An Apology for the Doukhobors


One of the reasons members of the Christian sect known as the Sons of Freedom Doukhobors left Russia for Canada was to be rid of government interference in their lives. Nevertheless, they found themselves on a collision course with the British Columbia government in the 1950s. Today, we look at how the ramifications of that conflict are still being felt today.

Today's guest host was Jim Brown.

Part One of The Current


It's Tuesday, August 7th.

Barack Obama says more soul-searching is required about how to reduce gun violence.

Currently, The National Soul Searching Association says it will oppose any government-sponsored plan to search souls.

This is The Current.

An Apology for the Doukhobors - Former Residents Documentary

During the 1950s, Doukhobors in the Kootenay region of British Columbia rejected the provincial education system and refused to register births, marriages and deaths. They would march naked, home-school their children and set fire to buildings ...all to protest materialism, private ownership and the militarism they felt was prevalent in public education.

The province responded by forcibly removing children from their families and sending them to a dormitory in New Denver, B.C., the town where they would attend a provincially-run school. It took decades, but eventually those children would speak out publicly about abuse they say they suffered at the New Denver Dormitory.

Today, about 100 of those former residents are waiting for a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruling ...expected at any time that could compel the provincial government to apologize to them. Freelance journalist Kalyeena Makortoff spoke with three former residents of the New Denver Dormitory ... Elsie Erickson, Helen Chernoff-Freeman and Joe Sherstobitoff in her documentary.

An Apology for the Doukhobors - Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia

The stories of abused Doukhobor children are not new. In fact, in 1999, when she was still the Ombudsman of British Columbia, Dulcie McCallum conducted an investigation into the allegations of abuse. Today, McCallum is the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia and she joined us from our studio in Halifax.

This segment was produced by The Current's documentary producer, Joan Webber and Vancouver's Network Producer, Yvonne Gall.

Other segment from today's show:

Sikh Hate Crimes

Comments are closed.