In a heartwarming celebration of community, the Sointula Museum has been honoured with a prestigious Recognition Award from Heritage BC for its documentary “Sointula: History and Memories” in the Education, Communications, & Awareness category. 

Photo: (left to right) Loretta, Pat, Andy, and Sue.

the community collaboration in putting together this documentary on Sointula’s history is impressive. Beautifully produced, the project captures the community elders’ connections and memories of Sointula in a touching way” – Britney Dack, Chair of Heritage BC.

“Sointula: History and Memories,” a 40-minute documentary, is a labor of love that beautifully captures the essence of the community. Featuring lively gatherings of community elders poring over historic photos, the film emerged from a wealth of stories and memories shared during these sessions. The documentary not only preserves the vibrancy and deep-rooted connections of the elders but also serves as a testament to the skills, passion, and dedication of its contributors.

The international premiere of the documentary in Sointula’s Finnish Organization Hall was met with overwhelming support, filling the venue to capacity. Now, the film is accessible to all, housed in the Sointula Museum and available on YouTube. It stands as a universal call to cherish elders and safeguard community heritage for generations to come.

Photo: (left to right) Directors and Videographers Mary-Louise Albert and Christopher Hurst.

Photo: (left to right) Sointula Museum Manager Kathy Gibler with Tuula Lewis.

Without their unwavering support and participation, this project would not have been possible.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the community of Sointula for generously sharing its stories, memories, and spirit throughout this journey. 

Special thanks are also due to Mary-Louise Albert and Christopher Hurst for their invaluable contributions as directors and videographers, Rebecca Margolick for her exceptional editing and storyline crafting, and Marley Krilow-Rosgen for her skillful makeup artistry. We are also grateful to Jenn Bishop, Heather Barker, and Michael Margolick for their contributions as production assistants.

The success of this project would not have been possible without the dedication and expertise of Kathy Gibler, the Historical Photo Identification Project Manager, and the invaluable insights shared by elders Andy Anderson, Vern Aro, Pat Flagel, Nancy Lanqvist, Tuula Lewis, Sue Ness, Loretta Rihtamo, Sisko Salo, Cora Tammi, and Risto Tammi. Special recognition is also extended to Linda Tarkanen Sjoberg and Marley Krilow-Rosgen for their role as scribes, and to Kerry Wallis and Michael Tynjala for their efforts in session site preparation and accessions.

We are grateful for the generous support of Heritage BC through the Heritage Legacy Fund, as well as the contributions from the Sointula Museum and BC Arts Council. Additionally, we extend our appreciation to the BC Movement Arts Society and Christopher Hurst Photography for their donation of cameras, lighting, and sound equipment, which were instrumental in bringing this project to life.

As we reflect on this journey of community collaboration and storytelling, we are reminded of the profound impact of preserving and sharing our heritage. “Sointula: History and Memories” stands as a beacon of unity, resilience, and the enduring power of community.