainians in 1933 will commence to heal the yet open wounds that have plagued our community for 75 years.

The Holodomor was denied by the Soviets, ignored by the West, and now, in this day and age, is cold hard fact.

We deserve to be heard and have our tragic history of up to 10,000,000 victims to be acknowledged and taught in our schools. We have been victims long enough. The TDSB should hear our concerns. Please write a letter or fill out this form:
Request for Reconsideration of a Learning Resource/ Curriculum
and fax to the TDSB at 416 626-7534

Email or call your School trustee (see the list below) and the UCC office at: [email protected]

Thank you for coming forth.

Slava Ukraini.
Toronto Holodomor Committee