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| 6 min

This film recreates the true story of Tom Sukanen, an eccentric Finnish immigrant who homesteaded in Saskatchewan in the 1920s and 1930s. Sukanen spent ten years building and moving overland a huge iron ship that was to carry him back to his native Finland. The ship never reached water.

  • director
    Stephen Surjik
  • producer
    Charles Konowal
  • cinematography
    Charles Konowal
  • executive producer
    Michael Scott
  • script
    Ken Mitchell
  • editing
    Norm Sawchyn
  • sound editing
    Carol Wenaus
  • re-recording
    Jean-Pierre Joutel
  • narrator
    Kristjana Gunnars
  • music
    Marcelle Nokony
    Greg Zuck
  • cast
    Sasha Konowal
    Galen Wahlmeier


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Ages 12 to 18

Study Guide - Guide 1

Family Studies/Home Economics - Family Diversity and Challenges
Health/Personal Development - Mental Health/Stress/Suicide
History - Early Colonization/Settlement
History and Citizenship Education - Imperialism and Colonization (1800s-1900s)

Brief “lesson launcher type” activity or a series of inquiry questions with a bit of context:

A recreation of the story of Tom Sukanen, a Finnish man who spent 10 years making a ship to bring him back to Finland, which never reached the water. How would being separated from his wife and baby influence his desire to build this boat and continue over time? How might it have felt to be a Finnish immigrant in Saskatchewan during the 1920s? Conduct some research to determine how many immigrants came from Finland to Canada during this time period compared to today. Why do you think the numbers may have changed?

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