Collecting Stories

According to Baba: A Collaborative Oral History of Sudbury’s Ukrainian Community views community as an ongoing process that is mediated through a range of conflicting and converging factors, which change over time, across space, and between generations. Sensitive to this and other important variables, like gender, ethnicity, class, region, and age, this website examines how Catholic, Orthodox, nationalist, and progressive Ukrainian men, women, and children, both immigrants and those of Ukrainian descent, formed a distinct ethnic community in the Sudbury region between 1901 and 1939. It demonstrates how the community developed in this period, paying particular attention to the ways that identities, social networks, and power relations impacted its evolution over time. Moreover, this website depicts the ways in which Canadians perceived and treated Sudbury’s Ukrainians. Catholic, Orthodox, nationalist, and progressive Ukrainians, Sudburians, and the mining companies that operated in and around the region imagined, negotiated, and experienced community in a variety of conflicting and converging manners. In this regard, community served to include, exclude, nurture, and alienate those who lived both within and outside of this northern immigrant community.

This story is told through critical theoretical and methodological approaches to personalized scholarship, with the goal of redefining what constitutes a community study. The subjective and rigorously researched narrative not only provides a social history of this ethnic community, but also an epistemological discussion about the challenges of practicing oral history.