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Savella Stechishin, CM SOM, née Wawryniuk (August 19, 1903 – April 22, 2002), was a Ukrainian-Canadian home economist and writer, recipient of the Order of Canada. She has been described as "an ethnocultural social maternal feminist" (Ostryzniuk, 1999).

Biography

Stechishin was born in Tudorkovychi, Austrian Galicia (today in Lviv Oblast, Ukraine), and her family emigrated to Canada in 1913, settling in Krydor, Saskatchewan. At age 17 she married Julian Stechyshyn, rector of the Petro Mohyla Institute in Saskatoon, and later bore three children, Anatole, Myron, and Zenia. She completed high school and teachers college, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in Home Economics from the University of Saskatchewan in 1930, the first Ukrainian woman to receive a degree there.

While studying, she was also the Dean of Women at the Petro Mohyla Institute, where she organized evening courses in cooking, homemaking, Ukrainian culture and cuisine, and public speaking for young women. Later, she taught in public schools and lectured in Ukrainian Language and in the Department of Women's Services at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as running outreach programs for Ukrainian immigrants. She also lectured around North America and in Western Ukraine (Polish Galicia) before it was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939.

She helped establish the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada in 1926, and the Ukrainian Museum of Canada in 1936.

For over 25 years, she was editor of the women's page and columnist for the Winnipeg-based Ukrainian Voice weekly (Ukrayins’kyy Holos). She also contributed to other Ukrainian women's publications in North America and Western Ukraine, and wrote for the Canadian Consumer Information Service during the Second World War.

Shechishin's most prominent book is the English-language Traditional Ukrainian Cookery (1957), which saw its eighteenth reprinting in 1995 and has sold 80,000 copies. Her other books are in Ukrainian: Art Treasures of Ukrainian Embroidery (1950), and a 50th anniversary book for the Saskatoon branch of the Ukrainian Women's Association (1975). She assisted her husband, Julian Stechishin, with a Ukrainian Grammar (1951), and completed his History of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada (1971) after his death—an English translation was published in 1992.

Awards

Savella Stechishin was awarded many honours. Most notably, she was appointed to the Order of Canada on April 20, 1989, and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1998.

References