Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Michael Ewanchuk fonds

Michael Ewanchuk in 1941, Bachelor of Education,
University of Manitoba
(The Michael Ewanchuk fonds MSS 75, PC 96 - U of M Archives & Special Collections)

Born in 1908 in Gimli, Manitoba, Michael Ewanchuk was the son of pioneer settlers. Upon graduating from Gimli High School, he worked at Ford's in Detroit, and attended the Detroit Institute of Technology and Detroit City College (now Wayne State University). He received his B.A., B.Ed., and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Manitoba. He later received two honorary Doctoral degrees from the University of Manitoba (St. John's College), and the University of Winnipeg. Upon completion of his service with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1946, he was appointed Inspector of Schools. 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 member of the Educational Showplace Committee in Toronto. Interested in oral history, Ewanchuk conducted a series of interviews in the 1930's with Ukrainian seniors and began writing oral histories. In the 1970s and 1980s , he continued to conduct futher interviews with Ukrainian Canadian pioneers.  Those chosen by Dr. Ewanchuk to be interviewed included: both women and men; people of different strata of society; and individuals who settled or lived in various regions of Manitoba (for example, the Ethelbert – Dauphin Region, the Interlake; and the Vita area).

Dr. Ewanchuk began to donate portions of his archives to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in the 1990s, and continued to do so, up until his passing in 2004. The fonds is organized in several accessions, and includes textual reocrds (including correspondence, drafts of his many publications on Ukrainian pioneer life in Manitoba, etc.); audio recordings of the pioneer interviews conducted in the  1970s, and 1980s; and a large photograph collection (containing family, community and historical photographs).  The Michael Ewanchuk fonds is available to view in the U of M Archives & Special Collections, 330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library ( MSS 75, A.90-32, A.94-03, A.99-72, A.02-19, A.02-33, A.04-129, A.06-55, PC 96, TC 105). In addition, a portion of the Ewanchuk photographs were digitized, and are available on the Archives' Prairie Immigration Experience's website.