Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare issued the following statement on the results of the forgery of Norval Morrisseau’s paintings:
“Today, at Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Headquarters in Orillia, Ontario, the OPP and the Thunder Bay Police Service announced the outcome of their fraud investigation into art illegally made and sold as those of distinguished painter Norval Morrisseau,” said Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare.
Norval Morrisseau, also known as Copper Thunderbird, was an Ojibwa artist from the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek and a prominent figure in the middle of a growing Indigenous art movement in Canada beginning in the 1960s. Allegations regarding the forgery and plagiarism of Morisseau’s art began surfacing in the early 2000s.
“I am pleased to learn that the forgery allegations of Norval Morrisseau’s art were taken seriously and that the OPP and Thunder Bay Police Service continued to investigate. Those who profited from these fraudulent paintings, prints and other artworks will be held fully accountable. Now, the focus can return to Norval Morrisseau’s revolutionary, culturally, and historically meaningful work, as it represents First Nations’ histories and cultures through art.”