He produced multiple films about the North, and wrote several books, In 1942, when American corporation Bechtel got a contract to construct the Alaska Highway, Vilhjalmur Stefansson recommended Bechtel's book Canada Moves North to the President of Bechtel, as “the best general book about Northern Canada.” Bechtel hired Finnie, and he worked for the firm for 25 years, producing 60 in-house documentaries.
Finnie's life and work has been the subject of scholarly analysis, as in the 1996 paper "Visions of a Northern Nation: Richard Finnie's Views of Natives and Development in Canada's 'Last Frontier'".
- "Finnie, Richard Sterling, 1906-1987". University of Dartmouth. Archived from the original on 2021-01-17. https://web.archive.org/web/20210117171128/https://archives-manuscripts.dartmouth.edu/agents/people/1316. Retrieved 2021-11-26. "He made numerous expeditions to the Canadian north which lead to his recognition as an authority on the history and geography of the Arctic and northern Canada."
- "Obituary: Richard Sterling Finnie, 1906-1987". University of Calgary. Archived from the original on 2020-07-01. https://web.archive.org/web/20200701145153/https://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca//arctic/Arctic40-3-236.pdf. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
- Peter Geller (Spring, 1996). "Visions of a Northern Nation: Richard Finnie's Views of Natives and Development in Canada's 'Last Frontier'". Cinema and Nation 8 (1): 18-43. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3815214. Retrieved 2021-12-10.