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The migration of the Sons of Freedom into the Lower Mainland of British Columbia Seebaran, Roopchand B. 1965

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THE MIGRATION OF THE SONS OF FREEDOM INTO THE LOWER MAINLAND OF BRITISH COLUMBIA The Vancouver Experience (I963). by ROOPCHAND B. SEEBARAN Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in the School of Social Work Accepted as conforming to the standard required for the degree of Master of Soaial Work School of Social Work 1965 The University of British Columbia ( In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Li b r a r y s h a l l make i t fr e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for s c h olarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or pu b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. School of Social Work The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8 , Canada. ( i i i ) ABSTRACT This study is primarily concerned with a description of the events that occurred in Vancouver in the year 1963, when a group of Sons of Freedom left the town of Hope and arrived in the city of Vancouver. While the Sons of Freedom have had a long history of migration their trek into a large western city such as Vancouver was a unique phenomenon. The purpose of this document was to record the activities of the Sons of Freedom and the response of lay and voluntary groups as well as the reactions of civic and provincial governments in connection with the Freedomites. Such a recording was seen to have historic value and would also serve as another frame of reference on Sons of Freedoms affairs. The method used was primarily individual and : group interviews. The writer attempted to ignore previous issues and problems of this group, and focussed mainly on the collection of factual information from people who had come into contact with this group during their stay in Vancouver. Several Sons of Freedom were interviewed - youths and elderly people, male and female. The writer also conducted an attitude survey of a random sample of people (75) in Vancouver. The study revealed that while in Vancouver, the Freedomites encountered a range of attitudes (including curiosity, hostility, and indifference) from the Vancouver public. The Sons of Freedom had to face several problems in Vancouver and they dealt with most of these very well. Perhaps the most significant finding of this study was that the group seemed to respond fairly well to the work of the Committee for the Welfare of Sons of Freedom Children. The- committee was able to exhort the Freedomites to attend school. The role and consequence of the Committee*s work i n dealing with some of the concerns of the Sons of Freedom in Vancouver, may very well suggest that a bridge of this nature is the answer to an understanding and an amelioration of some of the cold conditions that now prevail between this group and the government of British Columbia. (iv) AG KNOWLED GMENT5 I am indebted to many people who took time from busy schedules to share with me their experiences during the Sons of Freedom^ stay in Vancouver. A few cannot be identified either because of their positions or because of the nature of their contributions. A complete listing of the people to whom I became indebted in the course of this exploration would therefore be imposs-ible. I do wish however to express my gratitude to a l l of them. Among the Sons of Freedom themselves many that were interviewed, expecially the younger members of the sect, preferred to remain unnamed. To Mrs. Fanny Storogoff (now deceased) I shall be forever indebted for the attitude and willingness with which she offered information. Mr. J.E. Podovinikoff was also of assistance in the gathering of information. My gratitude extends perhaps very specially to Mrs. E. Ostapchuk, Mr. M. Audain, Mrs. M. Erickson, and Reverend Dr. Ross of First United Church in Vancouver. Also, to my many friends, who in the final stages of this document offered their criticisms, I convey my deepest thanks. ROOPCHAND B. SEEBARAN. Vancouver, British Columbia April 30, 1965. ( i i ) TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1. Int reduction Page Rationale for this document. The reason.for the March. The response of citii-v, zens and groups i n Vancouver and Victoria 1 Chapter 2. Arrival i n Vancouver Activities of the Sons of Freedom upon a r r i v a l i n the cit y . Spectator reaction. Police protection. Accomodation for the night. Arrival of a second group of Freedomites. Public response 5 Chapter 3. The Adaptation of the Group to Vancouver Quest for accomodation. Committee for the Welfare of the Sons of Freedom Children. Application for Social Assistance. School Attendance. Public and private response. Story the Fireedomites tried to t e l l . Departure from Vancouver. Attitude survey 10 Chapter 4 . Conclusions Comment on the success of the trek. Struggle for leadership. Some interesting features of the trek. Role of the government. Vancouver School Board. Speculation for the future 29 Appendices: A. Membership l i s t and minutes of the meeting of the Committee for the Welfare of Sons of Freedom Children (Jan. 16, 1963) B. Statement on Social Assistance Letter to Mayor William G. Rathie C. Letter to Honourable Wesley D. Black D. Letter to Mr. J.A. Sadler E. Letter to Honourable W.R. Bonner, Q.C. F. The Attorney General»s Reply G. Text of speech presented by Mr. J.E. Podovinikoff on Radio Station C.J.O.R. Vancouver May 30/63 H. Bibliography INTRODUCTION The year 1963 will probably be remembered most of a l l by the majority of historians as the year when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by one of his own countrymen. Perhaps few but the Sons of Freedom them-selves, will reminisce upon i t as the year when they made an historic entry into the city of Vancouver. For the whole range of people who feel propitiously towards the Sons of Freedom as well as those who abominate and abhor them, this incident will probably receive no more than a perfunctory glance. To others however, who are students of psychology, sociology, and human relations, and who have an abiding allegiance either overtly or covertly to the study of the behavior of human beings, this unusual trek wi l l be consigned more than just casual importance. It is well known that to rely on one*s memory for facts i s not always the best source of accurate information, since recollections often suffer from distortion and prejudices. If we are not prepared at the present time to analyze this dramatic migration of a tremendously large group of people; i f we are not stimulated to seek out solutions to the dilemas and conundrums ramified therein; then the least we can do i s to record the incident itself, so that i t may serve in part as a historic documentation, as well as a source of information to future researchers who may be disquieted enough not to leave i t buried in oblivion. The task attempted in this paper i s addressed precisely to this end, and encompasses in the main, some of the facts surrounding the march of the Sons of Freedom into Vancouver, a description of their arrival into the city, a review of some of the major incidents that occurred during their stay in 2 Vancouver, and some remarks regarding their departure to the town of Agassiz. To understand the reason for the exodus from the Kootenay area, and for the purpose of lending some continuity to this document, i t would be. helpful to at least adumbrate some of the final incidents at Hope. Before coming to Vancouver the Sons of Freedom numbering about 1,300, were encamped at the village of Hope in a Seventh Day Adventist^s Summer Camp. It was here that the determination to go to Vancouver was born. The events and circumstances that occasioned this intention were numerous and varied. The reasons were perhaps too latent to visualize. But there was the inclement weather and unfavourable camping conditions (sanitation) during the winter of 1963, and i t was evident that there was a state of discomfort and unrest among the Freedomites themselves. Attempts by sympathetic individuals and those who entertained feelings of propinquity to this group (such as Magistrate Williams Evans of Nelson to find a country for them) had failed - no one wanted them. The Freedomites were concerned about their "imprisoned brothers" at Agassiz Mountain Prison and the government had failed to pay attention to the protests and allegations of this group. Because of a l l this the Sons of Freedom held several "sobranyas" and i t was decided that they would go to Vancouver and head for Victoria to make public their protest against the mass "arrests of their innocent and prejudged brothers in the Agassiz Mountain Prison."2 Before this decision was reached the Sons of Freedom had originally planned to go to Agassiz and storm the Prison Gates, since they believed in the covenant made to them by John Lebedoff that they "would gain their freedom 3 through the Prison Gates." At this juncture several individuals and groups 1. The Vancouver Sun January 14, 1963 2. Interview with Mrs. Storogoff October 1963 at Agassiz 3«. Interview with Mrs. Storogoff October 1963 at Agassiz 3 who were working with the leaders of the Freedomites attempted to reason with them and to provide some proposals and solutions to the riddles and enigmas facing them. Among such people-Was ^ r S # Emily Ostapchuck (of the Civic Unity Association) who felt that their storming of the Prison Gates at Agassiz would be of no avail. She held several meetings with the Freedomites attempting to encourage them to move to an area on the fringe of Vancouver where i t would be more convenient for them as far as accomodation. It would also be more accessible for such groups as the Civic Unity Association to work towards an amelioration of some of the issues confronting them. The Sons of Freedom at first acquiesced to this, offer, but latter eschewed the matter and eventually rejected the proposal. What then was the aftermath of the Freedomites* decision to go to Vancouver and/or Victoria? In Vancouver the newspapers and the radio stations carried reports of the Freedomites» intention to break camp at Hope. Many groups in Vancouver were aroused in protest. The Royal Canadian Legion presented a brief to City Council on January 15, 1963, stating that Victory Square Cenotaph i s "hallowed ground," and i t s use for purposesdemonstration by any group would be equivalent to desecration and sacrilege. The Mayor of Vancouver, Mr. William Rathie, at this point exhorted the City Council to 2 take no specific action on the matter. On January 15, 1963, steps were immediately taken in Victoria to prohibit demonstrations at Parliament Build-ings. The B.C. Cabinet issued regulations to forbid and render unlawful any loitering on grounds or areas near Public Buildings. The regulations provided 3 a fine of $25.00 per person for each day an offence occurred.. These then The Vancouver Province January 13, 1963 Ibid The Vancouver Sun January 15, 1963 were some of the responses and the climate of feeling as the Freedomites broke camp at Hope and packed for their trip. Let us now take a look at some of the more important considerations inherent and implicit in this proposed trek. Where exactly were the Free-domites proposing to go? Was i t Vancouver or Victoria or both? What ar-rangements had they made in the department of housing accomodations for the members of their group? What were they hoping to achieve? When news— paper reporters attempted to discover the answers to some of these questions, the apparent leader of this sect, Mrs. Storogoff said, "Just say we are moving 1 west." Mr. Joe Podivinikoff, the spokesman of the group, said that their purpose in coming to Vancouver was to publicize their story among local churches and labour and political groups. "We want their support to press 2 Victoria for a f u l l scale investigation into the sect ts problems." The The move to Anglo-Saxon eyes seemed to lack focus. 1. The Vancouver Province January 15, 1963 2. The Vancouver Sun January 17, 1963 ARRIVAL IN VANCOUVER On January 16, 1963, approximately 600 Sons of Freedom arrived in V ncouver from Hope. The Freedomites arrived in the city in the afternoon a using two buses and ninety cars. Pete SlastukLn, the bearded elder who led the original march from the Kootenays in September 1962 said that they "intend to move to Vancouver Island when the rest of the group gets to Vancouver." It was hinted at this time that the Sons were contemplating going to Hilliers near Parkesville on the Island where Doukhobors used to own some property. SlastukLn said that the two buses and ninety cars that brought the fi r s t group would return to bring the remainder of the Sect 1 from Hope. Shortly after their arrival in Vancouver, the Freedomites, who had disembarked at the Bus Depot near Queen Elizabeth Theatre, went to Victory Square, where they gathered together to sing hymns and display their banners. The group at Victory Square consisted mainly of elderly men and women with very few children. As the Freedomites sang, spectators, mainly workers on their lunch hour, began surrounding the Square and in no time there was a 2 . crowd of about 400 spectators. Reporters ventured to elicit from Slas-tukin where the group would spend their first night, but they were unable to get a specific reply. As the afternoon grew into night more and more spectators arrived. Some simply watched the Freedomites while others argued about different methods of S disposing of the Sons. The atmosphere around Victory Square remained re-latively calm until the beer parlors were closed. At this time the less 1. The Vancouver Sun - January 16, 1963 2. Interview with Mr. Michael Audain 6 peaceful and more volatile groups descended on the Sons of Freedom. There was s t i l l a dearth of police vigilance in the area. The singing of the Doukhobours and their conspicuous banners were enough to justify the more hostile elements in the crowd to become vituperative and vociferous. The Doukhobours not being in vogue, were in a very vulnerable situation open to any amount of reproof from the section of the crowd fi l l e d with libation. In such moments i t is interesting to observe how rapidly and facile people feel problems can and 1 should be solved. Fortunately for the Sons of Freedom some of the more sober and solemn spectators became solicitous and anxious regarding what might happen in the absence of police surveillance, i f the Freedomites stayed at Victory Square a l l night. The majority of the Doukhobours, including Mrs. Fanny Storogoff and Mr. Joe Podovinikoff had made no preparations nor arrangements for sleeping accomodation. Joe Podovinikoff, stated that he had planned to stay at Victory Square and keep the Freedomites there in order to make the 2 protest more conspicuous and forceful. As the cold penetrated their bodies, the women in the group began to complain. Mr. Michael Audain and Mrs. Margaret Erickson tried to persuade Mrs. Storogoff and Mr. Podovinikoff to move the group from Victory Square to some warmer quarters, at least for the night. After some convincing and cogent reasons and the observation that the spirit was mounting in certain segments of the onlookers, Mr. Podovinikoff and Mrs. Storogoff agreedto the suggestions of Mr. Audain and Mrs. Erickson. While this was a big step forward, the more important task remained ahead — to find a place to accomodate the Sons of Freedom. If the reaction 1. Interview with Mr. Michael Audain (U.B.C. Student, School of Social Work). 2. Interview with Mrs. Margaret Erickson 7 the Sons received from their first deluge of visitors was any indication of total public reaction, then hope of finding accomodation seemed frightfully grim. It was around midnight that Mrs. Erickson and Mr. Audain started to make a series of telephone calls to Churches, Missions, Halls, private homes, and labour temples. It was impossible .at this time to convince people of the urgency of the situation. As a last resort Mr. Audain and Mrs. Erickson were forced to use a small hall on Robson Street. (This hall belonged to the Stanley Park Club of the N.D.P.) The majority of the older people stayed in this hall. Some stayed in hotels, and others in private homes. Not more than 100 people spent the first night in the N.P.D. Hall. The Sons of Freedom travelled to the hall by bus. They were followed in cars by large groups of spectators who continued to abuse them with lewd and slanderous remarks. Again because of the absence of any police escort, there were a few fights mainly among the spectators themselves. Mr. Audain felt that the presence of police in the area would mitigate these conditions. He therefore went to call the police while Mrs. Audain and Mrs. Erickson stood outside the Hall attempting to quell the belligerent mob, who laughed contemptuously and fired scornful and pejorative remarks at the Sons of Freedom. Some of the observers threw stones but fortunately no one was 1 severely injured. When the police arrived in the area, most of the " r i f f - r a f f " disappeared and the Sons bedded down probably not to sleep but to surmise what the follow-ing day had in store for them. The next day the Freedomites gathered at Victory Square. Mr. Podovinikoff told the reporters that the sect wanted to •L» Interview with Mrs. Margaret Erickson 8 demonstrate and prove to the people of Vancouver that Doukhobours are really a nice, peaceful people; the sect wanted a provincial investigation. Ul-timately he said, "We want land in a decent climate where we can farm, educate our children, practice our religious beliefs and not be bothered by 1 others." . On this day a second cavalcade of buses and cars brought the rest of the Sons from Hope. Numbering from 400 to 500, they joined the first group in Victory Square. Characteristic of this second group was the amount of children both of elementary and secondary school age. As more Freedomites and more spectators began to arrive at Victory Square, the Mayor»s Office was deluged with telephone calls from irate groups and angry citizens. Callers protested against the Freedomites occupying Victory Square. They said that i t was an insult to the memory of men who had fought for their country, to permit Doukhobours who refuse to bear arms, to gather at the 2 foot of the Cenotaph. What were some of the echoes of this in Vancouver? A pool of ideas, opinions, and recommendations from civic, church, and political leaders, 3 " gathered by the Vancouver Sun revealed the following: "I have nothing to say to them. I am not interested in talking to tramps. The sooner they leave the better." "Kick them out of the Square. It honours the war dead and these people are there only for the publicity value." "The Doukhobours are just a nuisance creating an arson danger." "They ought to be sent back to the Kootenays." 4 "Keep off the Grass." 1. Interview with Mr. Joe Podovinikoff 2. The Vancouver Sun January 17, 1963 3 . Ibid 4. The Vancouver Sun - January IS, I963 9 Liberal Leader Ray Perrault, said that they should be put in an unused army camp. He told a meeting at South Vancouver that the latest episode in the saga of the wandering Sons of Freedom - some of whom are squatting at Victory Square - demonstrates an utter collapse of the government's machinery to deal with the situation. Perrault said he would propose a commission at the forthcoming legislature session. The commission would employ permanent personnel with advisors in many fields to find paths for a solution to the costly Sons of Freedom*s problems. There will be no magic solution over-night. The Premier and his Cabinet, he said, act as i f they would like the 1 Freedomites to evaporate like a bad dream. 1. The Vancouver ivin - January 17, 1963 THE ADAPTATION OF THE GROUP TO VANCOUVER Quest for Accomodation After the Sons of Freedom arrived in Vancouver i t was quite obvious that although a lot of thought was invested in the planning of the trek from Hope to Vancouver, a number of practical items and human factors were overlooked. As a result of this a number of problems emerged. One such problem was that of accomodation. First of a l l , a large part of the Sons were ignorant of the reason for their coming to Vancouver. The majority of the group including the apparent leaders of the sect, Mrs. Storogoff and Mr. Podovinikoff, did not know where they were going to spend their f i r s t night nor the subsequent days. They did not know how long they would be staying in Vancouver. Mrs. Storogoff and Mr. Podovinikoff felt i t would be most effective as far as their purpose, for the group to remain at Victory Square indefinitely. It i s perhaps as-tonishing to perceive of any group of people who will allow themselves to be led and who will follow so unquestioningly in this day and age. The enigma becomes less abstruse when one understands their history, their religious beliefs, and their faith in "spiritual" leaders. Many Freedomites inter-viewed by Mrs. Audain in Russian stated that "they did not know where they were going when they got on the bus at Hope." "They suspected i t was to Victoria. There is every reason to believe that the move into Vancouver was not a group decision^" As has been mentioned earlier, the first group of Freedomites that arrived in Vancouver were persuaded to stay in the N.D.P. Hall on Robson Street. This hall was obviously too small to accomodate such a large number of people, but crowded or not, most of them slept on the floor of this hall 1. Interview with Mr. Michael Audain n on this f i r s t night. Others who were more fortunate stayed in hotels and a few in private homes. Residents living near the Hall, while not causing any conspicuous disturbances, objected vehemently to the Freedomites occupying these premises. Ultimately the landlord of the Hall asked the N.D.P. Ex-ecutive to get rid of the Freedomites, and stated that, i f the request was not complied with, the N.D.P. would be denied further use of the Hall. Added to this a visit from the Health Inspector of Vancouver found that the floor of the building was caving in because of overcrowding. The building was un-suitable for safety reasons. He also found that there was an insufficiency of toilet facilities and so for sanitary reasons, the building could not be 1 used. The next morning, January 17, 1963, the Freedomites left their belong-ings in the Hall and went for walks in Stanley Park. Realizing that they had to vacate the N.D.P. Hall on this day, and eognizant of the fact also that more Freedomites would be arriving in the city today, preparations'were being made to secure accomodation for the group. _A number of people in Vancouver were concerned at this point about the children in the group. Concern centered mainly around accomodation for the children as well as the possibility of their being apprehended i f they had no place of abode. The result of these concerns was the formation of an ad hoc committee called the "Committee for the Welfare of Sons of Freedom Children." This Committee headed by Professor Dixon of the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, comprised of representatives from public and private ag-encies. The committee dealt with the immediate problem of accomodation and shelter as well as others which will be mentioned later. On January 16, 1963 upon the suggestion of Professor Dixon, an emergency 1. Interview with Mrs. Margaret Erickson 12 meeting in the matter of the Sons of Freedom was called in the Community Chest Auditorium. The purpose was to discuss emergency shelter for the Freedomites. It was felt that too many people were evading the responsib-i l i t y and that i f they (the members at the meeting) did not take any in -terest, no one would. It was unanimously agreed that the interest of this committee "is humanitarian and the purpose is to meet the emergency situation by supply-ing shelter for a limited time. There was unanimous agreement among the community members that the lawlessness of the Sons of Freedom was not condoned, but at the same time i t was agreed that the very young and the very old were victims of this situation and that these were the people 1 with whom we must be concerned." At this meeting i t was also arranged to meet with Mayor William Rathie and to explore with him what accomodation was available. At the meeting eleven delegates from the committee were present. One proposal to Mayor Rathie was that buildings at the Pacific National Exhibition be made avail-able. Mayor Rathie stated, that i f the city provided accomodation, the Freedomites would in a l l probability stay indefinitely. The Committee also discussed the health condition of the Freedomites and wondered to what extent City Council would be prepared to co-ordinate the services of voluntary agencies to meet these needs. The Mayor stated that Council had already discussed the matter and was not prepared to do anything. He added that he was meeting with Attorney General Robert Bonner to discuss the matter. Later the same day the Mayor called Professor Dixon and reported that City Council was not going to commit themselves to any action on the matter. For the 1. Minutes of the meeting of the Committee for the Welfare of Sons of Freedom Children - January 16, 1963 - Civic Unity Association Vancouver 13 membership l i s t and details of the minutes of this meeting see Appendix A. The arrival of the second group of Freedomites only augmented the problem of accomodation and again witnessed the astigmatic planning of the trek. Luckily at this point the Pender Auditorium was obtained largely through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Audain. Many people in the group had not eaten for days. In this hall they were at least warm during the day. Again the hall was not large enough, so mostly the women and children occupied these premises while most of the men stayed outside. The staff in the restaurant at the hall were very considerate and helpful to the Freedomites. They allowed the children, some of whom had small pox, to stay upstairs and they also permitted the use of hot water bottles so that they could keep warm. But the Pender Auditorium was only available for the afternoon. The management said that i t had to be cleared. The challenge was taken up by a few volunteers of the local committee. Members were dispatched to search the downtown area for any kind of accomodation. They found sleeping space at the First United Church Hall, blankets from Harbour Lights, a number of small missions that at least provided sleeping space on the floor, and one sizeable mission hall that provided accomodation for the elderly people. The younger boys and men, about 100 in number, were taken care of by the Catholic Hostel. By midnight of that day, Professor Dixon, Michael Audain and other committee members walked through Victory Square and there was not one member of the Sons of Freedom sitting outdoors. On this day and for the weeks that followed, every attempt was made to secure more accomodation. To this end, various churches, halls, missions, and ethnic groups were approached. In addition, appeals were carried on the 14 radio stations for families to provide accomodation in their homes. The 1 theme was "mothers with children" and "old people." Most of this work however, was given leadership by people who were not Freedomites. They were individuals and groups who were understanding of the Freedomite problem and who were human enough to want to help. Despite occasional resistances and prejudice that was encountered in the quest for accomodation for this group these people struggled. One would think at a time like this other ethnic groups would come to the front and offer their services willing-ly but there were several groups in Vancouver who refused to open their doors and in fact wanted nothing to do with the Freedomites. As the situation grew more tense and critical, more accomodation was obtained, but not without diligent work on the part of the searchers and the understanding nature of the people approached. Because of the confusion and complexities that ex-isted at the time that accomodation was sought and received, and because very few records except mental notes were kept by those involved, i t i s difficult to present in any chronological order the sequence in which ac-comodation was received. Investigation revealed that a number of agencies, groups, and individuals in Vancouver assisted the Freedomites and their sympathizers in the provision of accomodation. The Russian PeopleTs Home was one agency that offered the use of its facilities to the Freedomites. This hall was not opened to the Freedomites until five days after they had been in the city. Mostly women and children were accomodated in this building, which was used as a base from which to f i l t e r out the Doukhobours into private homes. Some of the men abandoned their rooms in hotels and came to stay in this building. Again the Hall 1. Interview with Mrs. Margaret Erickson 15 became overcrowded and the men were asked to leave. Another agency was the First United Church in Vancouver. Reverend Dr. Ross said he accomodated the Sons on two separate occasions. The f i r s t period was approximately a week long. Again accomodation was mainly for the women and children. They slept on the floor and were kept warm by blankets provided by the Salvation Army. Dr. Ross said that on the first occasion the Freedomites used the facilities mainly as a restroom. The Freedomites returned again for a second time only a few days after their first departures Dr. Ross found them "neat and well behaved." The children in the group were "immaculately clean." The Freedomites on this occasion volunteered their services to the Church. They had nothing to do and wanted to help. They were given fragments of clothing and a sewing machine. The Freedomites made beautiful quilts out of these materials. Before they left for Agassiz Dr. Ross said that they returned the sewing 1 machine and other articles they had borrowed. Other people and agencies that provided assistance and accomodation for the Freedomites were Father Hanley of Catholic Charities, Reverend I&uta of the Vancouver Budhist Temple, the Boiler Makerts Hall, various Missions on Skid Road, the Salvation Army of Vancouver, hotels, and a number of private people. Undoubtedly there are a number of people who helped the Freedomites, whose names have not been mentioned for two reasons. Firstly, i t i s im-possible to know a l l the individuals who contributed, and secondly, i t i s not the purpose of this document to l i s t a l l names. Nevertheless this paper would like to acknowledge and recognize a l l the people named and un— named who in some measure assisted the Freedomites during their stay in Vancouver. 1. Interview with Dr. Ross and Miss Rollins of First United Church 16 The quest for mass accomodation of this kind was one problem. Perhaps a more important task was that of trying to convince the Freedomites that they should search themselves for private accomodation. The Freedomites did not entertain this suggestion with any degree of enthusiasm. This was perhaps the result of their being accustomed to l i f e of a communal nature, probably to fear of insecurity, and also fear that segregation of this type may eventually lead to disintegration of their group. Also these people were unfamiliar with the mechanics of obtaining lodging in the city -(coming from a rural area.) In addition they lacked furniture and thus were limited to the kind of housing they could use. Many also lacked money for a first down payment of rent. The Committee for the Welfare of the Sons of Freedom Children faced this problem together with the Freedomites. Several individuals both within and without the committee began to assist the Freedomites in their search for private accomodation. While there were several reports concern— ing alleged discrimination regarding rental of housing to Freedomites, homeowners began to make their buildings available and in some cases capit-alized on the situation by requesting high rental. A number of individuals borrowed money to assist the Freedomites in the payment of rent. Others collected charitable donations to provide food for the group. As time passed, more and more Freedomites were housed in private homes but there were s t i l l other problems to overcome. Application for Social Assistance When the Freedomites arrived in Vancouver early in January i t was es-timated that they had spent approximately $225,000.00 on the trek from Hope to Vancouver. The expense included items such as food, clothing, camping 1 equipment, fuel, motel reservations, and rentals for buses and trucks. T". The Vancouver Province - January 21, 1963. 17 To the businessmen of Vancouver in the Victory Square area, the arrival of the Freedomites was a blessing. The Sons spent large sums of money here on hotels, restaurants, and parking lots. Where did the Freedomites get a l l this money? -It.is believed that most of the money came from their own pockets. Other sources of money were friends, Old Age Pensions, donations, Salvation Army vouchers, and allowances from some ©f the Orthodox Doukhobours. In time these funds were exhausted. The Free-domites now faced a financial problem. Again the Committee.for the Welfare of the Sons of Freedom Children came on the scene. This voluntary group made a statement to Mayor Rathie and the City Council on behalf of the Freedomites, indicating that the halls in which the Freedomites had been housed since their arrival in the city were being closed off and that the number of private homes were not equal to the task. The Committee stated that the granting of Social Assistance to mothers with children was the best way of resolving the dilemna. In referring to the Social Assistance Act of British Columbia the Committee pointed out that Vancouver shared in the local cost of Social Assistance no matter where the Sons of Freedom may happen to get i t . The Committee stated that a moral issue was involved when mothers and children face the likelihood of hunger and lack of shelter. The letter submitted to Mayor Rathie and the City Council members appears in Appendix B. Following this statement several Freedomites began to apply for Social Assistance. On January 28, 1963, a letter was sent to the Honourable Wesley D. Black, Minister for Social Welfare, by the Committee for the Welfare of Sons of Freedom Children which suggested administrative aid for the City of 18 Vancouver i f Social Assistance was granted. It is shown in Appendix C. Before the Sons of Freedom applied for Social Assistance and while their applications were pending a few agencies were supporting those Free— domites who were in need. Salvation Army Officer, Brigadier Purdy, issued food vouchers in the sum of $19.00 per week for a family of 4. Assistance was first based in the form of food vouchers and rental allowances were 1 granted later. By January 26, several Sons of Freedom had applied for Social Assistance in the Vancouver Welfare Department. City officials confirmed that Freedomites had applied for assistance and were refused. They were told "no policy decision has been reached." The Mayor said that the policy at present was not to accept responsibility for the Freedomites while 2 they were in Vancouver but that they would keep the policy under review. On February 5> Mayor William Rathie indicated that more than 80 had applied for Social Assistance but that no children were registered at school. The Mayor indicated that he expected the matter to be debated in City Council. It was reported that the deluge of applications had caused the City Social Service Department to hire extra workers to process the applications. On February 6, City Council announced that i t would pay 4 social welfare benefits to those Sons of Freedom who qualified. By April the system of food vouchers were dropped and a special day was designated for the issuance of Social Assistance to the Sons of Freedom. Thus most of the Sons of Freedom who had applied were granted Social Assistance. In some cases Assistance was withdrawn. One such instance was when a group of Freedomite men refused to go to work for the Forestry De-partment. The Freedomites reacted to this by congregating in front of the 1. Forrester I.M., "Migration of Sons of Freedom into Lower Mainland. Master of Social Work - University of British Columbia" 1964 2. The Vancouver Province - January 26, 1963 3. The Vancouver Sun - February 5, 1963 4. The Vancouver Province - February 6, 1963 19 Social Service Office to conduct sit-down strikes. In another instance a woman was denied assistance on the grounds that she was. married and that her support should come from her husband. Correspondence with the D i r — ector of Social Assistance (copy of letter appears in Appendix D) was im-mediately able to rectify the matter. In summary the letter stated that the applicant with a child of thirteen had no means of support. The applicant had been given support by the Salvation Army in the form of food vouchers and later received Social Assistance for half a month. After this, assist-ance was denied on the grounds that her husband should support her. The matter went before a Family Court Judge in Vancouver and i t was established that her husband was in a foreign country and further that the marriage was a "common-law" one. 20 The Freedomites attend School It was estimated that the Freedomite childreniin the city numbered approx-imately 160. Of these, 50 were of secondary school age. For some time the Freedomite children stayed out of school. As this fact made the news in Van-couver, mothers of the Freedomite children became very concerned about the possibility of their children being apprehended. These women took their concerns to the Committee for the Welfare of the Sons of Freedom Children. They wondered whether anything could be done about getting their children in school. Following this request Dr. Black and Rev-erend Southcott arranged a meeting with Dr. Sharp of the Vancouver School 1 Board. The Freedomite women who gave leadership at this time were Mrs. Florence Podovinikoff and Mrs. Marie Shlakoff. They made a Special request for segreg— ated classes for their children. The Committee explained that i t would be in keeping with their cause i f they consented to integrated classes. The women also wondered whether their children would be required to sing "0 Canada" and salute the flag. They were told that no children in Canada were compelled to do this. Under these conditions the Freedomites agreed to send their children to school. They informed Mrs. Ostapchuk (of the Committee) of the various schools their children would be attending. Mrs. Ostapchuk passed this information to the Vancouver School Board who eventually notified the respective schools. At last count 90 children were enrolled in schools in the city. As might be expected, some children teased and jibed the Freedomite children. The vast majority reacted to them in a friendly manner and shared lunches with them. 1. Interview with Mrs. Ostapchuk (Civic Unity Assn.) 21 While there were a few minor squabbles in the schools no real incidents were reported. The schools co-operated remarkably well and in general did an ex-cellent job. Public and Private Response The Freedomites* entry and stay in Vancouver resulted in political re-percussions both in City Council and in the B.C. Legislature. Mayor Rathie indicated in no uncertain terms that "the sooner they leave Vancouver the 1 2 better." Mr. Bonner was "happy that the Doukhobours are in the city." He felt that i f they were to integrate into society this would very likely happen in Vancouver. Whereas the Freedomites were dominant in the Kootenays, Bonner indicated that they could not be the same in the city. The Veterans of the Army, Navy, and the Airforce passed a resolution to ask Prime Minister Deifenbaker to ban the Freedomites from using Victory Square for demonstration 3 purposes. Mrs. Lois Haggen, N.D.P. member for the Grand Forks Greenwood area, chast-ised Attorney General Bonner's policy regarding the Freedomites. She Said that the policy "whatever i t i s , has perpetuated the problem." Whereas the march to Vancouver was the best thing that happened to the problem, Mrs. Haggen did not consider this the end of the problem. She felt that i f the Freedomites assimi-4 lated in Vancouver i t would be a l l to the good. In the B.C. Legislature, Patrick McGeer proposed that a group of scientists should study the behaviour of the Sons of Freedom as a guide for long range government policy. He said that the government had no long range plan for the problem. Bonner accused him of shallow and condescending behaviour, saying that the Hawthorn Report made 12 years ago was the most complete sociological report on the Freedomites. Bonner said that many of the recommendations made 1. The Vancouver Sun - January 18, 1963 2. The Vancouver Sun - January 19, 19&3 3. The Vancouver Province - January 28, 1963 4. The Vancouver Province - February 2, 1963 22 1 i n t h a t r e p o r t have been c a r r i e d o u t . A t t h i s t i m e Mr. C a r s o n , o f t h e Human R i g h t s A s s o c i a t i o n , c i r c u l a t e d a f l y e r i n w h i c h he s a i d t h a t , " a s k i n g Bonner and B e n n e t t t o d e a l w i t h t h e s i t u a t i o n i s l i k e a s k i n g H i t l e r and Eichmann t o t a k e c a r e o f t h e Jews." C a r s o n s a i d t h a t t h e F r e e d o m i t e s wanted a n i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o t h e government's a c t i o n i n i n c r i m i n a t i n g them. He f e l t t h a t t h e government was i g n o r i n g t h e p r o b l e m because an i n v e s t i g a t i o n "would p r o v e h i g h l y e m b a r r a s s i n g t o t h e g o v e r n -ment." On May 15, P r o f e s s o r D i x o n , C h a irman o f t h e Committee f o r t h e W e l f a r e o f t h e Sons o f Freedom C h i l d r e n a p p e a l e d t o Mr. Bonner f o r some government a c t i o n t o b r i d g e t h e gap i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g between t h e F r e e d o m i t e s and t h e government. I n t h e l e t t e r w h i c h a p p e a r s i n A p p e n d i x E, P r o f e s s o r D i x o n p r o p o s e d t h e f o r m -a t i o n o f some k i n d o f a d m i n i s t r a t i v e m a c h i n e r y t o d e a l w i t h t h e Sons o f F r e e -dom and w h i c h might be c a l l e d "The C o o r d i n a t i n g Commission f o r Sons o f Freedom A f f a i r s . " P r o f e s s o r D i x o n a d m i t t e d t h a t s u f f i c i e n t f o r m a l s t u d y had been g i v e n t o t h e i s s u e t h r o u g h t h e Hawthorne R e p o r t , b u t f e l t t h a t what i s now needed i s an o r g a n i z a t i o n w h i c h w i l l s e r v e as a b r i d g e between t h e p r o v i n c i a l government and t h e g r o u p . I t was f e l t t h a t t h e " o p p o r t u n i t y o f e x p r e s s i o n o f o p i n i o n w i l l have a s e t t l i n g e f f e c t on t h e group w h i c h seems t o have some need f o r f r e q u e n t a i r i n g o f i t s v i e w s w i t h some o r g a n i z a t i o n w i t h a t l e a s t some f o r m o f s e m i - o f f i c i a l s t a t u s . " On May 29, t h e A t t o r n e y G e n e r a l r e p l i e d t o P r o f e s s o r D i x o n s t a t i n g t h a t t h e p o l i c y t o d a t e i s t o use t h e e x i s t i n g a g e n c i e s o f government t o d e a l w i t h Sons o f Freedom a s i n d i v i d u a l s when i n d i v i d u a l p r o b l e m s a r i s e . Mr. Bonner r e p o r t e d t h a t a c o n t i n u i n g committee o f De p u t y M i n i s t e r has been i n e x i s t e n c e 1. The V a n c o u v e r P r o v i n c e - March 7, 1963 " C a l l I n q u i r y I n t o S o n s " 2. C a r s o n W i l l i a m "They D i e W h i l e Bonner Scoffs» September 1963 Vancouver; Human R i g h t s A s s o c i a t i o n 23 since 1953 and that they meet as frequently as required. Because the group is comprised of people with statutory and actual day to day authority and respons-i b i l i t y to discharge (including co-operation with local levels of government) Mr. Bonner found i t difficult to visualize what function a Commission might serve "unless i t would become a sounding-board for Sons of Freedom propagand-ists, from whose activities we have been happily free in recent months." Mr. Bonner offered to place the suggestion before the Continuing Committee for their consideration. (Letter and l i s t of Committee members appear in Appendix F.) The Story the Freedomites tried to t e l l The Freedomites arrived in Vancouver and stayed until August 20, 1963. During this period they tried to t e l l a story. While they congregated in Victory Square, they also looked for private accomodation, and for jobs. Some did volunteer work while others took some vocational training in the hope of finding jobs. Those who found jobs through the help of friends or their own initiative did very well for themselves. They also, received Social Assistance, and the majority of the children went to school. Like any other group of people some of them broke the law. Verna Zaytsoff, a 35 year old woman, was spared a j a i l term on January 29, by Magistrate Douglas 1 Hume for shoplifting. She was fined $75.00. Fred William Storogoff, the husband of "Fanny" was fined $50.00 for shoplifting. He admitted taking seven chocolate bars and a large package of gum. But the Freedomites really did not present a crime problem. The First United Church proved they were a very amiable and friendly group. The children were interested in books at the Church Library but took them only when they were told that they could do so. When Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands visited 1. The Vancouver Province - January 29, 1963 24 Vancouver in May 1 9 6 3 , he inspected members of the Seaforth Highlanders at Victory Square. The Doukhobours were singing hymns at the time at Victory Square, but upon the request of the police they stopped. In attempting to publicize their case the Freedomites visited a number of agencies and appeared on both radio and television. Mrs. Marie Shlakoff told students at the University of British Columbia that the Sons of Freedom wanted a neutral commission to investigate their problem. She was greeted with shouts, boos, and cat calls when she wouldnTt explain further what the 1 problem was "because this might lead to further misunderstanding." On May 3 0 , Mr. Joe Podovinikoff, the self appointed spokesman of the group, presented his interpretation of the Doukhobour problem. The text of his speech appears in Appendix G, and in summary these points were mades Doukhobours for over sixty years had to put up with discrimination, internal oppression and eternal threat of starvation. While they are not angels they are not the low-down creatures that some paint them. They are struggling for rights which cannot be denied anyone who considers himself a human being. Last September (196'2) because of threats and intimidation against l i f e and property, the Sons of Freedom fled from the Kootenay area. They trekked through heat, rain, storms, and the snow, across the Rocky Mountains until they reached Vancouver. So far the government has done everything to intimi-date the trekkers. Sons of Freedom have been blacklisted as terrorists and arsonists, although i t has been discovered that the main terrorists are the ones pointing their fingers and engineering the hoax. Time and again the Doukhobours have asked that an investigation into their affairs be made but the government ignores the issue... It must be remembered that this description of the situation i s one mants opinion and is not representative of the ideas and opinions of the entire group. 1. The Vancouver Province - January 2 3 , 1963 25 The Departure from Vancouver Around July 23, 1963,,, Sons of Freedom in the Federal Prison at Agassiz began fasting. By August 19, 118 of the 130 men imprisoned there were on a hunger strike. Although the authorities tried every means of persuading these men to eat, the Freedomites continued to fast. Letter writing privi-1 leges were denied, visiting privileges were cancelled, but of no avail. The Freedomite group in Vancouver, headed by Mrs. Florence Storogoff, called on a l l wandering members of the sect to return from the Kootenays and the Okanagan. A mass meeting was held in Victory Square at which approximately 560 Freedomites were present. The meeting was arranged at the same time as the P.N.E. Parade but was later postponed to the evening. Here the decision was reached that the Freedomites in Vancouver would resume the trek to Agassiz. Mrs. Storogoff said that she would ask Mayor Rathie to clear the streets for 1 the ^reedomites* exodus just as he did for the P.N.E. Parade. On August 20, 1963, the Freedomites packed their bags and thanked the city for their hospitality. Mrs. Storogoff indicated that in some mysterious way the presence of several hundred Freedomites at Agassiz would help the imprisoned brothers and sisters in their hunger strike in the prison. Mrs. Storogoff headed a delegation to City Hall to thank Mayor Rathie for the city's hospitality and asked him for a police escort out of the city. Mayor Rathie 2 indicated that they would get the same police protection as anyone else. On August 21, 1963, 560 Sons of Freedom arrived at Agassiz. They built tents and camps outside the Prison Gates. Because i t was raining the Freedomites used 8 chartered buses and approximately 50 cars to transport their food and tents. Having arFived-iat the Prison Gates the Freedomites planned to go on a hunger strike 3 too. The decision was that a l l over 14 years of age would participate. 1. The Vancouver Province - August 19, 1963 "Sons Work Again" 2. The Vancouver Province - August 20, I963 "Bags Packed Freedomites Thank City for Hospitality" 3 . The Vancouver Province - August 21, 1963 "Trekkers Start Hunger Strike Too" 26 But the Freedomites did not a l l leave Vancouver. A large number of the older men who came to Vancouver have stayed perhaps because of their age, and because here they receive health benefits. Some mothers with children are finding i t a more secure situation to be in Vancouver and remain on Social Assistance so they have stayed. Even those who did leave are coming back for visits into the city. Some of the women return to the friends they made while in the city; others, mainly the high school children, find city l i f e , es-pecially the social aspect of i t , very pleasant and so they are returning, particularly on the weekends. A few of the girls who found jobs while they were in the city have stayed. Those people who have returned to Vancouver have stated that l i f e at Agassiz i s too rough. While this may be the reason the younger ones are re-turning, there is a much more profound one for the seniors in the group. Most of them have become simply disgusted with sitting and having nothing to do. The Attitude of the Vancouver People to the Freedomite Invasion After the Sons of Freedom left. Vancouver and began camping at Agassiz, the writer conducted a survey of some 7 5 people in Vancouver. The method used was a combination of interviews and questionnaires. The sample was chosen at random and included high school students as well as adults. In the sample, the writer attempted to involve business, professional and lay people. The object of the survey was to determine whether the Vancouver public was: 1. aware of the purpose of the Sons coming to Vancouver. 2. what was their attitude towards the Sons. The survey showed that the people interviewed and questioned f e l l readily into three distinct categories. One group consisted mainly of individuals who actually assisted the Sons of 27 Freedom while they were in Vancouver. To these people the purpose of the Sonst visit to Vancouver was quite evident. They knew that the Freedomites had come to the city in an attempt to get public support to press Victoria for an in-vestigation. This group of people had either previously worked with the Sons of Freedom or seemed to understand much more about the group than their im-mediate problem. Most of them regarded the Sons of Freedom as a very amiable and hospitable group. They felt that the group were at times very unrealistic but nevertheless were convinced that they had been neglected by the government. The people in this group felt that Vancouver had an obligation to pay Social Assistance to the Sons and felt that they should have been treated as ordinary citizens in their quest for private accomodation. It was the feeling of this group that the government had treated the Sons of Freedom indifferently, inconsistently, and unfairly. They also felt that the Sons of Freedom left Vancouver because of the city's indifference towards them plus the fact that most of them were being absorbed and integrated in the city. This group of individuals not only assisted the Freedomites with some of the mechanical pro-blems that they faced while in the city, but also made representations on their behalf to city and provincial officials. A second category of people seemed to be those who had come into contact with the Freedomites at one time or another in the Kootenays and the Okanagan. This group seemed to have a very hostile feeling for the Sons. The Sons were Seen as a group of trouble makers, a lazy group, and a fanatic and parasitic collection of individuals. They felt that the Sons had been treated very fairly-and with special privileges from the government. They objected very strongly to the Freedomites being allowed to stay in Vancouver. They felt that the govern-ment should not have granted Social Assistance to them, nor should they have 28 been given food and shelter. This group became more hostile towards the Sons while they were in Vancouver. They felt that the Sons came to Vancouver be-cause of nuisance motivations and a desire to be martyrs. They regarded the trek as a "publicity stunt" and one that was made for the explicit purpose of arousing an emotional appeal. Some felt that i t was simply a case of the blind leading the blind. This group felt that the Sons left Vancouver for a variety of reasons. These included frustration, inability to secure an image of martyr-dom, being made a spectacle of in Victory Square, public pressure, loss of con-trol by the apparent leaders, fighting a losing cause, and the indifference of the city towards them. The third category included those individuals who, though they had pre-viously heard of the Freedomites, had now for the first time seen and met them. This group while not eager to help the Sons, sympathized with their cause. They felt that the Sons were hard-working people, fairly law-abiding, clean, and very friendly. They felt that the government had treated.the Sons with indifference and even some injustice. In spite of this they did not think that private citizens should have given the Sons accommodation nor should they have been granted Social Assistance. They seemed to be aware of the purpose behind the trek and regarded the departure from Vancouver as an occasion stimulated by a lack of financial support, a potential loss of the younger members of the s ect, and poor leadership. The opinion of this group was that the government should either take steps to rehabilitate the Sons of Freedom or simply leave them alone. CONCLUSIONS If the Success of the trek to Vancouver is to be measured in terms of the materialization of an investigation in the Sons of Freedom's affairs, then at least for the moment the Freedomites did not accomplish their pur-pose and the trek was a failure. But there can be no cut and dried yardstick to measure the accomplishment of the trek. An investigation may s t i l l arise and what the trek may have done for or against the group is s t i l l speculative. The citizens of Vancouver displayed an i n i t i a l curiosity towards,, the Sons of Freedom, but later reacted with indifference. As a result the Freedomites did not receive the support of the Vancouver people. Perhaps a few reasons for this insbucient attitude stemmed from an inability on the part of the Free-domites to present a cogent case. While they claimed that they wanted the people of Vancouver to know the truth about the crimes they were accused of, the- Sons never did clearly present to the public any tangible evidence that they were unjustly treated. Several times they made claims that they were in possession of such evidence but never really offered i t . In addition to this they stated that they wanted an investigation into the "Doukhobour problem." People found i t difficult to understand what the problem really was. Their claims appeared exaggerated, mysterious, and rebellious. Doukhobours, in asserting that they had evidence, tended to be secretive about i t and this clandestine nature of their approach only aroused suspicion on the part of their audience, that their problem was non-existant and quite probably a figment of their imagination. Another factor that played an important role in the frustration the Freedomites experienced, is that of the leadership structure. It Seemed that there was a struggle for power and popularity among the apparent leaders _ 30 Fanny Storogoff, Joe Podovinikoff, and Marie shlakoff. When Stefan S 0rokin left for South America, and John Lebedoff appeared ostracized by the group, Fanny became at least the "organizer" of the group. The Freedomites s t i l l identify very much with Sorokin and So Fanny was regarded mainly as a tem-porary substitute. The same thing holds true for Joe Podovinikoff, the self-appointed spokesman of the group. While he is regarded by many^ members of the Freedomites themselves with disdain, they tolerate him because of his glib tongue. With the apparent leaders being unable to agree, the Freedomites were unable to effect a liason between them and the government, i f indeed such could be developed at a l l . Basically the Sons of Freedom Seem to a group capable of dealing in some way with most of their own problems. It is quite evident hovrever, that there are a few agitators and publicity-hungry-individ-uals who attach more importance to the satisfaction of their own neurotic needs than the solving of problems confronting the group. Regardless of public opinion, and the inescapable internal problems in the group, there were some very fascinating features about this whole incident. The migration of this group to a large western city and the nomadic features of the trek, was in itself a remarkable and astonishing phenomenon. The fear of the unknown of the future, and the ignorance of their purpose did not seem to deter nor halt them, and this is fascinating in an age where desire for Security and concentrated planning for the future is a predominant element of our society. The Sons of Freedom were able to act fairly well in Securing food and accomodation but the role of the Committee was important i n obtaining a roof over their heads particularly in the first few days. 31 The attitude of the City Council in trying to avoid the situation and then refusing to grant Social Assistance was to be expected, as i t was characteristic of government dealings with the Sons of Freedom. The failure to grant Social Assistance immediately to the Sons of Freedom was indefensible. Mayor Rathie refused to give leadership to the situation. The Committee worked without publicity and did not wish to run the risk of stimulating a backlash of hostility to the Sons of Freedom in Vancouver. The Committee played an integral part in Securing accomodation and probably had a role in the final granting of Social Assistance. The government how-ever did not respond tb.?their appeal to establish some sort of administrative organization on the Son3 of Freedom Affairs. The present structure of Deputy ministers and department heads is non-operative and futile. A t i t l e in the c i v i l service is no indication of interest in Doukhobour affairs and may even reflect hostility. A Commission on Doukhobour Affairs s t i l l seems necessary. The Vancouver School Board was exemplary in i t s dealing with the Sons of Freedom in regard to school attendance of Freedomite children. While trying to be firm and stating that, i f the Freedomites stayed in Vancouver their children should be enrolled in s chool, the Vancouver School Board did everything to facilitate and encourage the children to attend s chool. Most of the children got along well in s chool. The pull of the "big city" on the Sons of Freedom was also very con-spicuous. It was difficult for the writer to ascertain the number of teenagers and seniors who have remained in the city, but interviews with the Sons of Freedom revealed that of the group at Agassiz, quite a few are s t i l l engaged in constant travel back and forth between Agassiz and Vancouver. What meaning does the Vancouver experience hold for the future of the 32 Sons of Freedom? It is certainly obvious that in Vancouver there was a degree of Spatial or geographic disintegration of the group. This however may not be indicative of dissolution of the Sect. It may even mean (in , combination with the Vancouver and Agassiz experience) greater integration. Much depends on the attitude of the men when released from prison. Much depends on whether the men are released in groups or individually over a period of time. Where will they want to go? Settled a 3 they are in Agassiz most of the girls and some of the men have found jobs and are working on farms near the surrounding towns and,the immediate neighbourhood. At the moment there is a period of calm. Release of the men from prison may quite likely give birth to another trek. APPENDIX A On the suggestion of Professor Dixon, an Emergency Meeting In the matter of the Sons of Freedom was c a l l e d at 3:00 p.m., i n the Community Chest Auditorium on Tuesday, January 16,1963. PRESENT; Dr. Katx (Chairman) Vancouver C i v i g U n i t y A s s o c i a t i o n Professor Dixon, School of S o c i a l Work Dr. Black, C i t i z e n s h i p Branch Dave B a r r e t t , M.L.A., Dewdney Mrs. Theresa Galloway, C i v i c U n i t y A s s o c i a t i o n Mrs. Margaret E r i c k s o n , c i t i z e n Mr. C l i v e L y t l e , B.C. Federation of Labour The Rev. Norman J . Southcott, S o c i a l S e r v i c e , A n g l i c a n Church Father Hanley, C a t h o l i c C h a r i t i e s Mr. Svend Johansen, Canadian F o l k S o c i e t y Mr. Michael Audain, U.B.C. student (B.C. C i v i l L i b e r t i e Mr. Howard Naph.th.ali, Ex. D i r . , Community Chest Mr. E r n i e H i l l , D i r e c t o r of S o c i a l Planning Mrs. Emily Ostapchuk,• Ex. D i r . , C i v i c U n i t y PURPOSE: To discuss emergency s h e l t e r f o r Sons of Freedom who a r r i v e d i n Vancouver. Professor Dixon st a t e d that as C i v i c U n i t y Asso-c i a t i o n i s "guardian of ethn i c groups", i t i s l o g i c a l that they take the i n i t i a t i v e i n c a l l i n g t h i s meeting of i n t e r e s t e d i n d i v i d u a l s and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of community and church organ-i z a t i o n s . Mr. Audain, who the previous night witnessed an ugly s i t u a t i o n at the N.D.P. h a l l , where some Sons of Freedom spent the nigh t , s a i d h o s t i l e elements were abusing those who took an i n t e r e s t i n the sect and i t was f e l t that something must be done to avoid re-occurence of hoodlum a t t a c k s . I t was f e l t that too many people evade r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i f we don't take i n t e r e s t no one w i l l . A l l members expressed themselves and i t was a unanimous d e c i -s i o n that the i n t e r e s t of t h i s committee i s humanitarian and the purpose i s to meet the emergency s i t u a t i o n by supplying - 2 -s h e l t e r f o r a l i m i t e d time. There was a unanimous agreement among the community members that the lawlessness of the Sons of Freedom was not condoned, but at the same time i t was agreed that the very young and the very o l d were v i c t i m s of t h i s s i t -u a t i o n and that these are the people w i t h whom we must be concerned. I t was a l s o understood that t h i s committee i s not concerning i t s e l f w ith the p o l i c y or p o l i t i c s , nor with any l e g a l aspects. There was a d i s c u s s i o n on the f a c i l i t i e s a v a i l a b l e at the P.N.E. and emergency s h e l t e r . Fishermen's Union H a l l was being made a v a i l a b l e t o n i g h t as w e l l as the N.D.P. H a l l . Pender Auditorium was o f f e r e d the f i r s t n i g h t . I t was suggested and agreed that there be a Release from the A u t h o r i t i e s asking f o r calmness, acceptance and patience on the pa r t of the community at l a r g e . A meeting w i t h Mayor Rathie was arranged f o r 5:00 p.m., and a d e l e g a t i o n comprised of 11 people met w i t h h i s Worship to o f f e r him and h i s department t h i s committee's ass i s t a n c e and to explore w i t h him under c i t y l e a d e r s h i p what accomodation i s a v a i l a b l e . The Mayor s a i d that they had to be p r a c t i c a l i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n and that i f they provided the Sons of Freedom w i t h accomodation they would stay i n d e f i n i t e l y . The committee pointed out itowas concerned a l s o w i t h a v o i d i n g undue h e a l t h problems. The committee asked to what extent would C o u n c i l be prepared to act and to co-ordinate the s e r v i c e s of v o l u n t a r y o r g a n i z a t i o n s to deal w i t h t h i s s i t u a t i o n . His Worship s a i d the Cou n c i l had discussed t h i s matter and they are not going to do anything at t h i s time. He a l s o s t a t e d that at 6;00 p.m., he was meeting, w i t h Attorney General Bonner to discuss the Sons of Freedom. The committee asked the Mayor to n o t i f y t h i s committee of t h e i r d e c i s i o n . The meeting adjourned. People i n the d e l e g a t i o n : Meeting w i t h the Mayor Included:-Dr. J.Katz, P r o f e s s o r Dixon, Mr. Michael Audain, The Rev Southcott, Father Hanley, Mrs. Margaret E r i c k s o n , Mr. L y t l e , Mr. Johansen, Miss P h y l l i s Dale( r e p r e s e n t i n g Dr. Black) Mrs. E m i l y Ostapchuk. (Emily Ostapchuk) Secr e t a r y APPENDIX B Vancouver 9, B.C. January 28, 1963. Mayor W i l l i a m G. Rathie, C i t y of Vancouver, C i t y H a l l , Vane ouve r, B.C. Dear Mayor Rathie: I am w r i t i n g on behalf of a group which has oeen t a k i n g an i n t e r e s t i n the welfare of the Sons of Freedom c h i l d r e n i n the C i t y . I t i s evident that the m a j o r i t y of the Sons of Freedom group have secured some ki n d of minimal housing accomodation. However, there i s a group of about 50 c h i l d r e n and t h e i r mothers who are l e a d i n g a precarious, day-to-day existence because they are d e s t i t u t e . In our view, these mothers and c h i l d r e n should receive the b e n e f i t of the S o c i a l Assistance Act. This Act i s one of the most outstanding pieces of s o c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n i n Canada. Among other t h i n g s , i t provides f o r any form of a i d necessary to r e l i e v e d e s t i t u t i o n and s u f f e r i n g . The Act states that there s h a l l be no d i s c r i m i n a t i o n based on race, colour, creed or p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n . The r e g u l a t i o n s s t a t e that the need of the a p p l i c a n t s h a l l be the determining f a c -to r i n granting assistance and assessing the amount to be given. Residence q u a l i f i c a t i o n s are no longer a f a c t o r i n determin-i n g e l i g i b i l i t y f o r S o c i a l Assistance i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The Resid-ence and R e s p o n s i b i l i t y Act has become inop e r a t i v e since the P r o v i n c i a l Government Increased i t s share of S o c i a l Assistance to 90 per cent of the cost. I f Vancouver grants S o c i a l Assistance to Sons of Freedom mothers and c h i l d r e n , i t w i l l not pay any more of the 10 per cent share than any other l o c a l area on a proportionate b a s i s . The reason i s that a l l l o c a l costs of S o c i a l Assistance are put i n t o a pooled fund and then a l l o c a t e d to l o c a l c i t i e s and m u n i c i p a l i t i e s on the basis of t h e i r p o p u l a t i o n . In short, Vancouver shares i n the l o c a l cost of S o c i a l Assistance no matter i f the Sons of Freedom get i t here or i n such places as Nelson, Nanaimo, P e n t i c t o n , e t c . . You may be i n c l i n e d to the view that the Sons of Freedom should not be given S o c i a l Assistance because they do not possess the p o t e n t i a l f o r good c i t i z e n s h i p . But t h i s would not be a v a l i d reason f o r r e j e c t i o n . S o c i a l Assistance i s not simply provided to the - 2 -worthy; i t i s designed f o r a l l people who are d e s t i t u t e simply be-cause they are human beings, even though many of them are the v i c t i m s of t h e i r own f o l l y . Our group hopes th a t your a d m i n i s t r a t i o n w i l l see i t s way c l e a r to grant as s i s t a n c e to any d e s t i t u t e mother of young c h i l d r e n . We be l i e v e t h a t . i t i s the r i g h t t h i n g to do In what we a l l acknowledge to be a most complex s i t u a t i o n . May I add that our group recognizes that i f assistance i s to be granted that the processing of a p p l i c a n t s may pose an issue to the personnel resources of the C i t y S o c i a l Service Department. I f t h i s i s so, our o r g a n i z a t i o n would be prepared to give the lead to r e c r u i t i n g volunteer s o c i a l workers to a s s i s t In the i n i t i a l e s t -ablishment of e l i g i b i l i t y . I have forwarded copies of t h i s l e t t e r to other members of the C i t y C o u n c i l . Yours s i n c e r e l y , W.C-. Dixon, Chairman, The Committee f o r the Welfare of Sons of Freedom C h i l d r e n . APPENDIX B (cont'd) THE COMMIT'lEE FOR THE WELFARE OF SONS OF FREEDOM CHILDREN Since the a r r i v a l of the Sons of Freedom In Vancouver, we have endeavored to o b t a i n housing f o r the c h i l d r e n . Various h a l l s i n the downtown area have been used and a number of c h i l d r e n and mothers have been placed i n p r i v a t e homes. The h a l l s are now being closed o f f and the number of p r i v a t e homes i s not equal to the task. We b e l i e v e that the g r a n t i n g of S o c i a l Assistance to mothers wi t h c h i l d r e n i s the best way of r e s o l v i n g t h i s dilemna. The S o c i a l Assistance Act of B r i t i s h Columbia i s one of the most outstanding pieces of s o c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n i n Canada. I t provides f o r "... anj form of a i d necessary to r e l i e v e d e s t i t u t i o n and s u f f e r i n g . " The Act a l s o states that there s h a l l be no d i s c r i m i n a t i o n based on race, c o l o r , creed or p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n . The Regulat-ions of the Act s t a t e that the need of the a p p l i c a n t s h a l l be the determining f a c t o r i n g r a n t i n g a s s i s t a n c e and the amount to be given. Residence q u a l i f i c a t i o n s are no longer a f a c t o r i n determ-i n i n g e l i g i b i l i t y f o r S o c i a l Assistance i n B r i t i s h . Columbia. The Residence and R e s p o n s i b i l i t y Act has become in o p e r a t i v e since the p r o v i n c i a l government increased I t s share of S o c i a l Assistance to 90 per cent of the cost. No community has the r i g h t to become a h o s t i l e f o r t r e s s under the guise of maintaining out-dated residence laws . I t may be s u r p r i s i n g to know that i f Vancouver grants Soc-i a l A ssistance to Sons of Freedom mothers and c h i l d r e n , I t w i l l not pay any more of the b i l l than any other organized area In B r i t i s h Columbia on a proportionate 'basis. The reason i s that a l l l o c a l costs of S o c i a l Assistance are put i n t o a pooled fund and then a l l o c -ated to l o c a l c i t i e s and m u n i c i p a l i t i e s on the basis of t h e i r pop-u l a t i o n . In short, Vancouver shares i n the l o c a l cost of S o c i a l Assistance no matter where the Sons of Freedom may happen to get i t . We b e l i e v e that there Is no l e g a l or a d m i n i s t r a t i v e bar to Vancouver g r a n t i n g S o c i a l Assistance immediately to d e s t i t u t e mothers and c h i l d r e n of the Sons of Freedom group. We a l s o b e l i e v e that a moral issue i s Involved when mothers and c h i l d r e n face the l i k e l i h o o d of hunger and l a c k of s h e l t e r . APPENDIX C January 28, 1963. Hon. Wesley D. Black, M i n i s t e r of S o c i a l Welfare, Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Parliament B u i l d i n g s , V i c t o r i a , B.C. Dear Mr. Black: I am w r i t i n g on behalf of a group which i s t aking an i n -t e r e s t i n the vrelfare of the Sons of Freedom c h i l d r e n now i n Vancouver. We have to-day, w r i t t e n to Mayor W i l l i a m G. Rathie, urging h i s admin-i s t r a t i o n to grant s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e to d e s t i t u t e mothers of young c h i l d r e n . We b e l i e v e that the S o c i a l Assistance Act i s one of the most enlightened pieces of s o c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n i n Canada and that i t should be a p p l i e d i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n . I t may be that the C i t y of Vancouver w i l l be h e s i t a n t to act i n what i t regards as a very complex s i t u a t i o n . Our reason i n w r i t i n g to you Is to urge you to give Mayor Rathie and h i s colleagues every k i n d of support i n a s s u r i n g them the backing of the Department of S o c i a l Welfare In any actions they may take i n meeting the p l i g h t of d e s t i t u t e mothers and c h i l d r e n of the Sons of Freedom group. I f a d e c i s i o n Is made to grant a s s i s t a n c e , we b e l i e v e there may be some concern that the processing of a p p l i c a t i o n s may prove to be an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e problem to the e x i s t i n g resources of the C i t y S o c i a l Service Department. I f any such an emergency e x i s t s , your department might consider seconding s o c i a l workers from other areas or p r o v i d i n g funds to o b t a i n a d d i t i o n a l personnel. Our group was encouraged by the statement of the Hon. Attorney G-eneral, Mr. Robert Bonner, that the C i t y of Vancouver holds the best prospects yet of i n t e g r a t i n g Sons of Freedom i n t o the Can-adian community. I f s o c i a l a s sistance i s granted, i t w i l l not only r e l i e v e d e s t i t u t i o n but a l s o c o n t r i b u t e to t h i s o b j e c t i v e . Yours very t r u l y , Mrs. E m i l y Ostapchuk, Secretary, Committee f o r the Welfare of Sons of Freedom C h i l d r e n . APPENDIX D Vancouver 10, B.C., March 20, 1963. Mr. J.A. Sadler, D i r e c t o r of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e , V i c t o r i a , B.C. KB: Refusal of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e . Dear S i r : I am a Doukhobour mother l i v i n g i n Vancouver and have a c h i l d of t h i r t e e n attending s c h o o l . I havev.no means of support and a p p l i e d f o r S o c i a l A s s i s t -ance here In Vancouver f o l l o w i n g support given me by the S a l v a t i o n Army i n the form of food vouchers. I received S o c i a l Assistance f o r the l a t t e r h a l f of the month of February and then I was t o l d no more assistance w i l l be given me on the grounds I was married and that my support must come from my husband. The matter went before a Family Court Judge here i n Vancouver where I was i n t e r r o g a t e d and the f a c t that my husband was absent i n a f o r e i g n country and had not been supporting me f o r over a year was e s t a b l i s h e d . Further, that ours was only a "common-law" marriage which gave no grounds f o r l e g a l a c t i o n i n the case. The Judge submitted a r e p o r t to that e f f e c t to the l o c a l Welfare O f f i c e . I s t i l l get no A s s i s t a n c e . I l i v e only on c h a r i t a b l e support and I have to provide the needs f o r myself and a grown-up c h i l d i n a c i t y , buy g r o c e r i e s , c l o t h e s , pay rent and other innumerable expenses. Is t h i s A s s i s t -ance not given out on the basis of need, and not because of s o c i a l record? My need i s as great, i f not greater, than that of any other woman whose husband i s present w i t h her. I f a i l to see the J u s t i c e of t h i s a t t i t u d e of your o f f i c e and therefore am w r i t i n g f o r a r e -view and an e x p l a n a t i o n to which I f e e l I am e n t i t l e d . Yours very t r u l y , Mrs. M o l l y Moojelsky. APPENDIX E May 15, 1963. Honourable W. Robert Bonner, Q.C., Attorney General, Parliament B u i l d i n g s , V i c t o r i a , B.C. Dear Mr. Bonner: As you may know an i n f o r m a l , v o l u n t a r y group has maintained contact w i t h the Sons of Freedom group which r e c e n t l y migrated to Vancouver. Through cooperative e f f o r t some things were accomplished i n l o c a t i n g emergency housing i n various h a l l s , p l a c i n g some f a m i l i e s i n homes i n t e r e s t e d i n o f f e r i n g f a c i l i t i e s , undertaking some s p e c i a l measures f o r the c h i l d r e n , and g i v i n g enouragement to school attend-ance. I suppose that one of the things that impressed us most i s that we seemed to provide opportunity f o r d i s c u s s i o n of some of the leaders of the group and t h i s appeared to give them a b e t t e r view of matters of p u b l i c p o l i c y . As a r e s u l t of our experience., we would l i k e to advance a proposal that we know has been made before but which, to us, has some v a l i d i t y . I am r e f e r r i n g of course, to some form of administ-r a t i v e machinery to d e a l w i t h the Sons of Freedom and which might be c a l l e d The Coordinating Commission f o r Sons of Freedom A f f a i r s . We are i n agreement that s u f f i c i e n t formal study has been given to the issue, notably through the Hawthorne Report. What appears to be now needed i s an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e body which acts as a bridge between the p r o v i n c i a l government and the group. I t i s our f e e l i n g that the very existence of such, an o r g a n i z a t i o n , w i t h i t s opportunity of expression of o p i n i o n w i l l have a s e t t l i n g e f f e c t on the group which seems to have some need f o r frequent a i r i n g of i t s views w i t h some o r g a n i z a t i o n w i t h at l e a s t some form of s e m i - o f f i c -i a l s t a t u s . I know that you are concerned w i t h what w i l l c o n s t i t u t e a programme i f an o r g a n i z a t i o n i s e s t a b l i s h e d . I t seems to us that the only r e a l i s t i c view i s to d e a l c o n s t r u c t i v e l y w i t h the problems of the group and i t s a r r i v a l s i n the hope that the demonstration of i n t e r e s t and a c t i o n w i l l have an impact on a good number of the i n d i v i d u a l s concerned. For instance, we can see some value i n review of c o u n s e l l -i n g s e r v i c e s i n schools where there are large numbers of Sons of Freedom c h i l d r e n . There would a l s o be some v i r t u e i n assessing the r e c r e a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s of communities where there are a preponder-ance of Sons of Freedom F a m i l i e s . In short, a programme should ex-amine every facet of Sons of Freedom l i f e i n the hope th a t r e d u c t i o n of problems and tensions w i l l lead to a reduction of r e s i s t a n c e . While the problems are not s i m i l a r , there i s some pre-cedent f o r a province s e t t i n g up a programme f o r a group that poses problems. We b e l i e v e that Manitoba has a community development programme that Is devoted to the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of the Metis group. We a l s o b e l i e v e that the P r o v i n c i a l government of Saskatchewan has a more modest programme. We would l i k e to make i t c l e a r that we do not envisage a b u r e a u c r a t i c s t r u c t u r e surrounding the proposed c r e a t i o n of a Commission on Sons of Freedom A f f a i r s . Most p a r t i c u l a r l y , the h i s t -o r i c Indian A f f a i r s A d m i n i s t r a t i v e formula i n v o l v i n g c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of s e r v i c e s should be avoided. We envisage the r e g u l a r departments of government p r o v i d i n g s e r v i c e to the Sons of Freedom, but having r e g u l a r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h the proposed Commission on the Sons of Freedom a f f a i r s . The c r e a t i o n of a Commission may be very t i m e l y at the present. We b e l i e v e that you share the view that the movement of the group to Vancouver o f f e r s the most promising opportunity i n years f o r some s o l u t i o n of the problem. The adjustment to c i t y l i f e i s not an easy task f o r an e s s e n t i a l l y r u r a l group and one of the f i r s t assignments of a Commission would be to work w i t h the group and others who may wish to j o i n them. Yours s i n c e r e l y , W.G. Dixon, Chairman, The Committee on the Welfare of the Sons of Freedom C h i l d r e n . APPENDIX F Attorney-General Province of B r i t i s h Columbia V i c t o r i a May 29th 1963 P 291 - 17 W.G. Dixon Esq., Chairman, The Committee on Sons of Freedom A f f a i r s , Dear Mr. Dixon: I acknowledge and thank you f o r your l e t t e r of May 15th, i n connection with.the Sons of Freedom. Our p o l i c y to date has been to use e x i s t i n g agencies of government to deal w i t h Sons of Freedom as i n d i v i d u a l s when i n d i v -i d u a l problems a r i s e . This f u n c t i o n appears to have been u s e f u l l y discharged w i t h i n the normal c o - o r d i n a t i n g agencies of government, both at the p r o v i n c i a l and. municipal l e v e l . I note that you envisage "the r e g u l a r departments of government p r o v i d i n g s e r v i c e to the Sons of Freedom but having reg-u l a r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h the proposed Commission on Sons of Freedom A f f a i r s . " This suggestion appears to overlook the f a c t that a con-t i n u i n g committee of Deputy M i n i s t e r has been i n existence since 1953. This committee, which meets as f r e q u e n t l y as r e q u i r e d , p r e s e n t l y comprises eighteen persons. A l i s t of those normally i n attendance, i n c l u d i n g those c a l l e d i n from time to time f o r s p e c i a l advice, i s annexed. Because t h i s group i s comprised of people w i t h s t a t u t o r y and a c t u a l day to day a u t h o r i t y and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to discharge, i n c l u d i n g co-operation with l o c a l l e v e l s of government, i t would be d i f f i c u l t to know what a Commission might provide, unless i t would become sounding-board f o r Sons of Freedom propagandists, from whose a c t i v i t i e s we have been h a p p i l y free In recent months. However, I w i l l be happy to place your suggestion before the continuing Committee f o r t h e i r c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Yours very t r u l y , E n c l . R.W. Bonner, Attorney - General. - 2 -Dr. G.D. Kennedy, Q.C. Deputy Attorney - General. Dr. J.F.K. E n g l i s h , Deputy M i n i s t e r of Education. Mr. E.R. Ric k i n s o n , Deputy M i n i s t e r of S o c i a l Welfare. Mr. A.E. Webb, Deputy M i n i s t e r of P u b l i c Works. Mr. W. M a c G i l l i v r a y , Deputy M i n i s t e r of A g r i c u l t u r e . Mr. E.W. Bassett, Deputy M i n i s t e r of Lands. Mr. G.S. Bryson, Deputy M i n i s t e r of Finance. Mr. H.T. Miard, Deputy M i n i s t e r of Highways. Dr. J.A. Taylor, Deputy M i n i s t e r of Health. Miss Mary King, Superintendent of C h i l d Welfare Mr. W.C. Higgins, Departmental Comptroller, Department of the Attorney-General. Dr. D.O. F o r r e s t , A s s i s t a n t Commissioner, R.C.M.P. Superintendent C.B. Macdonell, C.I.B., R.C.M.P. Inspector S.E. Raybone, R.C.M.P., C h i l l i w a c k . S t a f f Sgt. Lambert, R.C.M.P., Nelson, S u b d i v i s i o n . Mr. N.H. Erewster, School Trustee, School D i s t r i c t No. 8, Slocan, B.C. Mr. C. Cuthbert, D i s t r i c t Superintendent of Schools, Nelson, B.C. Mr. R.H. Mcintosh, School Attendance O f f i c e r , Nelson, B.C. Dr. P l e n d e r l e i t h , Co-ordinator of S p e c i a l S e r v i c e s , Department of Education. Mr. Espley, Departmental Comptroller, Department of Education. TOWN MEETING OP THE AIR _ CJOR, VANCOUVER, B.C. MAI 30/63. Panel Speakers: J.E. P o d o v i n i k o f f , Russel M. V e r i g i n , Jack Sawarsky and P r o f . Ray Herbert (UBC). F i r s t speaker: Mr. Moderator, l a d i e s and -gentlemen of Town Meeting of the A i r : -In the matter of what happened to the Doukhobour Questions, I would l i k e to say, as a Doukhobour, that a gross miscarriage of J u s t i c e , or a t o t a l l a c k of j u s t i c e - c o n s c i o u s or unconscious - i s being evidenced i n p r a c t i c e on Canadian s o i l , a b l a t a n t v i o l a t i o n of human r i g h t s i n a land that boasts of freedom and democracy. True, there i s freedom, but not freedom from i n j u s t i c e . True there i s democracy, but only f o r a few, and p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r the ones i n power. From what one can see and. know of In the so-called. "Doukhobour Question", there i s no way to describe the hidden c r u e l t y and b e a s t l y c r a f t i n e s s by which the modern system of law here metes out s o c i a l j u s t i c e , g r i n d i n g out mechanically decrees and r u l e s and r e g u l a t i o n s by the hour but f a i l s to attend to the b a s i c needs of i t s e q u a l l y worthy c i t i z e n s , the t o l l e r s w i t h the ca l l o u s e d hands - the Common Man. Doukhobours are embittered by the farce that i s c a l l e d j u s t i c e i n the hands of a r b i t r a r y p o l i t i c i a n s who can starve people, betray t h e i r needs and put them i n j a i l s - and then laugh behind t h e i r backs and say: You are an unwanted people. Go back to where you came from. You are not our breed. You don't belong here. You are an i n f e r i o r r a ce. You are s t u p i d ; you don't want to conform l i k e the r e s t . So don't expect mercy from us. For over s i x t y years Doukhobours had t o put up with t h i s s o r t of t h i n g because, as C h r i s t i a n s and strangers who b e l i e v e d i n the Teachings of C h r i s t , there was no other choice. They t o i l e d and they s u f f e r e d . And as soon as one wave of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n l e f t them penni-l e s s and homeless, they s t a r t e d up again, weary i n the body but staunch i n the f a i t h that some day a new l i g h t w i l l i l l u m i n a t e the h o r i z o n , that a change w i l l come about g i v i n g the e t e r n a l r e s p i t e from e t e r n a l oppression and e t e r n a l threat of s t a r v a t i o n that faced them i f they stopped the arduous climb to freedom without degradation... These people as I know them, are not angels nor purport them-selves so to be. But n e i t h e r are Doukhobors the low-down creatures that some "wish to p a i n t them. They have a remarkable h i s t o r i c a l background of some 300 years d u r a t i o n r e f l e c t i n g i n t e g r i t y , endurance and perseverance f o r the i d e a l of peace and u n i v e r s a l brotherhood, which In no way can be excluded from the b r i g h t e r ar.nels of man's e t e r n a l quest of Progression "toward-' a r - b e t t e r l i f e ; and t h e i r c u l t u r e nurtured i n s u f f e r i n g and h u m i l i t y Is b e n e f i c i a l indeed to the soc-i a l and s p i r i t u a l e v o l u t i o n of mankind which i s f l o u n d e r i n g s o r e l y i n i t s f a i l u r e s i n these f i e l d s . They are s t r u g g l i n g f o r r i g h t s which, cannot be denied to anyone who considers himself a human being and who does not want to be f o r e v e r g r o v e l l i n g i n the dust. And no worthwhile c u l t u r e ever emerged that d i d not have to disagree and cast o f f some of the chains of conformity i n order to a s s e r t i t s e l f . . . - 2 -Last September, some 1000 of these people, commonly c a l l e d the Sons of Freedom rose up i n a mass and f l e d as refugees from an area where i t was the only deliverance from mass extermination that had shaped up through the years w i t h the help of mercenaries, provoc-ateurs and t r a d i t i o n a l Doukhobour haters to whom the very idea of Doukhobours maintaining a r e l i g i o u s s tatus of group l i v i n g was so obnoxious i n the midst of a h i g h l y i n d u s t r i a l i z e d empire of vested i n t e r e s t s i n the Kootenays that they had to sink to the means of open th r e a t s and i n t i m i d a t i o n against l i f e and property i n order to d r i v e these people, out i n t o the streets...These people thus d r i v e n out - young and old - trekked f o r f i v e months through the heat, the r a i n s , the storms and the snow, across the Rocky Mount-ains t i l l they reached t h i s f a i r - C i t y of Vancouver. During that time the Canadian world watched and waited. S p e c i a l p o l i c e squads hounded them, as they hound them to t h i s day. Every step made was reported to headquarters and standing orders were to a r r e s t the leaders and segregate the c h i l d r e n i f the l e a s t grounds f o r pro-v o c a t i o n could be found f o r the law to apply. Dogs had been used, i n numbers, to i n t i m i d a t e the trekkers. not to move from a s i t e about half-way down where the. Government suddenly decided to entrap them — f a r enough from home, and not quite close enough to any other p o i n t of communication where people may begin to know too much of the t r u t h behind t h i s strange phenomena... And now they are here i n Vancouver, 500 miles from home, or what had been a home. And a f t e r t h e i r l a s t means of sustenance had given out, as a l a s t r e s o r t they a p p l i e d f o r S o c i a l Assistance ac-cording to the law of the land and the Government most grudgingly, and very u n w i l l i n g l y , coupled w i t h much d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , gave i n to s o c i a l pressure f o l l o w i n g i t s e s t a b l i s h e d p o l i c y of p r e s s u r i z a t i o n by s t a r v a t i o n , i g n o r i n g the f a c t that these people were twice robbed of m i l l i o n s of d o l l a r s worth of t o i l while i n Canada and are now being deprived most shamefully of t h e i r own r i g h t s to l i v e In peace by t h e i r own t r a d i t i o n s which were never dependant upon'outside sources f o r t h e i r m a t e r i a l or moral upkeep. Doukhobour communities, when not d i s r u p t e d , looked a f t e r t h e i r own welfare cases and con-sidered i t below t h e i r d i g n i t y to accept things from the Government which they knew l i v e d o f f the working people. And they had no crim-i n a l problem before the Government s t a r t e d tampering and d e s t r o y i n g t h e i r r e l i g i o u s order of l i f e ... So today: "What happened to the Doukhobour Question?"... As i s evident - i t i s there where the die-hard and ambitious Doukhobour-haters have more or l e s s wished I t to be: i n cold storage on V i c t o r y Square. They want to say "There Is no Doukhobour Question because, Doukhobours as Doukhobours - are non-existant, and therefore there i s no Doukhobour Question." And t h i s Is as much as to say "There i s no depression or unemployment i n the country," or "there i s no danger In Canada a c q u i r i n g nuclear warheads," or "there i s no d i s -c r i m i n a t i o n amongst the classes or toward m i n o r i t y groups," which indeed abound i n every d i r e c t i o n and threaten to d i s i n t e g r a t e the - 3; -country from i n t e r n a l pressure because co n d i t i o n s have been brought to an i n t o l e r a b l e stage. Witness the negro question across the l i n e . I t has s i m i l a r conotations. But Canadianism i s more subtle and hidden... The whole t h i n g would be c a l l e d comical i f i t wasn't so t r a g i c . A f t e r s i x t y years of Incessant t o i l the Doukhobours have a buchen-wald b u i l t f o r them so they w i l l know who i s master of the household and as a reminder to others that t h i s w i l l happen to you too, i f you don't conform. . We have been b l a c k l i s t e d as t e r r o r i s t s and a r s o n i s t s though I t has been discovered that the main t e r r o r i s t s are the ones p o i n t i n g t h e i r f i n g e r s and engineering the hoax by which the whole question, today, i s being compromised. Time and time again Doukho-bours have asked that an i n v e s t i g a t i o n Into t h e i r a f f a i r s be made and the government knows there are a l o t of things that do need i n -v e s t i g a t i o n , but i t ignores the Issue and I t could w e l l be asked "WHY"... Could i t not p o s s i b l y be that i t i t s e l f i s responsible f o r much that c o n s t i t u t e s the tragedy of the Doukhobour question? Why, I f i t t r u l y was anxious to resolve the matter, d i d i t make no r e -sponse to the constant pleas of the women and c h i l d r e n begging a t t e n -t i o n to the matter? Is an I n v e s t i g a t i o n so d i f f i c u l t , or i s t h i s a r e l i c of the days of c o l o n i a l i s m where one was master, and the other' a s l a v e ? . . . . The Government a r r e s t e d dozens of innocent people, the bread-winners of the f a m i l i e s and then r e l e a s e d them again a f t e r lengthy and. expensive court proceedings. i t caused d i s r u p t i o n of homes and s o c i a l l i f e t hat could not be computed i n thousands and perhaps m i l l i o n s o f . d o l l a r s - c o n s i d e r i n g the u n t o l d miseries and l o s s that the wave of provocation cost the people i n i t i a t e d by Lebedoff and Bayoff as t o o l s of the master hoax of which the Attorney - General himself r e f e r r e d to as quoted by the PROVINCE of Sept. 15, l a s t . I have the references here and could read them out i f requested. But t ;:at i s only one f a c e t that r e f l e c t s the conditions of today: the co l d , inhuman a t t i t u d e of o f f i c i a l i n d i f f e r e n c e which i s as much as to say: "Starve you miserable creatures, f o r a l l we care. Take your dose and stop c r y i n g . We wash our hands from your a f f a i r s " . . . Lebedoff, of course, gets a reward f o r having done a good "job." And the "D" Squad can pat themselves on the back f o r having helped i n a d i s r u p t i o n of a defenceless people whose main crime was that they b e l i e v e d i n Sorokin and refused stubbornly to accept what Lebedoff p r e s c r i b e d f o r them.... C e r t a i n l y , Mr. Moderator, these are. strong words, but they are true words as f a r as our experiences show. And because they are true, I am f r e e , along w i t h the r e s t of the people a f f e c t e d , to challenge whomsoever may wish to deny them. We have evidence here to confirm what.we say and are prepared to use i t . Whoever t h i n k s that the Doukhobour problem i s swept under the carpet and w i l l be churned i n t o nothingness underfoot may find, that there i s no carpet - 4 -b i g enough, i n Canada to hide our Questions; f o r i t i s a u n i v e r s a l one and, as one wit h the Common Man of the world whose day has a r r i v e d , we stand up to c l a i m our r i g h t s as human beings, as worthy of the d i g n i t j r of the working man who has b u i l t t h i s country as he has b u i l t other countries and has the inherent God-given r i g h t to l i v e according, to the d i c t a t e s of conscience and reason, and not as perpetual slaves to the i n d u s t r i a l , p o l i t i c a l and. m i l i t a r y l o r d s of the day. As C h r i s t i a n s and as Doukhobours, we say t h i s to a l l of Canada because we are al s o Canadians and have the r i g h t to c r i t i c i z e even as we are being c r i t i c i z e d - i n the s p i r i t of Freedom, and of Truth. Our i d e a l has been and w i l l remain t o be: TOIL AND PEACEFUL LIFE; -SONS OF THE FREE SPIRIT OF CHRIST CAN NEVER BE SLAVES OF CORRUPTION'. .. I thank you Mr. Moderator, f o r t h i s memorable occasion." APPENDIX H BIBLIOGRAPHY Ge ne r a 1 Re'fe re nee s : HAWTHORN H.B. PEREPELKIN J . J , WRIGHT J.F.C. The Doukhobors of B r i t i s h Columbia; . U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia; J.M. Dent and Sons; Can; 1955 Doukhobor Problem i n Canada; Translated and e d i t e d by J.E. P o d o v i n i k o f f . Slaya Bohu; F a r r a r and Rinehart, Inc; N.Y. Toronto; 1940 S p e c i f i c References; CARSON W. FORRESTER I . THE VANCOUVER PROVINCE THE VANCOUVER SUN They Die While Bonner S c o f f s ; Paper c i r -c ulated i n Vancouver; Sept. 1963; Human Rights Assn. M i g r a t i o n of the Sons of Freedom i n t o the  Lower Mainland; Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis; U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1964. Newspaper coverage of Sons of Freedom stay i n Vancouver. Newspaper coverage of Sons of Freedom stay i n Vancouver. Correspondence (copies of) wit h Mayor Rathie; Attorney General Bonner; Mr. J.A. Sadler, D i r e c t o r of S o c i a l A s s i s t -ance; and the Hon. Wesley D. Black, M i n i s t e r of S o c i a l Welfare. Minutes of the meetings of the Committee f o r the Welfare of Sons of Freedom C h i l d r e n 

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