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History Post-confederation (1867-)

Hard Work Conquers All

Building the Finnish Community in Canada

edited by Michel S. Beaulieu, David K. Ratz & Ronald N. Harpelle

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2018
Post-Confederation (1867-), Emigration & Immigration
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2017
    List Price

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Above the entrance to the Finnish Labour Temple in Thunder Bay is the motto labor omnia vincit – “hard work conquers all” – reflecting the dedication of the Finnish community in Canada. Hard Work Conquers All examines Finnish community building in Canada during the twentieth century. Waves of immigrants imbued the relationship between people, homeland, and host country with the politics, ideologies, and cultural expressions of their time. This collection of essays explores the cultural identities of Finnish Canadians, their ties to Finland, intergenerational cultural transfer, and the community’s connections with socialism and labour movements. It offers new interpretations of the influence of Finnish immigration on Canada.

About the authors

Michel S. Beaulieu is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Michel S. Beaulieu's profile page

David K. Ratz, a professor in the department of history at Lakehead University, specializes in Canadian military history. He lives in Slate River, Ontario.

David K. Ratz's profile page


Ronald N. Harpelle is a historian and filmmaker. He is the author of The West Indians of Costa Rica and has written extensively about the West Indian diaspora in Central America. He is the co-author, with Bruce Muirhead, of IDRC: 40 Years of Ideas, Innovation, and Impact (WLU Press, forthcoming fall 2010). Harpelle and Muirhead's research on IDRC appears in Citoyens du Monde/Citizens of the World, a six-part educational documentary series on Canada's role in International Development. Ron Harpelle is also the director of In Security, a documentary film about barbed wire and boundaries and the co-director of Banana Split, a documentary about Canada’s favourite fruit.

Bruce Muirhead is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo and the associate dean, Graduate Studies and Research. He is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). He has written extensively on post?Second World War Canadian commercial, economic, and political history.


Ronald N. Harpelle's profile page

Editorial Reviews

The book’s greatest successes come in painting a complex history of Finnish-Canadian life, one that highlights the diversity of Finnish immigrants’ experiences.

Labour/Le Travail

Hard Work Conquers All is a successful piece of work that will hopefully maintain support for further scholarship on Canadian Finns in the future… This book is definitely one of the most remarkable publications in 2018 in the area of ​​historical Finnish experience in North America.

Historiallinen Aikakauskirja 1

This clever selection of diverse and intriguing aspects of the Finnish-Canadian culture and experience adds a valuable, specifically Finnish chapter to the larger history of immigration to Canada.

Manitoba History Journal, Issue 88