Description of Centre, Mission Statement and Statement of Objectives
A short history of the Ramon Hnatyshyn Canadian Studies Centre
The Ramon Hnatyshyn Canadian Studies Centre was created in 2005 in partnership with Chernivtsi National University (CNU) in Ukraine, the University of Saskatchewan (UofS) in Canada and the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine. The decision to locate the Centre in Chernivtsi comes as a result of longstanding institutional ties between the CNU and the UofS. CNU and the UofS enjoy a working relationship of more than thirty years, and, as such, lay claim to the oldest inter-university relationship between Ukraine and Canada. This relationship builds on the strong historical and cultural links that exist between Canada and Ukraine. In particular, large numbers of migrants from Bukovyna and Galicia settled at the start of the twentieth century in the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. Their descendants form a vital part of Canada’s national life, especially in the Prairie region.
Of particular note is the Hnatyshyn family, members of which migrated to Saskatchewan in 1907 from the Bukovynian village of Vashkivtsi. Succeeding in political life, initially as a member of Canada’s parliament and later government cabinet minister, Ramon Hnatyshyn was appointed in 1990 Governor General of Canada, the Queen’s representative. Intensely proud of his origins, the Rt. Hon. Ramon Hnatyshyn adopted and incorporated the Bukovynian heraldic emblem of the bull and the Ukrainian trident in the Governor General’s armorial signature. In 1993, as Canada’s head of state, he visited Bukovyna, the birthplace of parents.
In recognition of his accomplishments and underscoring the close historical connection between the oblast’ of Bukovyna and the province of Saskatchewan, both universities committed to deepen the ongoing relationship by creating and supporting the Rt. Hon. Ramon Hnatyshyn Canadian Studies Centre.
The mission of the Ramon Hnatyshyn Canadian Studies Centre is to provide an institutional framework for the study of Canada as an open, pluralist and democratic polity and society. The Centre promotes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Canada with a view to understanding and obtaining a better appreciation of principles and practices at work. Given the special relationship between Canada and Ukraine, emphasis is placed on both historical and contemporary linkages that exist between the two countries as well as issues of mutual interest, whether in the areas of society, culture, politics, business or economics.
Statement of Objectives
The objective of the Ramon Hnatyshyn Canadian Studies Centre is to make CNU the leading institution of higher learning in Ukraine in the field of Canadian Studies. The Centre will do this by: 1) deepening and expanding linkages with Canadian and regional institutions of higher learning; 2) facilitating faculty and student exchanges with Canadian institutions of higher learning; 3) disseminating the research of its faculty; 4) making available materials for the study of Canada/Ukraine by developing an up-to-date Canadian Studies Library, including online resources; 5) enhancing the student experience by actively assisting in placing students in graduate degree programs at the University of Saskatchewan and other Canadian universities while inviting Canadian scholars to teach specialized courses in Canadian Studies to CNU undergraduate students as well as offering regular courses in Canadian Studies.