Ii (Swedish: Ijo) is a municipality in the province of Northern Ostrobothnia. The municipality is home to 9,848 people and covers an area of 2,872.43 km², of which 1,206.00 km² is sea area and 52.33 km² is inland water. The population density is 6.1 inhabitants / km². Ii is a popular summer cottage resort. The neighboring municipalities are Oulu, Pudasjärvi, Ranua and Simo.

The municipality of Ii and the municipality of Kuivaniemi ceased to exist on 1 January 2007, and their former areas were transformed into a new municipality of Ii. The coat of arms of the new municipality became the coat of arms of Kuivaniemi.



In ancient times, the Iijoki, Olhavanjoki and Kuivajoki, which cut through the municipality of Ii, were considerably more important water routes. At least the Olhava region was already inhabited during the Stone Age. Fish rivers attracted Lapland taxpayers. Early in the Middle Ages, the Ii coast was inhabited by wilderness men from Upper Satakunta. Russian Karelians competed with the people of the Upper Satakunta, who considered the area to be under their control. Many place names, such as Russian War and Olhava, refer to the Karelian influence. Ii suffered from his disputed position for a long time. The robbery and revenge trips followed one another, and the houses in Ii and Kantalahti in particular were ashes in turn. The Iili attacks were led by Pekka Vesainen from Kiiminki. The long-running state of war did not end until 1593, and two years later, in the Peace of Täyssina, the Russian Karelians renounced their claims to the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia.

The parish was formed as a chapel in the parish of Pietarsaari after 1340. The documents mention the Iin chapel for the first time in 1374. The Iin parish became independent by 1445 at the latest, making it one of the oldest parishes in Northern Ostrobothnia. The Ii area covered a large area, with the border in the south being Liminka, in the north the Kemi, and in the east the border of the kingdom. As the settlement increased, the congregation gradually began to divide. First Haukipudas and Pudasjärvi were founded, then Kiiminki and Ylikiiminki in the 17th century. In the 17th century, Kuivaniemi became the chapel of the Ii parish and only in 1894 its own parish, in fact this was not realized until 1920. The Taivalkoski parish was formed from the eastern part of Lake Pudasjärvi. Yli-Ii resigned in 1924.

The history of Iin churches has been hard. The first church on Illinsaari burned down in 1582 during a Russian extermination expedition. The communion lime was found in 1894 in the northeastern part of the island. The second church was completed on Kirkkosaari in 1588, but the Russians burned it the following year. The next church, also completed on Kirkkosaari in 1621, burned with lightning strikes in 1693. The church built by Israel Simonpoika Annala in 1693–1694 was also destroyed by fire in 1942. The new church was completed in 1950. The first church in Kuivaniemi was , when the third parish church was completed in 1874.


An important place of trade and port developed at the mouth of the Iijoki River in the Middle Ages, one of the most significant in the Gulf of Bothnia. At the end of the Middle Ages, Iin Hamina grew into a market and trading place that was widely known in the Baltic Sea region. Iin Hamina reminded of a small town as early as the 16th century with its numerous fences, shops and artisan dwellings. There were 35 houses in the village of Ii at that time, while the total number of houses in the parish of Suur-Ii was 133. Kalaisa Iijoki made it possible to spread the settlement inland. In 1749 the population of the parish was already 2,378.

The most important livelihoods in the early days of settlement were fishing, hunting and animal husbandry. In Kuivaniemi, fishing became an important industry, for which the Gulf of Bothnia, Kuivajoki and Oijärvi provided good conditions. Gradually, agriculture became the main occupation of the keeper. The people of Kuivaniemi also engaged in a lot of coastal sailing, and especially in the 20th century, the people of Kuivaniemi were important timber drivers.

Ii has been a pioneer in the industry of Northern Finland. The Nyby glass factory started operating in Olhava as early as 1738. Nylander, the founder of the factory, developed a small community that operated independently of the factory area. For a long time, the Olhava glass factory was the most significant industrial plant in Northern Finland. It ceased operations only in the 1880s. The first steam sawmill in Finland, the Kestilä sawmill, was built in Iin Kestilä in 1859 in accordance with a Senate decree, and was in operation until 1908. The high barrel of the sawmill is still protected from this sawmill in the village of Kestilä. The first library was established in 1860 in Iin Parsonage. The current library is located in Nättepori, or Hamina, opposite the church. The first Finnish horse was registered in 1907.