Leah Hrycun recipient of Stasiuk Award for the Study of Indigenous-Ukrainian Relations

On the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (30 September 2021) and during the fiftieth year of official multiculturalism in Canada, the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies announced the creation of the Stasiuk Award for the Study of Indigenous-Ukrainian Relations in Canada. The institute is now pleased to report that Leah Hrycun was selected to receive this award.


Hrycun is a second year PhD student at the Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta, and has spent most of her life in Amiskwaciwâskahikan, also known as Edmonton. Of Ukrainian, German, and Jewish ancestries, Hrycun’s current research seeks to recover narratives of Indigenous-Ukrainian relations in east central Alberta (where some of her forebears settled) in the hope that it will stimulate dialogues about the shared histories of these lands. It will also address the question of why the presence of Indigenous peoples and land in Ukrainian Canadian histories have been largely overlooked. In the process, Hrycun aims to redress Indigenous erasure in Ukrainian settler histories and ultimately provide space for Ukrainian Canadians to move toward being in good relations with Cree, Nakota, Dene, Métis, and other Indigenous people.


During the course of the project, Hrycun will interview Indigenous people, Ukrainian-Canadian settlers, and Indigenous folks who also share Ukrainian ancestry. She will also be carrying out research in the Provincial Archives of Alberta and several smaller archives across east central Alberta, gathering stories of Indigenous-Ukrainian interactions. These stories would be told in a travelling exhibition with the research participants, a planned outcome of the project.


The institute congratulates Leah Hrycun as the recipient of the Stasiuk Award for the Study of Indigenous-Ukrainian Relations in Canada! Her project is a timely one as Canadians debate what Canada is, what it means to be a treaty people, and how to build a better relationship between settler communities and Indigenous nations.