Fonds MSS 075 - Michael Ewanchuk fonds

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Michael Ewanchuk fonds

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  • 1897-2013 (Creation)

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Physical description

11.665 m of textual records.
2243 photographs.
15 videocassettes.
105 audio cassettes.

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Biographical history

Born in 1908 in Gimli, Manitoba, Ewanchuk was the son of pioneer settlers Wasyl and Paraska Ewanchuk. Upon graduating from Gimli High School he worked at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit and attended the Detroit Institute of Technology and Detroit City College (now Wayne State University). In 1930 he returned to Manitoba, studied at Wesley (United) College and the Provincial Normal School in Winnipeg, and entered the teaching profession. He received his B.A., B.Ed., and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Manitoba. Upon completion of his service with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1946, he was appointed an Inspector of Schools, the first Ukrainian Manitoban to receive such an appointment. Ewanchuk served on various curriculum committees and was chairman of a committee that organized the introduction of Ukrainian instruction in the high schools of Manitoba. He was elected president of the Canadian Association of School Superintendents and Inspectors and for several years was a member of the Educational Showplace Committee in Toronto.

For his work as an educator Ewanchuk was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Winnipeg and an honorary Doctor of Canon Law degree by St. John’s College (University of Manitoba.) Interested in oral history, Ewanchuk conducted a series of interviews in the 1930's with Ukrainian seniors and began writing oral histories. He also wrote articles and reports for several Ukrainian papers, notably, the Ukrains'kyi Holos (Ukrainian Voice), the American Svoboda, and the Ukrainian Weekly. He later published several books on Ukrainians, including Spruce, Swamp, and Stone: A History of the Pioneer Ukrainian Settlements in the Gimli Area (1977), Vita: A Ukrainian Community (1977), Pioneer Profiles: Ukrainian Settlers in Manitoba (1981), Hawaiian Ordeal: Ukrainian Contract Workers 1897-1910 (1986), Pioneer Settlers: Ukrainians in the Dauphin Area, 1896-1926 (1988), East of the Red : v. 1. Early Ukrainian settlements, 1896-1930 and v. 2. Early Ukrainian settlements north of the Dawson Trail (1998), Vertical Development I-III (1998-2002), and Growing up on a Bush Homestead (2003).

Michael Ewanchuk passed away on August 26, 2004

Custodial history

The earliest accessions of the fonds (A90-32, A94-03, A99-72, A02-19, A02-33) were donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Michael Ewanchuk in 1990, 1994, 1999, and 2002.
The A04-129 and A06-55 accruals were donated by Ewanchuk's nephew, Bob Bohonos, in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
The A12-76 and A14-80 accruals were donated by John Lehr in 2012, and 2014 respectively.

Scope and content

The A90-32, A94-03, A99-72, A02-19, and A02-33 accessions contain both personal and business records reflecting Ewanchuk's career as both an educator and writer. Included are brochures, correspondence, and clippings regarding his work with the School Board as well as professional certificates held by his wife, Muriel Ewanchuk (ne Smith), handwritten and partially typed manuscripts of East of the Red, Spruce, Stone and Stamp, Pioneer Settlers: Ukrainians in the Dauphin Area 1896-1926, Pioneer Profiles: Ukrainian Settlers in Manitoba, Vertical Development Volumes 1 & 2, Vita: A Ukrainian Community, Monakh Makarii Makarenko, and East of the Red: Volumes 1 & 2. In addition to textual material, the collection contains 129 photographs which were included in Dr. Ewanchuk's various publications. In addition, 56 audio recordings with Ukrainian pioneers were included in these accessions.

The A04-129 accession consists of Michael Ewanchuk's papers pertaining to his career as the Inspector of Schools, educator and organizer of the Ukrainian curriculum at the public schools. The fonds also represents his vast interest in Ukrainian Canadian settlement in Manitoba. It contains biographical information including his degrees, numerous awards and recognitions, correspondence, Ukrainian Canadian personality files, manuscripts - Vertical Development II-III, Growing up on the Bush Homestead, newspaper articles, book reviews, newspaper clippings, scrap books, information on various Ukrainian organizations, and 1192 photographs, postcards, illustrations, and slides depicting lives of Ukrainian pioneers - farms, churches, schools, organizations. The tape collection consists of 34 audio recordings of Michael Ewanchuk's interviews and comments on the life of Ukrainian pioneers in Manitoba. The A.06-55 accession consists of Michael Ewanchuk's papers pertaining to his career as the Inspector of Schools, educator and organizer of the Ukrainian curriculum at the public schools. The photograph collection consists of 903 photographs pertaining to his early years in Gimli, as well as to his marriage to his wife Muriel (nee Smith). Also included are 15 videocasettes of his visits to Ukraine, and 15 audio recordings pertaining to this visit.

The A12-76 accession contains records pertaining to Michael and Muriel Ewanchuk, as well as his parents Wasyl and Paraska Ewanchuk and other members of the Ukrainian diaspora in Manitoba, collected by John Lehr and David McDowell as part of their research for their biographical book, "Trailblazers: The Lives and Times of Michael Ewanchuk and Muriel (Smith) Ewanchuk" (Winnipeg: Carpathia Publishers, 2011). The collection includes original documents collected by Lehr and McDowell for their manuscript (including correspondence, memoirs, farm records, business and financial records, receipts, passports and naturalization records, and obituaries), correspondence, secondary research material, and photographic material. Some of the records appear to have been assembled by Michael for his own research.

The A.14-80 accession contains some family records, and memoirs, as well as Ewanchuk's military (RCAF) records, and photographs.

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Physical condition

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Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on this material with the exception of one confidential folder in the A.04-129 accession, which is restricted.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Users must abide by relevant copyright legislation.

Finding aids

Printed finding aids are available in the Archives reading room.
A finding aid for accessions 2006-055, A2012-076 and A2014-080 can be generated from this description.
On-line finding aids for the remaining accessions are available at the links below: MSS 75, PC 96, TC 105 (A90-32, A94-03, A99-72, A02-19, A02-33) MSS 75, PC 96, TC 105 (A04-129)

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Digitized Material Prairie Immigration Experience

Related materials


Further accruals to this fonds are expected.

Alternative identifier(s)

Photograph Collection

PC 96

Tape Collection

TC 105

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