While this site isn’t being updated often since our project funding is over, Lakehead University Archives is frequently adding newly scanned photographs and other material to Digital Collections. Check in regularly, and contact the Archives if you have any questions or requests!
Friends of this project will be glad to learn that the Raija Warkentin fonds, consisting of oral history interviews with immigrants to & from Eastern Karelia, have been deposited at Lakehead University Archives. A short finding aid is available.
The records include audio cassettes, approved and unapproved transcripts, correspondence, notes, and photographs. All these materials were generated through an oral history project conducted circa 1999-2002. Some interviews are restricted access; others are fully available. The language of most materials is Finnish.
From Social Democracy to Leninism: The Finnish Socialist Organization of Canada, 1901-1922
By Saku Pinta
The Canadan Suomalainen Järjestö (FOC; Finnish Organization of Canada) is the oldest nation-wide Finnish cultural organization in Canada. Founded in 1911 as the Canadan Suomalainen Sosialisti Järjestö (FSOC; Finnish Socialist Organization of Canada), the organization passed through several stages and political affiliations in its formative years, but none as important as its longstanding association – both formal and informal – with the Communist Party of Canada.
1. The name of this organization is the Industrial Unionist Support League and its purpose is to create and maintain united action for the benefit of industrial unionism amongst the working-class and youth.
2. The C.T.K.L. is composed of those local industrial unionist supporting associations that voluntarily adhere to observing the mutually agreed upon League rules. Local associations may use their own by-laws in their internal affairs but these may not contradict League rules nor the industrial unionist endeavours in general.
The Constitution of the Hoito Co-operative Restaurant
This consumers’ co-operative restaurant is in Port Arthur and began operations on May 1, 1918.
The purpose of this co-operative restaurant is to purchase and serve food for payment in cash.
This co-operative restaurant’s membership is composed of all the co-operative restaurant’s patrons.
This co-operative restaurant began operations by taking five dollar ($5.00) loans from its members until the required start-up sum was collected. These loans will be repaid later.*
Those individuals who have provided a $5.00 loan and those who pay for meals in advance through the purchase of weekly tickets shall have voting rights for all issues concerning this co-operative restaurant.
This co-operative restaurant shall not pay dividends to its membership and large sums of capital will not be accumulated. Only a small reserve fund of $300 to $500 will be necessary to maintain the restaurant year-round.
The membership of this co-operative restaurant shall elect from among themselves a manager, a 7-member Board of Directors, and other necessary officials.
The duties of the manager are to handle the co-operative restaurant’s finances, maintain bookkeeping, and fulfill tasks as instructed by the Board of Directors. The manager must also obtain a bond in an amount determined by the membership.
The Board of Directors will be elected and that during every monthly meeting two members will vacate their positions and be replaced by two elected members and every three months three members will be replaced. In this way the term for a member of the Board of Directors will be three months. The Board of Directors is responsible for all of the co-operative restaurant’s assets.
These rules can be amended or supplemented at a membership meeting by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote.
Introduction: The Origins of the Hoito Restaurant: A History from Below
By Saku Pinta
Then Slim headed to Bay Street, where he read a sign upon a door
Inviting the world workers up onto the second floor
Come right in Fellow Worker, hang your crown upon the wall
And eat at the Wobbly restaurant, you’ll pay no profits there at all
– “The Second Coming of Christ” by Pork-Chop Slim 
In continuous operation in the same location for over 100 years, the Hoito Restaurant has served Finnish and Canadian food in the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario while also serving as an important local landmark and gathering place. The restaurant the New York Times called “arguably Canada’s most famous pancake house” has, since it opened on May 1, 1918, occupied the bottom-floor of the 109-year old Finnish Labour Temple on 314 Bay Street – a building formally recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2011. 
This project is quickly coming to a close, and we are looking forward to getting some more material out to the public very soon!
Grant money has been spent. Our Finnish Archives Specialist has a few more hours of work to put in before the end of April, and we’re anticipating some new translations and explanatory essays. Watch this site!
A small physical exhibit of printed signs and copies of key records is being produced. This will be shared at upcoming events this year, and can be available for anyone to borrow.
Descriptive work is done for CSJ and CTKL records, making these documents much more discoverable and accessible for researchers.
A project wrap-up event will be held on May 3, 6pm, at the Embassy at 314 Bay Street. Official invitations will be going out shortly. We’ll discuss the project, what we learned, and how we’ll continue to work with these invaluable records of the Finnish-Canadian experience.