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excerpt from the Interview with BAKER, YVAN

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Date and Place of Birth: Dec. 8, 1977, Toronto, Ont. Canada  
Date of Interview: Dec. 17, 2018
Place of Interview: Toronto, Ont. Canada
Length of Interview: 50 minutes
Interviewer: Tetyana Bozhahora
Language: English


Interviewer : Do you often participate in Ukrainian community activities?

Yvan: I often do, I have for many years and I often do, so to me the ones  that I spend the most time participating in frankly are those that have to do with advancing causes in our community that I think are really important or that I am passionate about.

In terms of the events, very often, anything to do with, you know, advocacy on a cause that’s important to the Ukrainian Canadian community, that could be teaching and commemorating the Holodomor, it could be the work to build a monument which I was very proud to when I was a member of Provincial parliament to help the team at the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Toronto Branch, was trying to get that monument off the ground, eventually did, and I applaud them for the work they did ,  but that Holodomor monument is in a prominent location , it does justice, I think, it honours the victims in a beautiful, beautiful way and allows future generations of Ukrainians and other Canadians to, to commemorate those victims. Things like, Like I said, I was, when I was a member of Provincial Parliament working with Valentina Kuryliw and a number of others, uh, that have been trying to work in this building, we were able to ensure that the, uh, government of Ontario inserted, or included the Holodomor in the educational curriculum so that every young person in Ontario can now learn about the Holodomor. I think that is so, so important.  And I’m so, of all the things  that I have worked on that’s one of the things  that I’m most proud of.  And that’s . It was a team effort, led by Valentina Kuryliw.

Interviewer : Is there anything else that we haven’t mentioned that you feel is important to touch or talk about?

Yvan: I think, I think there is a lot that we can and should be proud of as, as Ukrainian Canadians and I think that if we, not just because we live in Canada and we live in a great country ,  but because we have a wonderful and rich heritage, one that is really worth celebrating but also I think we,  I, I would argue that we owe it to our parents our grandparents our great-grandparents who, who sacrificed so much for us to be here, who worked so hard, who making, suffered tremendous hardships, that we honour their memory by remembering, knowing their history, knowing their language and celebrating what, what there is to celebrate and there’s a lot to celebrate and also that we do what we can to, to help support a free, independent and prosperous Ukraine. I think that, that is something, we’re, we’re in a privileged position living here in Canada, having the freedoms that we enjoy, having access to government that we have, having the influence  frankly that we have in, in Canada, or, over, over the leadership of this country, and I think what we should, it’s important that, that we, uhm, that, that Canada does its part in supporting Ukraine. And the other thing I’ll say that, on a separate point, is that, I think that Ukraine has had a, a difficult history , a tragic history, in many many ways and you know my personal connection to that is what my grandparents and my mother and my uncle lived through in trying to come to Canada post World War II and what they witnessed and experienced but also, you know, my grandmother’s experience as a svidok* of the Holodomor