In the Land of the Finndians

Meeri Koutaniemi, Maria Seppälä, Katja Kettu, and Lyz Jaakola at a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Riku Hämäläinen.
A woman singing. (© State Dept.)
Lyz Jaakola performing.

The American Resource Center had the pleasure of hosting an evening dedicated to Finndians, the descendants of Finnish immigrants and Native Americans, on August 11. A newly published book “Fintiaanien mailla” sheds light on a topic that up until now has been relatively unknown in Finland.

Best-selling author Katja Kettu, top photographer Meeri Koutaniemi, and seasoned documentary filmmaker Maria Seppälä combined their talents to produce a book that blends fact and fiction to tell the story of Finndians. A full house of audience members got to ask them questions about

Four women applauding. (© State Dept.)
APAO Jeanie Duwan, documentary filmmaker Maria Seppälä, photographer Meeri Koutaniemi, and author Katja Kettu.

the three-year long project that required multiple trips to the U.S. and countless efforts to win the trust of Finndians to share their stories.

A guest of honor Lyz Jaakola, Anishinaabe musician, educator, and tribal member from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe who arrived to Finland for the book publishing event, performed and gave a presentation of her family history.

The evening was organized in cooperation with Suomen intiaaniyhdistys. Dr. Riku Hämäläinen moderated the panel discussion.