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 an independent board of directors, consisting of volunteers who are responsible for decisions about outreach activities and education at the site.
The property owners, Brenda and Dan Cheveldayoff, provide 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 owners are involved in discussions, and decisions are made as a group.
The land owners have 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.
Donna's grandparents came from Kars, Georgia, in the Doukhobor migration of 1899, and settled in the Blaine Lake-River Hill area with the Independent Doukhobor, who embraced education and property ownership. She was born and raised in Saskatoon, and has one daughter and two granddaughters. She is a photograher who has exhibited her nature photos throughout Saskatchewan. Because of her family connection to the area, she has volunteered her time and skills for the Doukhobor Dugout House.
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.
Rick's grandparents came from Kars, Georgia, in the Doukhobor migration of 1899, and settled in the Blaine Lake-River Hill area with the Independent Doukhobor, who embraced education and property ownership. He was born and raised in Saskatoon and has one daughter. He worked for 34 years for the Calgary Fire Department and was a Captain when he retired in 2006. Because of his family connection to the area, he has volunteered at the Doukhobor Dugout House for the last 10 years, travelling from Calgary to help with the preparation and participate at Opening Day.
Dan was born and raised in Blaine Lake, the son of Liz and John Cheveldayoff. He is married to Brenda, and they have a daughter, Clearisha. Dan's love is for farming, and when he's not doing that, his time is spent at the Dugout House. He is Acting President of the Board.