The Indigenous Ukrainian Relationship Building Initiative is a joint initiative between the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre at MacEwan University and the Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta. Read more: About

Upcoming events

A roundtable discussion
jointly organized by the Indigenous Ukrainian Relationship Building Initiative and
Punctuate! Theatre.

Participants: Myrna Kostash, Naomi McIlwraith, Matthiew Mckenzie and Mariya Khomutova, facilitated by Lianna Makuch.

The May 7, 2023 discussion event is open to the public. If you have any questions, contact us at

Past events

askîy / земля / the land

kayâs: у далекому минулому: Long Ago On Our Lands

Date: September 15, 2021

Speakers (click here to read speakers’ biographies):

  • Dr. Elder Francis Wiskeyjack, KW Indigenous Centre, MacEwan
  • Chief Greg Desjarlais, Frog Lake First Nation
  • Dr. John-Paul Himka, University of Alberta
  • Matt Hiltermann, Métis Nation of Alberta – Region 3

Moderator: Chelsea Vowel

To understand where we are today, and where we will be in the future, we must understand the past. Before Ukrainian settlers immigrated to the prairies, what Indigenous land-based practices and relationships existed here? What were Ukrainian land-based practices and relationships in the Ukrainian homelands?

Watch the recording of the event.

otâkosîhk mîna anohc: вчора і сьогодні: Yesterday and Today On These Lands

Date: October 20, 2021


  • Myrna Kostash
  • Chelsea Vowel

Moderated by Lindy Ledohowski (biography)

Chelsea Vowel will speak about what social and legislative forces impacted Indigenous peoples and Ukrainian settlers within a prairie-specific context, and how these forces influenced land-based practices and relationships. How does this colonial history continue to influence relationships to land today?

Myrna Kostash will speak about what she learned from re-examining her grandparents’ lives in the course of writing her forthcoming book, Ghosts in a Photograph: A Memoir. Her forebears were part of the first wave of immigration from Galicia in the early 1900s and had varying experiences as settlers in Alberta. More than a century later, Kostash brings her own perspective as a writer and granddaughter. 

View the recording of the event.

nîkânihk: майбутнє: Our Futures On These Lands

Date: November 17, 2021

Speakers: Barry Bilinsky, Leah Hrycun, Leon Hunter, Tara Sliwkanich

Round table discussion moderated by Chelsea Vowel

What kinds of land-based practices and relationships should be re-established from kayâs/у далекому минулому/long ago; what kinds of innovative responses to colonial pressures from otâkosîhk mîna anohc/вчора і сьогодні/yesterday and today,  will continue to be useful into the future? What kinds of interventions can Indigenous peoples and Ukrainian settlers make today that will sow seeds for the kind of future we want our descendants to live in?

View the recording of the event.

See more past events on the Resources page.