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Sointula

Sointula is an isolated village on Malcolm Island in British Columbia, Canada. Lying between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland, northeast of Port McNeill and not far from Alert Bay, the island is part of the historic and present territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation. At the 2011 census, the village had a population of 576, down 3.0% from the 2006 census.The name Sointula means "Place of Harmony" in the Finnish language. A group of Finnish settlers founded the village in 1901 after rowing north from Nanaimo. They planned to set up a utopian socialist society known as the Kalevan Kansa, and wrote to visionary Matti Kurikka in Finland to lead the new community. They were looking for a way out of the mines operated by Robert Dunsmuir in Nanaimo. It was a physically hard life and a devastating fire in 1903, that killed three adults and eight children, almost brought the fledgling community to its knees. Financial difficulties continued to plague the group. After they worked for free for two years on the Capilano Bridge project, the Kalevan Kansa was disbanded. Many of the community members remained on the island, as have their descendants.
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