Paul Yuzyk

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Paul Yuzyk
Senator for Fort Garry, Manitoba
In office
February 4, 1963 – July 9, 1986
Appointed by John Diefenbaker
Personal details
Born 24 June 1913
Pinto (near Estevan), Saskatchewan
Died July 9, 1986(1986-07-09) (aged 73)
Political party Progressive Conservative
Occupation Author, editor, professor, professor (associate) - history, teacher

Paul Yuzyk (24 June 1913 – 9 July 1986) was a Canadian historian and Senator remembered as the "father of multiculturalism."[1] He was appointed to the Canadian Senate on 4 February 1963 on the recommendation of John Diefenbaker. He sat as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party caucus until his death.

He was an associate professor of Slavic studies and professor of history at the University of Manitoba and a professor of Russian and Soviet history at the University of Ottawa. He was the author of several books including, For a Better Canada, The Ukrainians in Manitoba: A Social History, and Ukrainian Canadians: Their Place and Role in Canadian Life.

Yuzyk is remembered for being an early advocate of the concept of multiculturalism, which he first broached in a senate speech on March 3, 1963.[2] In the speech he criticized the Lester Pearson government for consecrating "Biculturalism" in the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, which Yuzyk said ignored the reality that Canada was in fact a "multicultural" society.[1]

The Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism[edit]

The Paul Yuzyk Award commemorates late Senator Yuzyk’s "pioneering legacy establishing multiculturalism as one of the fundamental characteristics of Canadian identity."[3]

In 2009, the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism was created by the Government of Canada to "recognize individuals and groups in communities across Canada who have made exceptional contributions to multiculturalism and diversity."[3] The award is presented annually for Lifetime Achievement or Outstanding Achievement. Candidates for the award must be nominated. The award recipient receives a certificate of honour and is asked to choose an eligible, non-profit organization to receive a $20,000 grant.


  1. ^ a b 'Yuzyk remembered as father of multiculturalism,' Ukrainian Weekly, 20 July 1986
  2. ^ Debates of the Senate
  3. ^ a b CHC website: Page on Paul Yuzyk Award Archived 2010-01-25 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]