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  • Finnish Americanism and Indigenous Land on Sugar Island, Michigan, 1915–1940

    Justin Gage

    Chapter from the book: Andersson R. & Lahti J. 2022. Finnish Settler Colonialism in North America: Rethinking Finnish Experiences in Transnational Spaces.


    This chapter analyses Finns migration to Sugar Island, Michigan, in 1915. Sugar Island had been home to Anishinaabe Ojibwe (Chippewa) peoples for thousands of years, but their lands had been persistently taken from them since the arrival of white Americans in the early 1800s. In the 20th century, dozens of Finnish families changed the island once again, continuing processes of settler colonialism. Finnish success on Sugar Island came at the expense of the Anishinaabe families there (which included transborder people of mixed Ojibwe, Ottawa, and European ancestry). With a developing economy, Finns seized the labor market, putting Anishinaabe workers at a significant disadvantage, further damaging Indigenous livelihoods and political power.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Gage, J. 2022. Finnish Americanism and Indigenous Land on Sugar Island, Michigan, 1915–1940. In: Andersson R. & Lahti J (eds.), Finnish Settler Colonialism in North America. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33134/AHEAD-2-3

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Dec. 29, 2022


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