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P. Verigin Letter to J.D. MacLean Regarding State of Doukhobor Education

November 11, 1927

Brilliant, BC

Honourable Dr. J.D. MacLean,
Minister of Education,
Victoria, BC

Honourable Sir:-

Elected as President and Leader of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood, Limited, the Doukhobors in Canada, I came here to fulfill my duties.

The first of my activities was to inquire in the state of Education in the settlements which are under my supervision.

I have noticed with a deep and thankful feeling, that the Canadian Government has spent large amounts in the three Provinces where the Doukhobors are settled, for school buildings, school supplies and wages to teachers.

Although I had no time to acquaint myself with this subject thoroughly, but I am sure, it is established quite normally.

However such a state of affairs cannot satisfy neither me nor the population intrusted to my care, for welfare of which I hold myself responsible before them, my conscience and my God.

The 15,000 population of the Doukhobors in Canada has their national-inborn, cultural, educational and moral-religious needs without satisfaction of which they cannot properly develope their life in Canada, and these needs cannot be satisfied without foundamental study and knowledge of their Russian mother tongue.

I expect that the democratic Canadian Government will agree with me that the National Minority, represented by the Doukhobor population has their full right to its cultural self-determination.

Therefore I, the undersigned, solicit before the Government of British Columbia to take immediate steps for the introduction of the Russian language in the programme of Doukhobors schools, parallely with English and to make all necessary arrangements.

Honourable Dr. J.D. MacLean,
Victoria, BC

Accept, Honourable Sir, my deep respects,
At your service,
P. Verigin

Gave them no encouragement. Stated that we had no objection on part of Doukhobors to exercise of Religion, and Language etc. but this Province would not tolerate Bilingual teaching in our schools J.M[acLean]

Source: BC Archives, Premier – 1927 – Doukhobors, GR 441 vol 264 File 5, P. Verigin, P. Verigin Letter to J.D. MacLean Regarding State of Doukhobor Education , November 11, 1927.

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