Halyna Chomiak Freeland
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Halyna Chomiak Freeland (1946-2007) On Friday, July 6 Halyna Chomiak Freeland died at the age of 60 after a long battle with cancer. She died in New York City, surrounded by her family. Born on September 2, 1946 in Bad Worishofen, Germany in a displaced person's camp, Halyna Mykhailvna Chomiak was the third child of Alexandra and Mykhailo Chomiak. In October 1948 the family immigrated to Canada where they lived with Mykhailo Chomiak's sister, Katerina Shulhan and her family in Cherhill, Alberta for a few years before settling in Edmonton (Jasper Place). The family was active in Edmonton's vibrant post-World War II Ukrainian community: Mykhailo Chomiak played an instrumental role in establishing some of its key institutions. Alexandra Chomiak was a writer of Ukrainian children's literature. Halyna Chomiak Freeland was a small woman with enormous passion and energy who lived her life to the fullest. She was a lawyer, activist, teacher, community organizer, bookstore founder, cooperative housing pioneer, politician, student, and international legal reformer; she was a single mother, an art collector, a gourmet cook and a voracious reader. Throughout her career and community activities she was guided by a profound sense of social justice, an unwavering commitment to feminism and a passion for the development of Ukrainian culture and society. Halyna was gifted with a brilliant intellect, and had an enduring desire and a relentless capacity to change the world around her for the better. She was a leader in the Ukrainian, feminist and leftist communities in Edmonton. Halyna graduated from Jasper Place High School with honours in 1964 and proceeded to the University of Alberta where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy. She was one of only seven women in her graduating class at the University of Alberta Law School in 1970 - and the only one who brought her infant daughter with her to class. She was called to the bar in 1971 and practiced criminal and family law, first in Peace River and later in Edmonton. During her legal career in Alberta, Halyna was proudest of the instrumental role she played in the passing of the Matrimonial Property Act for the Province of Alberta. She was very active on a number of legal boards and societies: Peace River Legal Aid Society, Legal Aid Society of Alberta (Northern Director, 1978-79), Alberta Law Foundation, Criminal Trial Lawyers Association, and Women's Legal Education Action Fund. She was a partner in the law firms of Freeland and Co. in Peace River and of Freeland, Robb, Royal, McCrum and Browne in Edmonton. In the 1988 federal election she was the New Democratic Party's candidate for Edmonton Strathcona. She made history by involving the largest number of volunteers ever in a federal election campaign. From 1990-92 she pursued a Master of Arts degree in Slavic and East European Studies at the University of Alberta. In the fall of 1992, she moved to Ukraine where she was a key initiator of the Ukrainian Legal Foundation, a non-governmental non-profit organization established to help create the rule of law in democratic Ukraine. While she served as its Executive Officer, the ULF established a legal library, legal printing press, several international legal exchange programs and a law school. From 1992-2002, Halyna participated in drafting the Constitution of Ukraine and its Civil and Criminal Procedure Codes. An ardent feminist, Halyna was a founder of Common Woman Books Collective and Bookstore. From 1981 to 1987 she taught courses on Feminist Theory and Women and the Law at the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension, and published essays and handbooks on Matrimonial Property, Domestic Violence, and Family Law. She was a founding member of the Ukrainian-Canadian feminist organization, the Second Wreath Society. She was devoted to Ukrainian-Canadian cultural life. She founded the Peace River Ukrainian Society and taught Ukrainian language classes in Peace River. She was a founding member of the Hromada Housing Cooperative and served on the Ukrainian Community Development Committee. She was a champion of bilingual education and raised her two daughters in a Ukrainian-speaking household. Halyna loved art and started collecting Canadian painting in the 1970's. Since 1992, she assembled an outstanding collection of twentieth-century Ukrainian painting and ceramics, representing major artists from the Kievan, Odessan and Zakarpatian schools. She was a gourmet cook and a consummate hostess who frequently entertained friends and family with lavish meals and great conversation. She was extremely close to her daughters and was immensely proud of their achievements and their fine moral compass. She also had a profound influence on her nieces, nephews and granddaughters, who loved and admired her. Prayer Services for our beloved mother, sister, grandmother and aunt will take place on Friday, July 13 at 7 p.m. and the Funeral Rites on Saturday, July 14 at 10 a.m.; both will be held at St. John's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, 10951-107 Street, Edmonton, Alberta. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes can be made to the Halyna Chomiak Freeland Memorial Prize (to be administered through the University of Alberta Law School), care of Chrystia Freeland, 103 5th Avenue, Apt. 8, NY, NY 10003. She will be greatly missed by her daughters Chrystia (Graham Bowley) Freeland and Natalka (Robert McPeek) Freeland; granddaughters Natalka and Halyna Bowley; sisters Oksana Ensslen, Marusia (Bruce) Hopchin, Chrystia (John-Paul Himka) Chomiak, Natalka (Myrsolav Shkandrij) Chomiak and brother Bohdan (Tanya) Chomiak; aunt Olena Loban; and nieces and nephews Katherine, Steven (Darusia), Sonja (Tobin) Craig, Andrew, and Karen Ensslen; Christopher (Tracie Scott) Hopchin; Mykhailo and Eva Himka; Alexandra and Halyna Shkandrij; and Katherine and Adrian Lahola. Her parents Alexandra and Mykhailo Chomiak predeceased her. To send condolences, visit www.parkmemorial.com Park Memorial Edmonton 426-0050 Family Owned Funeral Home, Crematorium, Reception Centre

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Published in Edmonton Journal from Jul. 12 to Jul. 13, 2007.
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Memories & Condolences
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9 entries
July 27, 2007
My 6 years of working with Halyna for Ukrainian Legal Foundation were probably the most remarkable time in my life... Great Person and a Good Friend -- that is how we will all remember her in our prayers.
Thank You for everything you did for Ukraine and your friends!
Volodymyr Horobchenko
July 26, 2007
My deep sympathy on this sad occasion to the daughters of Halyna Freeland.
Nothing can replace this loss...
I am Ukrainian lawyer and met pani Halyna after she arrived to Kyiv in Spring 1993. She came to study women's movement, but stayed much longer, dealing with legal reform in my country .
Ukrainian Legal Foundation stood up and has been florishing for many years with her great initiative and professional support.
I had a privilege to enjoy her friendship, hospitality and her personal support, when I needed it.
Vichna pam'yat..
Natalia Petrova
Nataliya Petrova
July 26, 2007
My friends informed me that Halyna Freeland passed away. I was just shocked.
I know this remarkable Person since I became one of the Ukrainian Legal Foundation professors who was granted to be trained in the U.S.A. to teach at first in Ukraine Western School of Law based on Kyiv National University. That time she was an Executive Director to ULF. Many people in Ukraine link her name with the democratic changes in this country.
Lastly I have seen her during the Orange Revolution at the Legal Library of Ukrainian Legal Foundation on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square). We sat in a small group of former ULF employees greeting the Democratic Revolution and remembering the time when ULF, being the biggest Charity Foundation in Ukraine, led the legal reform at the earliest stage of Independent Ukraine developments in early 90-s.
I am happy to know Halyna and never forget her brilliant style of laughing.
Ukrainian legal community will never forget this energetic and devoted to democracy Person.
Alexander Biryukov,
Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University Law Professor
Alexander Biryukov
July 22, 2007
My name is Jo Milne-Home. I met Halyna as a collective member of Common Woman Books in the late 70s and early 80s while I was a student at the U of A. I remember vividly her energy and commitment to change, as well as her love of ideas and passion for critically reviewing them. She did not just want the books, but to sit with the authors to deepen understanding and debate, as well as reveal the humor and huge joy in knowing things from many angles. Justice was something she fought for rather than her line of work. We had many celebrations in our collective and as many demonstrations in the streets for human rights and freedom of expression. Halyna had an extraordinary range of talents. I remember sitting around her table delighting in a pot-luck meal, singing, laughing and feeling connected with a community of friends as well as a set of ideals. I am sad for now but know I share that with hundreds of friends and colleagues whose lives were touched by Halyna ... and pledge to honor her mighty efforts by speaking up as she surely has done.
Jo MIlne-Home
July 19, 2007
My sincere condolences to the family. I met Halyna and her sisters at the phenomenal Second Wreath Conference in Edmonton that she helped orchestrate. We spoke briefly, but even in those few rushed moments, I was impressed by her luminous and dynamic presence that still firmly remains in my memory whenever I recall that extraordinary event. I am so sorry that I will not meet her again in this life. She was incredible!

Vichnaya pamyat.--Irene Zabytko
Irene Zabytko
July 13, 2007
It was with great shock and sadness that we read about Halyna Freeland's passing away.Halyna was a passionate fighter for social justice and an ardent promoter of Ukarainian culture and language.Her death has left the human community with great loss.
Please accept our sincere condolences and deep sympathy at this occasion.
Santosh and Sat Paul singh Nayyer
July 13, 2007
To the family of Halyna Chomiak Freeland:
"Remarkable" is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Halyna, but it is inadequate to properly describe the woman and her accomplishments.
I remember Haylna as a fellow student in Dr. Richard Baird's political science class at the University of Alberta in the fall of 1964. She was small in stature but big in intellect, much to the delight of Dr. Baird, who enjoyed debating with a student of such obvious brilliance.
In later years, I marveled again as the news reported her move to Ukraine and documented her contributions to the country of her heritage.
One also marvels at how someone who lived a relatively short life was able to accomplish so much.
Sincere sympathies,
Ron Holland
Ron Holland
July 13, 2007
Halyna touched my heart and I am deeply sorry that she passed away so young. I will miss saturday gathering as i am on my way to Israel. You are all in my heart.. batya
batya chivers
July 12, 2007
I remember meeting Halyna back in the late 70s when my then husband, Murray Stone, was articling with Gordon Wright. An amazing time, an amazing woman. I am in awe of all that she accomplished.
Wendy Uncles
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