Manoly Lupul | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Manoly Lupul

Manoly Robert Lupul (Манолій Лупул), CM, historian, author, educator (born 14 August 1927 in Vegreville, AB; died 24 July 2019 in Calgary, AB). Manoly Lupul was a professor at the University of Alberta specializing in Ukrainian-Canadian history, multiculturalism and the education of ethnic minorities in Western Canada. He helped establish and served as the first director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. A strong advocate for multiculturalism in Canada, he was instrumental in the creation of Ukrainian-English bilingual education programs in the Prairie provinces.

Manoly Lupul

Early Life

Manoly Lupul was born on 14 August 1927 in Vegreville, Alberta to William and Eudokia (Dorothy) Lupul. Both sets of his grandparents were Ukrainian immigrants who settled northeast of Edmonton in the early 1900s. Lupul was raised in Willingdon district, one of the largest Ukrainian bloc settlements in Western Canada. Lupul spoke only Ukrainian until he began attending school in Willingdon at age seven, where, thanks to the support of bilingual teachers, he excelled academically. In 1944, the Lupul family moved to Edmonton to give Lupul and his two younger brothers the opportunity to attend university. Lupul finished high school at Victoria High School.


Manoly Lupul attended the University of Alberta, where he earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in history (1950) and the other in education (1951). He worked as a teacher in junior high schools in Alberta for a few years and married Natalie (Natalia) Goresky, a Ukrainian-Canadian teacher, in 1953. Lupul continued his studies at the University of Minnesota, earning a master’s in history and the philosophy of education with a minor in political science in 1955. He pursued a PhD in education at Harvard University, earning his doctorate in 1963. He later published his PhD dissertation as a monograph titled, “The Roman Catholic Church and the North-West School Question: A Study in Church-State Relations in Western Canada, 1875–1905.”

Academic Career

Manoly Lupul was hired at the University of Alberta in 1958 and became a full professor in the Department of Education Foundations in 1970. He remained at the university until his retirement in 1990. His research focused on multiculturalism, the education of minority groups and Ukrainian-Canadian history. He wrote and edited several publications on these topics.

Lupul was active in numerous local and national organizations, including the Canadian Consultative Council on Multiculturalism, the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation, the Ukrainian Community Development Committee, the Ukrainian Canadian Committee, and the Edmonton Historical Board.


Manoly Lupul became interested in the growing Canadian multiculturalism movement. In 1965, Lupul, lawyer Peter Savaryn and political scientist Bohdan Bociurkiw presented to the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. Their presentation called for the advancement of Ukrainian culture in Canadian society. In 1970, the Commission recommended that “Canadian universities expand their studies in the fields of the humanities and the social sciences relating to particular areas other than those related to the English and French languages.” This spurred the development of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta, which Lupul co-founded. CIUS is a centre for research and publishing on Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian topics and was the first publicly funded institute of its kind outside of Ukraine. Lupul served as the founding director of the institute from 1976 to 1986. In his tenure, he helped establish the field of Ukrainian studies in Canada and the creation of the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, the most comprehensive English-language work on Ukraine and Ukrainians.

Minority Language Instruction

Manoly Lupul was a strong supporter of promoting minority languages and cultures, particularly in education. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Ukrainian-English schools existed in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and to a limited extent Alberta. However, these schools were abolished in favour of French and English-language education. In 1971, Lupul and other members of the Edmonton Ukrainian Professional and Businessmen’s Club successfully lobbied for an amendment to the Alberta School Act to allow for the instruction of minority languages in schools. Lupul was then instrumental in the development of a Ukrainian-English bilingual education program established in Alberta in 1974. Ukrainian-English programs in Manitoba and Saskatchewan were modeled after Lupul’s system.


In 2003, Manoly Lupul was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for his work preserving Ukrainian culture and language and for promoting multiculturalism in Canada. Lupul was also awarded the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2018, the Professor Manoly R. Lupul Endowment to Advance Ukrainian Language Education was established to support the Ukrainian Language Education Centre at the University of Alberta.

Further Reading