The early history of Kapuskasing as an internment camp is featured in a new book that’s due out next month. Enemy Alien is about the memoirs of John Boychuk who was in the camp for three years starting in 1914. Co-Author and historian Kassandra Luciuk says memoirs which she had to get translated from Ukrainian to English go into detail beginning with his arrival in Toronto.
“Then on to Kapuskasing where he is interned until 1917,” she said. “It follows him when he is paroled to Sydney, Nova Scotia where he worked in the mines 1923. It brings Boychuk back to Kapuskasing in the mid 1940s to talk about his time at the internment camp.”
Luciuk says the community had strategic place within the province and the country.
“It existed between the trans-continental railway as it looked at the time,” she said. “It had Winnipeg to the west, James Bay to the north and Quebec to the east. Kapuskasing was a really important juncture in the province.”
The book took about five years to write, and Luciuk says part of the delay was due to the original memoir not having a name attached to it. Neither Luciuk or co author Nicole Marie Burton have a connection to Kapuskasing, but hope to bring the book up north for a tour and share with the residents.