Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Cross of Freedom

Cross of Freedom
Installed 1984
PR 491
8 kilometres northwest of Valley River

A group of Ukrainian settlers seeking free land and political freedom took up homesteads in 1896 near Valley River, Manitoba. They named their new community after their native village, Terebowla. Here in April 1897, the Reverend Nestor Dmytriw celebrated the first Ukrainian Catholic Mass on Canadian soil. After the service, he accompanied the worshippers to a site on the far bank of Drifting River where he consecrated a traditional Cross of Freedom erected by the settlers to mark the beginning of their new life in Canada. This wooden memorial stood on the site for many years. Similar symbolic crosses were erected soon thereafter in other Ukrainian settlements in Canada.