Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Norval Morrisseau's Family (Part I)


Norval Morrisseau with Harriet, Victoria and Pierre
© 1964 Globe and Mail, Toronto
/Click on image to Enlarge/

In 1957 Norval Morrisseau married Harriet Kakegamic (sister of Henry, Joshim and Goyce Kakegamic) who was from Sandy Lake Reserve northeast of Red Lake. They met in Fort William (now Thunder Bay) at the tuberculosis sanatorium while Morrisseau was receiving treatment. They arrived in Cochenour, Ontario in 1959 to work in the Cochenour-Willans gold mine.

Harriet inspired him in his work and taught him Cree syllabics, form of writing developed by Methodist missionary James Evans in the 1840s, reflected in Morrisseau's own signature of his works (Copper Thunderbird).

Their children were born from 1957-1975 as the family moved between Beardmore, Cochenour, Sandy Lake, McKenzie Island and Red Lake. Morrisseau reportedly enjoyed children and one large portrait of his daughter, Victoria, with his first grandson ("Victoria and Family"), conveys pride and love.

Norval Morrisseau & Harriet Morrisseau (Kakegamic) have 7 children by direct bloodline (David, Michael, Peter, Eugene, Christian, Victoria and Lisa), 18 Grandchildren and 13 Great Grandchildren.

Note: Norval Morrisseau was buried next to his wife Harriet at cemetery in Keewaywin First Nation, Ontario, Canada.


-Source (image): 'The Strange Success - and Failure of Norval Morriseau'; Canadian Art 21 no 6 (Nov-Dec 1964)-

* Photography: © 1964 Globe and Mail, Toronto /Norval Morrisseau with his wife Harriet, daughter Victoria & son Pierre - Toronto, March 1964/

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