Manitoba Municipal Heritage Site No. 45

Ukrainian Pioneer Mass Grave Site
SW 22-19-23 WPM
Oakburn area

Ukrainian Pioneer Mass Grave Site
Designation Date: April 17, 1990
Designation Authority: Rossburn (R.M.)
Present Owner: Rossburn (M)

The Ukrainian Pioneer Mass Grave Site is a tangible link to the struggle, devastation and loss experienced by newly arrived Ukrainian immigrants in the Vista area in 1899. After enduring an arduous journey to escape persecution in the Ukraine and to seek a better life, a group of immigrants temporarily camped at this location (pending the allocation of homesteads) suffered an outbreak of scarlet fever that took the lives of over 40 children and three adults. They were buried en masse as the frozen ground made individual burial too difficult. About 50 years later the remains were removed to the present location, approximately 100 metres north of the original burial site. The gravesite, a unique example of a pioneer mass burial in Manitoba, is now a place of mourning, pride, gratitude and celebration for surviving Ukrainian pioneers and their descendants. This continued importance is demonstrated by various monuments erected in association with significant events and by regular use of the site to celebrate Ukrainian settlement in Canada.