Each year for our theme days, we are joined by volunteers who help guide the visitors and take part in the theme day enactments, including Rick Choppe of Calgary, left, and elders and members of the Saskatoon Doukhobor community.
Dan was born and raised in Blaine Lake. Dan's interest in his history comes from his long line of Russian roots. The Doukhobor Dugout House was a way to explore those roots. Each year he greets visitors in costume as Peter Verigin.
Board and Volunteers
Tours and outreach education for Doukhobor Dugout House are the responsibility of the non-profit organization Doukhobor Dugout House Inc. The group has a board of directors which is responsible for decisions about outreach activities and education at the site.
If you have an interest in the history and purpose of this national historic site and wish to serve on the Board of Directors, please contact President Brenda Cheveldayoff. Doukhobor Dugout House Inc. is looking for interested persons to serve on the Board.
The property owner, Brenda Cheveldayoff, provides access to the organization so it can achieve its goals. The organization and volunteers use the site during the summer months. Yard maintenance and tours are the responsibility of the organization. The land owner is involved in discussions, and decisions are made as a group.
The land owner has borne the cost of purchasing and preserving the site, without any financial assistance from the organization. The money received by the non-profit organization through admissions is used primarily to operate the tours, for education and public information including brochures and web site, for grass cutting, power costs, bread baking and administration.
Brenda's roots go deep at the Doukhobor Dugout House site. Her great-grandfather, Iakov Fedor Popoff (Jim Fred) was an 11-year old orphan who lived with 40 others in the 436-square-foot dugout built the year the Doukhobors arrived in Canada. It became the Popoff homestead in 1925. When Brenda's father Sam took over the farm, he valued the weathered remains of the original ravine house and passed on all of his stories to her.