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It’s Up To Us

What exactly is the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan? Who are the people behind the operation of the “Smithsonian of Finnish America?”


In his column in the April issue of The Finnish American Reporter, Editor Dave Maki talked about the importance of rescuing the historical archives and collection of the Finnish American Heritage Center. These invaluable treasures were put in jeopardy earlier this year when Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan, announced its closure. He referenced his hardworking and generous great-grandfather Jalmer, who had a connection to the school that was founded as Suomi College in 1896.

Dave commented that Jalmer “would’ve done anything and everything he could to help” to protect the irreplaceable materials and the most extensive collection of Finnish-American history. He encouraged readers to do the same.

“It’s up to us to do all we can to ensure that our stories will continue to be told and chronicled, our history will still be preserved, our past will not fade into the past,” Dave wrote.

“It’s up to us,” the trustees of Finlandia Foundation National concluded at an emergency meeting to consider the dire situation. Guided by our organization’s 70-year-old mission, our unanimous sentiment was, “It’s up to us.”

Since March, we have successfully secured the extensive inventory of the FAHC and maintained operations and staffing. It is our duty and privilege to protect the legacy of Finnish America, but we cannot do this without you.

It is imperative that we raise $3 million by the end of 2023 in this initial phase of the campaign.

It’s up to us. All of us. Together, we can do this.

Thank you for your sincere interest and generous support of the “Smithsonian of Finnish America.”