MHSS Mennonite Historical Societty of Saskatchewan
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Special Event at MHSC Annual Meeting in Saskatoon

(Now archived on this site-page)

The Mennonite Historical Society of Canada's (MHSC) Business meetings will be hosted here in Saskatoon from January 20-22nd. Although the business meetings may not appeal to all, the public is invited to attend especially a Book and Film Presentation by Ruth Derksen Siemens, from Abbotsford, BC.

Ruth Derksen Siemens will give a presentation on her book, Remember Us: Letters from Stalin's Gulag. it is about a cache of letters she found that were written by relatives held in Siberia in the 1930s, and the history gleaned from the letters.

Her film, THROUGH THE RED GATE produced by Out-to-See Entertainment Inc., will be shown too. You may wish to visit Ruth's website, for more information, or to prepare yourself.

Date: Friday, January 21, 2011
Time: 7:30 pm.
Place: Bethany Manor Fellowship Centre, 120 LaRonge Road,
Saskatoon, SK.

Introducing the Author, Ruth Derksen Siemens

Ruth Derksen Siemens is a first-generation Canadian of Russian Mennonite descent who was born in Vancouver. She spent many summers at her grandparents' raspberry farm in Yarrow (in the eastern Fraser Valley); an immersion into the culture of a replicated Russian Mennonite settlement. As a pre-teen, she moved with her family from Vancouver to another Mennonite village. The small town of Arnold was a retreat into Russian Mennonite customs, rituals and language.

Music was her first career choice, but a longing to understand language and its rhetorical uses motivated her to return to university. Ruth is now an instructor of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of British Columbia, a researcher and a historian. Although her academic education has been directed toward the philosophy of language, her interest in historical events and documents continues. Her thesis at the University of Sheffield in Great Britain investigates a corpus of 463 letters written during the 1930s from Stalin's Russia, some of which are included in her newly released book, Remember Us: Letters From Stalin's Gulag (1930-37).

The website ( presents images of original letters, translations, photos of the writers, a preview of the film, and artists’ exhibits. A second website ( offers the entire film as a pay-per-view. This one-hour documentary, Through the Red Gate: Voices from Stalin's Gulag, re-enacts the story of the letter writers and the discovery of the letters found in a Campbell's Soup box in a Canadian prairie attic.


You may help promote this event in your church or circle of contacts by downloading, printing and posting this MHSC - Ruth Derksen Event Poster. Thank you!

P.S. The next night, Saturday, January 22, Ruth Derksen Siemens will be in Swift Current for this presentation at the Zion Mennonite Church at 7:30 pm. If you can't hear her in Saskatoon, perhaps you can hear her in Swift Current.

Holiday Travel Presents

R U S S I A Historical Moscow
& Mennonite Siberia Omsk-Slavgorod Mennonite Settlements

Optional Post Tour Extension-Ukraine Mennonite Colonies - June 5- 23, 2011. Plan ahead for next year, but remember the booking deadline is March 15, 2011.

For tour details contact tour host: Len Loeppky
14 Springwood Bay,
Steinbach, MB, R5G 2E8 or 1-204-326-2613

Past Events
Making History - a Devotional by (Rev.) David Neufeld at the 2020 AGM
Connecting Mennonites - MHSS AGM - March 6-7, 2020
Peace Perspectives - November 11, 2017
2017 Annual General Meeting; Singing by the Numbers
Blacks and Mennonites as Good Neighbours in Saskatchewan (Peace Event 2016)
2016 Annual General Meeting - March 5, 2016
Stories of Peace 4 Storytellers shared Pacifist experiences - November 15, 2015.
John-J-Friesen-Presentations.pdf - given at Annual General Meeting, March 2015
2015 Annual General Meeting & Mennonite Migrations - March 6, 7, 2015
Walter Klaassen's Translated Book Launch - March 9, 2014
2014 Annual General Meeting - GAMEO, - Archives - March 1, 2014
Church of God in Christ, Mennonite (History) - February 28, 2014
Book Promotion: It Happened in Moscow - November 8, 2013
Peace Stories - November 9, 2013 (at Mount Royal Mennonite Church)
By Whatever Name Book Signing September 8, 2013.
Successful Book Launch - "The Fehrs" (June 9, 2013)
2013 Annual General Meeting Report - a full long page with lots of photos.

Recently Added: NEW! AGM Report 2020 (with photos)

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Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS)
Room 900 - 110 La Ronge Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 7H8
Archive Hours: Monday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Wednesday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.