Saskatchewan Gen Web Project - SASKATCHEWAN AND ITS PEOPLE by JOHN HAWKES Vol 1I 1924

SASKATCHEWAN AND ITS PEOPLE
1924



         

PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE EARLY EUROPEAN IMMIGRANT.

GALICIANS AND BUKOWINANS.
SETTLEMENT EAST OF SALTCOATS.

saved their wages and I became their banker and most of their savings
went to purchase a plow or a cow or something for the "faruma".

Each year the settlement extended as friends came out from Europe until there were several townships fully settled. In a few years they built better houses, thatched in their own style, some having frame houses with shingle roofs. They had very good outbuildings as a rule, hauling the logs in winter from the Duck Mountains, across the Assiniboine River. Some bought land adjoining their homesteads, and discarded their original oxen for horses. I found them very good stock men, as they kept every- thing in good order, getting up in the middle of the night sometimes to feed them or fix up their bedding. Even their hens laid all winter, and the eggs were as good as others, but I could not recommend their butter. Their progress was quite as great as that of any other average settler, and on the whole they were well-behaved and hospitable. Some however were a distinctly bad lot, but such are found in all communities.

Re Education :-After they had permanently settled down I still kept in touch with these colonists and after a few years I induced them to sign a petition for schools. I had to point out that it would be a benefit to them to have their children able to speak read and write the language of the country as it would be a protection for them against, say unscrupulous horse dealers and others who got them to put their mark to notes far in excess of the proper amount, took money from them without giving re- ceipts, and failed to credit them with payments made. They also some- times got official letters from the Land Office which they could not read and answer, sometimes having their homesteads cancelled on this account, although on representation of the facts being made to the proper authori- ties their homesteads were always restored to them. I also impressed upon them that the Government would give them grants according to the standing of the schools and absentee land-owners would also be taxed as well as themselves for school purposes. This had some weight for there were some Manitoba and North Western Railway lands which were not exempt and altogether I succeeded in convincing them that in view of the great advantages they would gain their school tax would be really light. In 1906, I think it was I laid out nine school districts and got the settlers to sign the necessary petitions. The school districts accordingly became accomplished facts and after their establishment an educated Galician named Bodrig was sent by the Department of Education from Saskatoon and he undertook to appoint trustees and soon he got the school districts going in working order. Unfortunately there were only three men in the vicinity who were English speaking and they were appointed Secretaries.

I observed that one of them, a carpenter, was going to build the schools at a much higher figure than was at all necessary, and I induced the De- partment to cancel the appointments of the trustees, all of whom were entirely ignorant of English and of the duties of their office. An "Official Trustee" was then appointed, and a first class and most trustworthy man for this position found in the person of a man who was farming not far from the Ruthenian settlement, and who also held a first class certificate m as soon as they could buy the more modern stuff. They Bibliography follows:



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THE STORY
OF
SASKATCHEWAN
AND ITS PEOPLE



By JOHN HAWKES
Legislative Librarian



Volume II
Illustrated



CHICAGO - REGINA
THE S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY
1924




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