State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced House Resolution 154 today that declares June 17 through June 23 as Finnish American Heritage Week.

“Finnish sisu made the Copper Country what it is today. The Finns mined the UP, and they farmed it. They gave us punnukakku and pickled herring. And in June, right about the time they would have landed in the Keweenaw 148 years ago, we will celebrate these and many other contributions that they have made to our culture here in Michigan and the United States,” said Dianda.

The resolution was presented to coincide with FinnFest USA 2013, an international event that draws visitors from around the world to celebrate Finnish culture. Hancock will have the honor of hosting this event for the third time this summer. Dianda plans to attend as many of the festivities and cultural events as possible, including a Nordic Walk on Saturday, June 22, in which participants will attempt to break the world record for largest number of people simultaneously Nordic Walking at once.

Michigan’s Copper Country is recognized as the focal point of Finnish immigration to America and is home to the nation’s highest density of Finnish-Americans. More than 30 percent of Copper Country’s residents claim Finnish ancestry, and Hancock is home to the only institution of higher education founded by the Finns in the United States, Finlandia University.

“This resolution will also be presented to the city of Hancock, the county of Houghton, Finlandia University and the FinnFest USA 2013 Organizing Committee,” continued Dianda. “I’m looking forward to continue celebrating our Finnish heritage in June. This will be an event to remember.”