David Shulist

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David Martin Shulist (Kashubian: Dawid Môrcën Szulëst) was born in Wilno, Ontario, Canada on October 14, 1951. His ancestors left Kashubia[1] (then a part of Prussia[2]) for Canada in 1858. Proud citizen of the country his great grandparents have adopted, Shulist hasn’t forgotten his Kashubian roots. Growing up bilingual (Kashubian was his first language), Shulist cultivated sincere appreciation for both, the Kashubian and Canadian cultures. Always seeking opportunities to practice his Kashubian, Shulist is a recognized name amongst Kashubs in Kashubia and around the world.


Shulist is the founder of the Wilno Heritage Society[3] established to promote the language and culture brought over by the pioneers from Kashubia. He has also instigated the Kashub Day festival, celebrated every year on the first Saturday of May. The festivities gives local Kashubs and visitors a chance to honour the Blessed Mother of Sianowo, Queen of Kashubia and celebrate Kashubian culture.


In 1990s, Shulist initiated Kashubian Embroidery[4] courses in Canadian Kashubia. Held in the local grade schools, these courses are championed by Theresa Chapeskie and bridged to the birthplace of Kashubian Embroidery, Żukowo, by Dr. Marian Jeliński.[5][6]


In 1990s, Shulist started a hockey team (Kashubian Griffins).[7] Later, Golf and Curling teams were formed to promote cultural diversity, bridge the gaps between the various cultures, and to compete in the spirit of sportsmanship as well as awareness of each other’s heritage. Shulist has founded: In addition, Shulist has founded the following organizations:

  • Opeongo Heritage Cup a Multicultural Hockey Tournament in Barry’s Bay
  • Canadian Multicultural Curling Bonspiel in Killaloe
  • Canadian Multicultural Golfing Tournament in Killaloe

In 2009, he was selected as an Olympic Torchbearer to represent Renfrew County by Warden Donald Rathwell and the Mayors of Renfrew County.

Mass Media[edit]

Along with Ray Chapeskie, Shulist hosts a radio show called “Radio Kaszëbë” - the voice of the Kashub people on the Valley Heritage Radio (98.7 FM), giving local Kashubs a voice on the airwaves.

In 2010, Shulist published www.kashub.com[8] website with the intent “to bridge all Kashubs in the world; to exchange Kashubian information and strengthen Kashubian identity.” He envisioned the portal to be “by the Kashub people, for their Kashubian culture and the whole world to enjoy.” In addition, he regularly contributes to the www.wilno.org portal.


In 2010, Shulist was elected as the Mayor of the Madawaska Valley Township,[9] strengthening ties between Wilno, Canada’s first Kashubian community, the Madawaska Valley Township.


Shulist is inspired by:

  • Prime Minister Donald Tusk.[10] As Shulist stated: “[Tusk] is the first Kashubian to be elected as a Modern World Leader.” Shulist sees Tusk as “the defender of all things Kashubian. Especially the language and the tradition of snorting tobacco.” On Sunday May 13, 2012, David had the privilege of snorting tobacco and speaking Kashubian with the Prime Minister, during his recent visit to Canada.
  • Günter Grass,[11][12] a Nobel Peace Prize[13] recipient is another of Shulist's heroes. Shulist believes that Grass helped the Kashub people to define themselves. For centuries under Polish and German influence, Kashubs were often forced to define themselves as either Poles or Germans. To Grass, “Kashubs are Kashubs,” as they are “not German enough for the Germans,” and “not Polish enough for the Polish.”

He believes that just like throughout the ages, Kashubs will withstand the winds of change and protect their identity, regardless of the challenges they are faced with.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Shulist has been repeatedly recognized by the Canadian and Polish authorities. The most prestigious recognitions include:

  • Knights Cross of order of Merit[14] (from the President of Poland Mr. Lech Kaczynski) (2010)
  • Gloria Artis Medal (from the Minister of Culture of Poland, Mr. Bogdam Zdrojewski) (2009) [15]
  • Medal and Diploma of Merit from the Kashubian Pomeranian Association of Poland[16] (2009)
  • Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Award[17] (2009)
  • Merit of the Senate of Republic of Poland Award (2008)
  • Ontario Heritage Award[18] (1999)
  • Stolem's Medal by the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association[19] (2012)


Shulist has dedicated the last couple of years to developing Kashubian dictionaries. Along with Marian Jeliński, he has published two multi-language dictionaries:

Shulist is credited with authorship of the phrase: “Wiedno Kaszëbë. Na wiedno Kaszëbi” (en. Always Kashubia. Forever Kashubians).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jan Mòrdawsczi: Geografia Kaszub/Geògrafia Kaszëb. dolmaczënk: Ida Czajinô, Róman Drzéżdżón, Marian Jelińsczi, Karól Rhode, Gdańsk Wydawn. Zrzeszenia Kaszubsko-Pomorskiego, Gduńsk, ISBN 978-83-87258-13-9
  2. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.205-212, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
  3. ^ "Wilno Heritage Society Home Page". Wilno.org. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  4. ^ "Kashubian Embroidery". Wilno.org. 2008-08-03. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  5. ^ Jeliński M.: Haft kaszubski szkoły żukowskiej. – Gdynia : "Region", 2006
  6. ^ Mariam Jeliński. Pszczelarstwo na Kaszubach. Muzeum Kasubskie, 1987 - 24 pages.
  7. ^ "Griffins TO". Wilno.org. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  8. ^ "Home". Kashub.com. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  9. ^ "Madawaska Valley". Madawaskavalley.ca. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  10. ^ "Kancelaria Prezesa Rady Ministrów". Premier.gov.pl. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  11. ^ Günter Grass: 'What Must Be Said' Poem published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  12. ^ Günter Grass. Die Blechtrommel (1959) trans. The Tin Drum (1959)
  13. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremonies". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  14. ^ "ODM of Poland: Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland". Medals.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  15. ^ "ODM of Poland: Medal for Merit to Culture "Gloria Artis"". Medals.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  16. ^ "Kaszubi.pl". Kaszubi.pl. 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  17. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Governor General's Awards". Gg.ca. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  18. ^ "The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario - Awards". Lt.gov.on.ca. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  19. ^ http://www.gazetakaszubska.pl/36886/medale-stolema-dla-davida-shulista-i-kaszubskiego-lo-w-brusach
  20. ^ "Słownik polsko-angielsko-kaszubski". The European Library. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  21. ^ http://smilesinboxes.blogspot.com/2013/07/pomiwok-or-pilgrimage.html
  22. ^ http://lccn.loc.gov/2013401033
  23. ^ http://ksow.pl/baza-dobrych-praktyk.html?tx_ksow_pi1[bdp_tags]=11&tx_ksow_pi1[_search]=Wyszukaj&tx_ksow_pi1[item]=190&cHash=8eecea4ca7

External links[edit]