Located just East of Vancouver Island on Malcolm Island lies a small village called Sointula. You might think that such a name sounds somewhat foreign to British Columbia, and you would be right. It was a utopian society founded by a group of Finns in the very early 20th century.
Sointula grew out of a growing feeling of discontent among the exploited Finnish mine workers in Vancouver. Sointula’s ideals were so much ahead of it’s time that some of the things they implemented are still lacking in today’s Western societies, such as equal pay.
The community suffered a number of severe setbacks as well as falling victim to some bad management (the founder, Kurikka, was more a dreamer than a practical man) and was unfortunately short-lived in the end. But the idealism that gave birth to the place can still be seen, amongst others in the oldest co-op store in all of Canada, still fully operational today.
The Finnish flag on our trailer also drew some attention, and more than a few greetings in our native tongue!
Long live Kalevalan Kansa! Long live Sointula!