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Shelter -- Pioneer Homes in the West (continued)
Clearing the brush and trees was a very difficult and tiring job for everyone. The first months were spent clearing land and planting crops where they could. Women worked as hard to cook and clean and care for the children as they did in the fields and stables. They cleared brush, planted seeds, helped with the harvest and looked after the hens, pigs and cows. Many men left their homesteads to work in lumber camps, coal mines or on the railways. They wanted to earn money to buy more farm tools and food. The women and children stayed behind on their homesteads, and were overworked and often lonely.
Ukrainian Farm Communities
Life in their new land included finding time for families to worship and gather as a community. Ukrainian settlers built distinctive churches in the West, easily recognizable by their onion-shaped domes. Churches were centres of community life, as were the newspapers and schools, where children learned English and Ukrainian. People wanted their children to speak Ukrainian, to keep their culture alive. In their community centres, schools and churches, people gathered to celebrate weddings, attend funerals, share food, learn about their history, and share the joys and sorrows of their new land.
What were some of these sorrows? Some farmers were not successful. They gave up their land and moved to cities to work as labourers. Some people, especially English-speaking Canadians, treated Ukrainians disrespectfully simply because they were distinctive. The newcomers wore unique clothing, ate foods that were not common then, did not speak English or French, and attended their own churches. Some Canadians were hostile and discriminatory toward them.
discrimination/discriminatory: treating a person or group unfairly, especially because of race, ethnicity, age or gender