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LEVEL OF DESCRIPTION: Fonds
No.: PR0358
TITLE: Canadian Polish Congress, Alberta Branch fonds
CREATOR: Canadian Polish Congress Alberta Branch
DATE RANGE: 1946-1996
EXTENT: 1.37 m of textual records and other materials.
Includes 245 photographs, 126 negatives, 5 VHS and 1 postcard.
ADMINISTRATIVE
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:

The Canadian Polish Congress (CPC) (Polish: Kongresu Polonii Kanadyjskiej (KPK)) is a Canadian organization that represents the interests of the Polish-Canadian community before the people and Government of Canada (GOC), providing a national voice in the decision making of the Canadian Government’s policies and promoting the rights of Polish Canadians to full and equal participation in all aspects of Canadian society. The CPC provides leadership to the Polish-Canadian community by unifying, coordinating and supporting Polish Canadian organizations. The organization also promotes awareness of and respect for Poland’s history and heritage and the contribution of Poles to the culture of Canada and the world.

The history of the CPC is divided into two periods; in the first period, the central Polish diaspora organization in Canada was called the Union of Polish Associations in Canada. The union was registered and began its legally sanctioned activity on February 7, 1933, with the registration number Corporation # 349500. The first reunion congress took place in Toronto, Ontario on November 3-4, 1931, during which the first President, Ludwik Wiktor, was elected. Beginning the second period, the organization changed their name to the Canadian Polish Congress during the congress held in Toronto on September 2-4, 1944.

The highest authority in the Union was the Annual Congress of Association Delegates (Polish: Doroczny Zjazd Delegatów Zrzeszen (DZDZ)), and executive power was exercised by the Supreme Union Delegation elected for the DZDZ. This executive included: a president and vice presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, and their deputies. Later, the name of the governing body was changed to General Council. This council included a presidium elected at conventions. District Delegations constituted the lower level of the Union and were managed by District Councils who brought together organizations on a territorial basis.

In 1952 the Canadian Polish Congress, Alberta Branch was formed to be the official representative of all its member organizations in Alberta. John Liss (Pozarzycki) of Sangudo, Alberta served as the first President from 1952-1953. Since its formation the CPC, Alberta Branch has assisted the Polish Community in a number of ways. During the late 1950s, the organization helped Polish victims of war residing in Alberta to gather together the necessary documents to receive compensation. Then during the late 1970s and early 1980s it supported the resistance to the communist dictatorship in Poland. The organization has also collected money for the Polish Millennium Fund and coordinates patriotic celebrations of Polish national holidays.

As of 2020, the CPC, Alberta Branch is governed by a board of directors, which includes a President, Vice President, branch presidents in Calgary, Grande Prairie and Lethbridge, Treasurer, and Secretary, along with the board-at-large.

SCOPE AND CONTENT:

The fonds consists of records documenting the activities of the Canadian Polish Congress, Alberta Branch and its members – along with Polish-Albertan organization which preceded the CPC, Alberta and were eventually brought under its umbrella – including correspondence, speeches, papers, newspaper clippings, photographs, pamphlets and publications, as well as memoranda, correspondence and reports relating to immigration sponsorship, created and received by Mary Skauzynska in her capacity as Chair of the Immigration Committee for the Canadian Polish Congress in Alberta (Calgary Branch).

The fonds also consists of three sous-fonds of administrative sub-units of the Canadian Polish Congress, Alberta Branch: the Polish Scouting Association, Alberta Branch, the Polish Centennial Society, and the Edmonton Polish Hall Library.

ARRANGEMENT NOTE: Three sous-fonds have been arranged within the fonds: the Polish Scouting Association, Alberta Branch sous-fonds(PR0358.001SF), the Polish Centennial Society sous-fonds (PR0358.002SF), and the Edmonton Polish Hall Library sous-fonds (PR0358.003SF).
LANGUAGE NOTE: The materials are in Polish and English.
ASSOCIATED MATERIAL:

Please see the Canadian Polish Congress fonds at Library and Archives Canada (Ottawa, ON).

For individuals and families connected to the CPC, Alberta Branch, see also the Tadeusz Walkowski fonds at the City of Edmonton Archives (Edmonton, AB), the Chuchla Family fonds at the Glenbow Archives (Calgary, AB), and the Maria A. Romanko fonds at the Musee Heritage Museum and Archives (St. Albert, AB).

RELATED RECORDS:

Please see the PAA Reference Library for titles published by and/or about the CPC, Alberta Branch and its sub-units, including: Polonia: 1895-1995, The Polish Centennial in Alberta (971.23 P778); Dzieje Federacji Kobiet Polskich w Edmontonie (History of the Polish-Canadian Women's Federation in Edmonton)1958-1978 (367.971233 D989 PAA); Polish education in Edmonton : 1906-2006 (370.1175 J24); and, Czterdzieci lat w suo'bie idei Stowarzyszenia Polskich Kombatantow : SPK w Kanadzie, Inc. Koo nr 6 – Edmonton (Forty years of service to an ideal: the Polish Combatants' Association in Canada, Inc. Branch no. 6 – Edmonton) (369.2438 P76).

The PAA houses several fonds related to Polish-Albertan history; please ask the Reference Archivist to see our Polish Resource Guide for a complete list of these holdings.

GENERAL NOTE: Most of the information in the Administrative History was obtained from the book Polonia in Alberta 1895-1995: The Polish Centennial in Alberta, located in the Reference Library of the Provincial Archives of Alberta. Additional information was also obtained from an article in accession PR1993.0230 entitled Opening of the Canadian Polish Congress Archives and written by Maria A. Romanko, Archivist of the Canadian Polish Congress, Alberta Branch Archives, along with the websites https://kpkalberta.com/ and http://kpk.org/ [accessed November 14, 2019]; some parts of the history have been translated from Polish to English.
RELATED SOUS-FONDS: PR0358.001SF (Polish Scouting Association sous-fonds)
PR0358.002SF (Polish Centennial Society sous-fonds)
PR0358.003SF (Edmonton Polish Hall Library sous-fonds)
RELATED FILES: Display FileList
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