Finnish and American Sister Cities

A Finland/America banner at the entrance to the Sister City display in Marquette, Michigan.

There are at least nine communities in the United States that are paired with nine in Finland as “Sister Cities” in cultural exchange.

Many, though not all, are members of the official Sister Cities International program. Sister Cities International was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 to strengthen global relationships and encourage cultural, educational and humanitarian exchanges.

Cities that currently are paired in the formal program or informally in Finland and the U.S.:

  • Espoo and Irving, Texas
  • Hanko and Canterbury, Connecticut
  • Järvenpäaäa and Pasadena, California
  • Kajaani and Marquette, Michigan
  • Kuopio and Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Porvoo and Hancock, Michigan
  • Rovaniemi and Cadillac, Michigan
  • Salo and St. Anthony, Minnesota
  • Vaasa and Bellingham, Washington

If you know of others, please contact me with the information at kathusitalo @ mac.com so that they can be added. 

Marquette, Michigan and Kajaani, Finland have been “Sister Cities” since July 30, 1997. Marquette is in the Upper Peninsula on the Lake Superior shore, and Kajaani is in the heart of Finland in the Kainuu province, about 370 miles north of Helsinki. The Peter White Library in Marquette has displays about its Sister City of Kajaani, Finland as well as objects from its other Sister City, Higashiomi, Japan.

Finnish objects displayed in the "Sister City" room of the Peter White Library, Marqeutte, Michigan
Finnish objects displayed in the at the Peter White Library, Marqeutte, Michigan