After reading the Stolen Child by local author Marsha Forchuck Skrypuch (book # 38), Erin and I were privileged to attend today’s launch of her newest novel, the Dance of the Banished. This book was celebrated, along with the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the 100th anniversary of Canada’s first national interment camps, at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. John in Brantford. One hundred plaques were being unveiled today across Canada at 1100 hours.
During his address, the Father of the Ukrainian church shared that “we need to remember history and sometimes it is not very pleasant”. This was in reference to the Ukrainian and Armenian people who travelled to freedom in Canada yet ended being labeled as the very people that they had escaped from. During a dark part of Canadian history, 100 years ago, these immigrants were rounded and placed in internment camps. While the seriousness of these camps was commemorated, Dave Levac, MPP (Speaker of the House) shared that the celebration was about the “power to overcome and never give up” and how it is important for Canada to acknowledge what happened, apologize and then bring the communities together. We enjoyed the dedication of the plaque, which included singing and prayer in Ukrainian, complete with incense and holy water.
Forchuck Skrypuch has done a great deal of research into her novels and she shared that although this new book is fiction, “every single thing in my book happened”. Erin was thrilled to have her Stolen Child signed and leave with 3 newly autographed books. I know that we will both enjoy these books and learn about Canadian and world history along the way. Look for a future blog post about these books coming soon!
Congratulations Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch! Your novels honour history in a way that emphasizes hope, forgiveness and perseverance while reinforcing that we need to learn from this unfortunate history to ensure that it does not repeat itself. We are looking forward to reading your newest novel!