Ukrainian National Federation

Ukrainian National Federation (Українське національне об’єднання; Ukrainske natsionalne obiednannia, or УНО; UNO). A national organization of Ukrainians in Canada established in Edmonton in 1932 by members of the Ukrainian War Veterans’ Association of Canada who were seeking a means of expanding the base of support for the Ukrainian nationalist cause in Europe. Major figures in the association during its early years included Volodymyr Kossar, Alexander Gregorovich, Tymish Pavlychenko, and Mykhailo Pohoretsky, the editor of its official newspaper, Novyi shliakh. Although it had greatest appeal for Ukrainians who had immigrated to Canada during the interwar period, UNO had some success in drawing the Canadian-born into its ranks. It grew throughout the 1930s and 1940s and eventually established 91 branches, with major bases of strength in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. It also established the Ukrainian Women's Organization of Canada (OUK) and the Ukrainian National Youth Federation of Canada (MUNO) as auxiliary bodies. During the late 1930s UNO’s connections with European-based Ukrainian groups (particularly the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) became an issue of concern to the Canadian authorities, although the group was never subjected to the damaging public scrutiny experienced by its USA counterpart, the Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine. In 1940 UNO became a founding member of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (now Ukrainian Canadian Congress). In the postwar period UNO aligned itself politically with the OUN (Melnyk faction) and took a significant portion of the new wave of Ukrainian immigrants into its ranks. The tensions caused by the group’s growing domination by the Melnykites led to an internal struggle in 1960–1, which resulted in the expulsion of a number of well known old-time UNO supporters. In 1998, the group elected a non-Melnykite executive. UNO’s cultural-educational program has included Ukrainian language schools, summer camps for youth, and folk dance groups and choirs, the best known being the Koshetz Choir in Winnipeg. It has also sponsored higher-education courses for its cultural activists and organized the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre (Oseredok) in Winnipeg in 1944. In 1980 the federation had 56 branches and about 6,200 members.

Knysh, Z. (ed). Na shliakhu do natsional’noï iednosty: Iuvileinyi zbirnyk UNO Kanady, 1932–1982, 2 vols (Toronto 1982)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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