Lorraine Slabbaert-Norrgard (Artist-in-Residence, 1995)

About the Artist

Lorraine Slabbaert-Norrgard was an Isle Royale Artist-in-Residence from August 8th to August 26th, 1995. She grew up in the Chicago and the Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin area and received her BFA in filmmaking from the University of Illinois and an MA in educational communications from the University of Hawaii. She spent much of her life living and working near the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Reservation.

Norrgard spent 20 years as a documentary filmmaker focusing on Native American subjects as well as other historical topics, independently and for Duluth public television. Award winning titles by Norrgard include "Enduring Ways of the Lac du Flambeau People” and "A Gift to One, A Gift to Many-James Jackson Sr., Ojibwe Medicine Man" that won the Best Documentary award in the New York American Indian Film Festival and was shown at Lincoln Center.

In 1997 Norrgard received a fellowship from the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women where she completed the drama, “Looks Into the Night” that won numerous awards. In 2000, a Jerome Foundation grant placed Norrgard in Russia, Sweden, and Finland for a month exploring the use and the meaning of the birch tree in different cultures in comparison to the Anishinaabeg birch. Norrgard produced and directed the six-part documentary series on the Great Lakes Ojibwe, Waasa Inaabidaa—We Look In All Directions. It won the Best Documentary Award and Producer's Award at the 2002 San Francisco American Indian Film Festival as well as five regional Emmy Awards from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The series also won the Spirit Award and Documentary Feature Award at the Milwaukee Indian Summer Festival. The series was aired nationally and internationally on American Public Television Network, and the Canadian Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

More recent titles by Norrgard include, “Mikwendaagoziwag-The Sandy Lake Tragedy,” “Four Seasons of the Ojibwe children’s series,” and “Carl Gawboy Portrait-The Art of the Everyday.” Norrgard has worked for the Madeline Island Museum on Anishinaabeg programs since 2010.

- Adapted from University of Minnesota - Duluth's Library, author P. Maus

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Last updated: December 19, 2019

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