Yuzyk, Paul

Image - Paul Yuzyk Image - Paul Yuzyk with the Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker (1963).

Yuzyk, Paul [Юзик, Павло; Juzyk, Pavlo], b 24 June 1913 in Pinto, Saskatchewan, d 9 July 1986 in Ottawa. Scholar and Canadian senator. The son of a Ukrainian immigrant, Yuzyk was educated at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Minnesota (PH D, 1958). He taught Slavic studies and history at the University of Manitoba (1951–63) and Soviet and Eastern European studies at the University of Ottawa (1963–78). Appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1963 as a Progressive Conservative for Manitoba, Yuzyk was a major advocate of multiculturalism and a key figure in its establishment as a state policy in Canada; his maiden speech in the Senate (3 March 1964) was titled “Canada: A Multicultural Nation.” He was active in international parliamentary organizations and often represented Canada abroad. He was the first president of the Ukrainian National Youth Federation (1934–6) and headed the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre (Oseredok) in Winnipeg for many years (1955–71). His historical writings, notably The Ukrainians in Manitoba: A Social History (1953, 1977), were among the earliest efforts to present the viewpoint of Ukrainians on their history in Canada. His other works included Ukrainian Canadians: Their Place and Role in Canadian Life (1967), A Statistical Compendium on the Ukrainians in Canada, 1891–1976 (1980, with W. Darcovich), and The Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada, 1918–1951 (1981). A collection of his speeches was published in 1973 as For a Better Canada. In 2009 the Government of Canada established the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism to recognize individuals and groups who had made ‘exceptional contributions to multiculturalism and diversity’ and in 2018 it announced the Paul Yuzyk Youth Initiative for Multiculturalism to support youth and projects promoting ‘diversity and inclusion.’ Yuzyk’s papers are located at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.

[This article was updated in 2018.]

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