Norval Morrisseau

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St. Michael


Three Loons

Medicine Man

More places to see work by Norval Morrisseau

Crawford Fine Arts, Millbrook, ON

Riverbrink Art Museum, Queenston, ON

Shaw Studios, Whitby, ON

Gabe Vadas with Norval Morrissea

Norval Morrisseau

Norval Morrisseau The Early Morrisseau: Friends, Family and other Demons

In the early 1970s when Norval Morrisseau was developing as an artist, Robert Lavack in his role at the Ontario Department of Education arranged school tours for Norval, Carl Ray and others. His intimate knowledge of Norval at this time period has gone mostly unnoticed. Read the first article that Robert has written and ask for more if you like it. We’ll use this website to point you to further sources for Norval Morrisseau founder of the Woodlands School. Also, join the grassroots movement to nominate Norval Morrisseau for the Nobel Peace Prize. Impossible you ask? No! Read on.

Flying high with Morrisseau ~ The Beaver

Norval Morrisseau
1932 - 2007

Globe and Mail
Toronto Star

Norval Morrisseau ~ 1932 - 2007

More: Page Two; We are all Norval's Children; No, No Morrisseau,

Finding a better way … for Norval’s sake
I am loath to write anything about great Canadian artist Norval Morrisseau. The opposing parties of the fake art controversy seize every opportunity to pull bystanders into their fray. However, scholarly, creative and memoir-like books should be written about Norval. After all, he was and continues to be inspirational. I know that Ottawa-based scholar Armand Garnet Ruffo is working on Morrisseau material as he spoke to both me and Robert Lavack a while ago. University of Toronto Libraries, “Canadian Poetry Online” indicate, “He is currently completing a book length creative exploration of the life and work of the acclaimed Ojibway painter Norval Morrisseau.” I also know that Michele Vadas is compiling her memories of Norval’s life. Before the claws come out to attack this latter project, let it be known that illuminations of Norval’s life serve to enlarge his legacy. There has to be a better way to move forward …

Norval Morrisseau 39 cent stampRobert Lavack and the Norval Morrisseau Postage Stamp

1990 ~ This year, Canada Post Corporation's annual Christmas set featured the works of four native Canadian artists. Each one has depicted the nativity or the origin of human life according to their particular cultural beliefs. On the 39¢ domestic rate, Norval Morrisseau (Ojibwa) "nativizes" a classic Christian image in his painting "Virgin Mary with Christ Child and St. John the Baptist."

Red Lake MuseumRed Lake Regional Heritage Centre

Red Lake,

Norval Morrisseau and the Nobel Peace Prize

One may advocate for peace in many different ways as the faces of peace are as varied as the peoples of this earth. Some people use words, some political activism, some peaceful resistance, others work to broker peace or act as iconic images of the meaning of peace.  Canada is very proud that native artist Norval Morrisseau took up paintbrushes to provide the world with colourful images depicting the importance of living at peace with oneself and nature.  In addition to a significant oeuvre that sends strong messages of peace world wide, Mr. Morrisseau himself serves an an icon of peace.

Mr. Morrisseau is a model of hope and survival for indigenous peoples. He has instilled in them a sense of pride in their heritage and identity.  He is the founder of a new artistic way of depicting native legends. A pioneer with his own works, he is the mentor to generations of new artists. Additionally, he has overcome great personal difficulties throughout his life and he bravely continues to face the challenges of ill health.  His life is as inspirational as his art. 

Mr. Morrisseau's art works hang in public places in Canada and world-wide.  He has taken aboriginal art out of a narrow niche and made its powerful messages available to a broad and diverse audience, important messages that would get even more recognition with a Nobel Peace Prize.  Messages such as:

  • We are connected to nature and to one another.
  • We must live in harmony with nature and one another.
  • We must be at peace with ourselves

Norval Morrisseau's symbolic messages, colourfully rendered, are important not just for our time, but also for any time as he is building peace for himself, his people and for the world from the inside out.  Pride in one's heritage, identity and self will always be great starting points for establishing a peaceful world.

The Morrisseau Papers

The Morrisseau Papers, by Hazel Fulford, published by Perdida Press in Thunder Bay in 2007, is an inside story based on the papers Robert Lavack had from his days with Norval Morrisseau and the art circuit. It also contains Lavack's reminiscences of the time. The book provides key evidence about the early life and career of Norval Morrisseau.

To order your copy e-mail:

Gabe Vadas with Norval Morrissea in B.C.

Norval lives with his family of choice, Gabe and Michelle Vadas and children. Gabe and Michelle provide a loving home environment for the Parkinson's challenged Norval. The photo above is taken at their home. Gabe and Michelle are also custodians of his works with Gabe providing business leadership for Norval.

The website takes you to the gallery which represents Norval.

If you own a Norval Morrisseau painting and would like to authenticate it, contact the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society at

- the first solo exhibition featuring a First Nations artist in 126-year history of the National Gallery of Canada



Angie Littlefield | 416.282.0646 |