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Biography

Lawyer, judge and chancellor

Senator A. Raynell Andreychuk was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where she received her elementary and secondary schooling.

Entering the University of Saskatchewan, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree followed by a Bachelor of Laws degree, after which she spent more than nine years practicing law in Saskatchewan.

In 1976, she was appointed a Judge of the Saskatchewan Provincial Court, at which time she set up a family court in Regina under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Court.

She went on to serve as Associate Deputy Minister of Social Services in Saskatchewan.

Senator Andreychuk served as Chancellor of the University of Regina for two terms between 1977 and 1983.

Diplomat

In 1987, she was named High Commissioner to Kenya, Uganda, and Ambassador to Somalia, and the Comoros.

Concurrently, she served as Canadian representative to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Habitat.

In 1990, she was appointed Ambassador to Portugal.

During the course of her diplomatic appointments, she also served as Canada's representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

Senator

In 1993, Senator Andreychuk was called to the Senate of Canada, becoming the first woman to be appointed from Saskatchewan.

She has served on numerous committees, including Aboriginal Peoples; Legal and Constitutional Affairs; Rules, Procedures and Rights of Parliament; and the Review of the Anti-terrorist Act.

Senator Andreychuk was instrumental in setting up the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, which she chaired from 2001 to 2009, undertaking major studies on International Human Rights machinery, laws and treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. She remains a member of the Committee today.

Senator Andreychuk presently chairs the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Standing Senate Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators.

Senator Andreychuk introduced the resolution on Holodomor Ukraine Famine/Genocide in the Senate, which was adopted on June 19, 2003. She also sponsored Bill C-459 in the Senate of Canada, which established a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day and recognized the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide.

Parliamentarian

Senator Andreychuk has served as the International Law and Human Rights convenor for Parliamentarians for Global Action, leading a worldwide coalition of parliamentarians working for ratification and implementation of the Rome Treaty of the International Criminal Court. Parliamentarians for Global Action are also active in conflict resolution work.

Presently, Senator Andreychuk is Chair of the Ukraine-NATO Inter-parliamentary Council (UNIC) of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and serves as Vice-President of NATO PA’s Mediterranean and Middle East Group.

She co-founded and continues to co-chair the Canada Africa Parliamentary Association. She also serves on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Community service

Senator Andreychuk has been a dedicated supporter of voluntary associations and community service.

She has served as President of the Y.M.C.A. of Canada, Chair of Katimavik, Chair of Canada World Youth, and President of Regina Family Services Bureau, to name a few.

Over the years, Senator Andreychuk has also been an active member in the Ukrainian Canadian community, including as a member of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and Ukrainian Business and Professional Clubs.

Senator Andreychuk was the Honorary Chair of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress 75th Anniversary Commemoration of Holodomor activities in Canada, and is Honorary Patron of the Kobzar Literary Award established by the Shevchenko Foundation.

After Ukraine's independence, Senator Andreychuk was a member and Chair of the CanadaUkraine Legislative Project. Today, she remains Vice-Chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group.

Awards and honours

In September 2013, Senator Andreychuk was awarded the St. Volodymyr the Great Medal, the highest award of the Ukrainian World Congress, in recognition of the contributions in defense of fundamental human rights and freedoms, raising awareness of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-33, and furthering democracy in Ukraine.

In June 2010, Senator Andreychuk was awarded the World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations’ Woman of Distinction Award, for her dedication and commitment to promoting freedom, democracy and human rights throughout the world.

Senator Andreychuk has also been awarded the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise medal, for her substantial contribution in the development of Ukrainian-Canadian relations. She is also a recipient of the Taras Shevchenko Medal, the Ukrainian Nation Builders Award, and a Special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ukrainian Canadian Professional & Business Association of Calgary.

Senator Andreychuk’s other honours include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan, the Y.M.C.A. Fellowship of Honour, the Vanier Outstanding Young Canadian Award, and the Regina Y.W.C.A. Women's Award.

After being the first Chair of the Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy, she was named an Honorary S.I.P.P. Fellow.

Honorary degrees

In 1993, Senator Andreychuk received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Regina.

In 2010, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Canon Law (D.C.L) (honoris causa) from St. Andrew’s College at the University of Manitoba, for her lasting contributions to the church, the Ukrainian Canadian community and to Canada.

Senator Andreychuk has also been recognized as one of the top 100 distinguished graduates in the 100 year history of the University of Saskatchewan.