Pylypow, Ivan

Pylypow, Ivan [Пилипів, Іван; Pylypiv or Pylypiw, Pillipiw; né Пилипівський; Pylypivsky], b 7 July 1859 (28 September in some sources) in Nebyliv, Kalush county, Galicia, d 10 October 1936 near North Bank, Alberta. Pioneer settler. Pylypow, along with Wasyl Eleniak, another peasant from Nebyliv, has been regarded as the first Ukrainian to come to Canada; he arrived in 1891 to investigate the suitability of the country for settlement. After returning to Galicia early in 1892 for his family, he was arrested by the Austrian authorities on charges of sedition and inciting people to emigrate, and spent four months in jail. He returned to Canada in 1893 and took out his first homestead near Bruderheim, Alberta, before settling in Alberta’s Edna-Star colony in 1894. Pylypow acquired growing stature after his death, once an article by Ivan Bobersky in the 1937 Kanadiis’kyi farmer almanac established him and Eleniak as the ‘first’ Ukrainians in Canada. (The story was subsequently reiterated during the 1940s in popular works about Ukrainian-Canadian life by Vasyl Chumer and Vera Lysenko.) Pylypow’s house was moved to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village near Edmonton in the 1970s and preserved as a historical monument. His life is chronicled in Marshall Nay’s Trailblazers of Ukrainian Emigration to Canada: Wasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pylypow (1997).

[This article was updated in 2010.]

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