Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 2.1

Dublin Core


Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 2.1


community businesses
language acquisition
indigenous peoples
ethnic stereotyping







Oral History Item Type Metadata


Kozakov, Serhiy


Margel, Joan

OHMS Object Text

5.4 Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 2.1 2004-091-0730 24:49 U2 Local Cultures farming community businesses schools language language acquisition marriage indigenous peoples immigrants ethnic stereotyping Margel, Joan Kozakov, Serhiy mp3 2004-091-0730.mp3 0 Other audio English 0 Ukrainian Relations with Other Nationalities and Indigenous People 1. Were there any relations between Ukrainians and Indigenous people? What were the attitudes toward Indigenous people? 2. Do you remember marriages between Ukrainian and native people? 3. Did Ukrainians have stereotypes about other nationalities? 4. Comments about the French immigrants in Peace River area? They talk about the relationship between Ukrainians and Indigenous people when Joan was growing up. Joan says that the Indigenous community traded with the Ukrainians in Rycroft, and that fathers would bring their families over to clear Ukrainian land. The kids would play together, and people were friendly even though they could not communicate in the same language. She says that she heard people would trade things like bread for moccasins, which were especially good in the winter. Joan says that some people got their moccasins from the Hudson's Bay Company. Joan talks about the differences between Indigenous and Métis people in the area, and says that the Beaver (Dane-zaa) people lost a lot of their people during the 1918 flu epidemic. The girls did not intermarry with the white population and the people were highly respected. Joan talks about children from the other Indigenous communities and their relationship with the Hudson's Bay Company. She talks about the distinctions between Indigenous and Métis people that she heard during her interviews, and recounts a story about St. Pierre Ferguson. They then talk about stereotypes that Ukrainians had about other ethnic groups. Joan shares some stereotypes and sentiments about the British and the Polish. She is asked about the French, but says that they lived too far away, in Falher, Girouxville, and Donnelly. She talks about the French boys, and says that they played baseball and hockey against the Ukrainian and local boys. Joan says that Rycroft, where she lived, was a railroad centre. She talks about the control of the church in the Franco-Albertan villages, and notes that the people in those communities only spoke French. She jokes about how now the Ukrainian girls in Rycroft are all marrying the French boys. 53.550, -113.469 12 Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 55.750, -118.719 12 Locality: Rycroft, Alberta, Canada 55.733, -117.203 12 Locality: Falher, Alberta, Canada 55.750, -117.336 12 Locality: Girouxville, Alberta, Canada 55.723, -117.105 12 Locality: Donnelly, Alberta, Canada Joan Margel for the Alberta Women's Memory Project Joan Margel fonds 587 Christmas at School and Ukrainian Instruction at School 1. What kind of skits/plays did children perform at the school Christmas concert? Who chose what to present? Where there any pieces in the language other than English? 2. Did you have any after-class instruction in Ukrainian at your school? 3. Observations of the learning and use of Ukrainian by interviewee/her siblings in the family. They talk about Joan's school concerts from when she was growing up. Joan tells a story about a teacher's skit about manners when drinking coffee. She talks more about the performances, and how the performance topics were chosen. She says the success of the teacher depended on how good the Christmas concert was. They talk about the language of the performances, and Joan says that they were always English, although one of her teachers made them do Ukrainian dancing. She says that the Kushneryks played music for performances. Joan says that there was a preference for British English because Canada was under British rule, and notes that Canadian citizenship was not introduced until 1947. She says that there is still a strong British influence, but that things are changing. She then shares a story about her own teaching experience and celebrating the students' cultures. They talk about Ukrainian lessons at school, and Joan shares that her school did not have Ukrainian lessons. She talks about a man named Mr. Green in a neighbouring town called Greenway, who taught English after school for adults. She says that Saskatchewan had Ukrainian teachers in Ukrainian schools, but that did not happen in Alberta. Joan says that she is unable to read and write Ukrainian, but was in the Dnipro Ukrainian choir. She talks about being a third-generation Canadian and the only person in her family who speaks Ukrainian. Joan talks about her brothers, who live in Rycroft, and says that she did not use Ukrainian after she left the farm at age eight. She talks about her Ukrainian returning when she visited Ukraine. 55.750, -118.719 12 Locality: Rycroft, Alberta, Canada 1102 Community Services 1. Police station, making a homebrew. 2. What services and businesses were available in your community? They talk about community services. Joan says that there was no police station where she lived, but there was one in Spirit River. She says that the only thing the community feared was that they would be caught making horilka, a home-brew. She talks about her mother making horilka, and her uncle selling it at local dances. Joan tells a story about the police burning a neighbour's straw pile, believing that's where the horilka was kept. The communities were terrified of the police. She says that in terms of businesses, there was a man who was a good blacksmith, and a Kushneryk man was the only one with a tractor so there would be trades for services. She says there were also men that were good at carpentry, including her uncle Mike. She talks about the community bartering system, which she says is similar to what she saw in Ukraine. 55.783, -118.836 12 Locality: Spirit River, Alberta, Canada 1303 Farming During the Depression 1. Did you hire any farm hands? Comments about hoboes. 2. Comments about relief for farmers in the Rycroft area during the time of Depression. Joan says that her home was too far out of the way to attract farm hands and people looking for work as a result of the Great Depression. She talks about old Ukrainian men who were homeless and were accepted by the community, and tells a story about a homeless man who her father found in their barn. She says that the men helped people out and in return received food and other necessities, moving from farm to farm. They talk about the relief for farmers during the Depression in Spirit River, and Joan says that people paid back the goods they were given (sugar, salt, pepper, etc.) by building roads. She says that the main thing about the roads was to put a ditch in so that the water would go into the ditch and not the road. 55.783, -118.836 12 Locality: Spirit River, Alberta, Canada No transcript. audio 0



“Interview with Joan Margel (née Bayers) 2.1,” Local Cultures, accessed September 23, 2023,