Halyna Chomiak Freeland

She was the first resident woman to practice law in the Peace River Judicial District.

Halyna headed the establishment of a new legal system in Ukraine and participated in drafting the Constitution of Ukraine.

1946 – Born Halyna Chomiak, in Germany 1946 - Died 2007
Her family was displaced from Ukraine during WWII
1948 – Emigrated to Canada, settled in Edmonton, AB

  • 1970 – Graduated from Faculty of Law, University of Alberta.

In law school she met and married Donald Freeland and articled with her father-in-law Wilbur Freeland, a prominent lawyer in the Peace District.

  • 1971 – Admitted to the Alberta Bar
  • 1971 – 1977 – Practiced law in Peace River, she had a busy criminal and civil practice, as a partner in the firm Freeland and Co.

She took an active part in the local Legal Aid Committee, and the Leagal aid Society of Alberta. She supported the New Democratic Party and was instrumental in establishing the first Daycare Society in Peace River. She founded the Peace River Ukrainian Society and taught Ukrainian language classes.

  • 1977–1990s – She moved to and practiced in Edmonton.
  • 1979 Halyna played an instrumental role in the passing of the Matrimonial Property Act for the province of Alberta. Under the laws of the time a woman’s domestic duties were deemed to have contributed nothing to the economic worth of the property. The new act changed that.
  • She practiced criminal defense work on Whyte Avenue
  • 1988 - She was the New Democratic candidate for Edmonton Strathcona in the Federal Election. She involved the largest number of Volunteers ever in a Canadian federal election campaign.

Halyna was one of the founders of Hromada Housing Co-op in Old Strathcona, she founded a feminist bookstore, and in 1981 – 1987 taught courses on feminist theory and women and the law at the U of A. In 1976 she help found the UofA’s Canadian Institute for Ukrainian studies.

  • 1992 – 2002 Halyna moved to Ukraine and headed the establishment of a new legal system. She participated in drafting the Constitution of Ukraine and its Civil and Criminal Procedure Codes

Justice on the Peace, Ernest A. Marshall, Juriliber, 2003, pgs -292 -293