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Bygdelagenes  Fellesraad

Centennial Headlines

Return here often for the latest information on activities planned for the Centennial Celebration!

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May 7, 2016

Governor Dayton Proclaims May 7, 2016, as Bygdelagenes Fellesraad Day.


May 1, 2016

Centennial Speakers


Thursday Reception

Doug Ohman

Norwegian Images in Minnesota

Travel with Photographer & Story Teller, Doug Ohman. Doug uses his camera to tell the story of Minnesota history. The program will focus on a variety of Norwegian sites he has photographed along the back roads, small towns and neighborhoods of the state. He will share stories along with photographs the highlight the richness of Norwegian history & culture.


Friday Opening Session

John R. Christianson

“Janteloven” – Is That What It Means to Be Norwegian?

Janteloven (the Law of Jante) says, “Don’t think you’re so great!” Is that what it means to be Norwegian? Or are we the opposite: the GREATEST?


Saturday Banquet

US District Court Chief Justice John Tunheim

Essential Relationships Between Norway and the United States

John R Tunheim graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and University of Minnesota Law School. He was appointed a United States District Judge taking his oath of office in December 29, 1995. From 1994-1998, he served as the Chairman of the U.S. Assassination Records Review Board, an independent federal agency responsible for reviewing and facilitating public disclosure of previously classified government records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He has also invested a significant amount of time in international rule of law development. Countries he has worked in are: Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives.

Session Speakers and their Subjects


Lynne Beck

Future of printed materials in academic libraries (Friday)


Betty A Bergland

Enduring Ethnicity—Two Approaches (Friday)


Ida Marie Bringedal

Contemporary art scene in Norway (Saturday)


Gary DeKrey

The Future of Ethnicity in the Twenty-First Century (Saturday)


Knut Djupedal

Ingrid Semmingson Library at the Norwegian Museum of Migration (Friday)

Story of the Bygdelag and the Founding of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum (Saturday)


Bradley Ellingboe

The Contributions of Norwegian Immigrants to the Musical Life of the United States. (Friday)


Laurann Gilbertson

Norwegian Folk Art in America: Past, Present and Future (Saturday)


Dennis Gimmestad

Enduring Ethnicity—Two Approaches (Friday)


Gracia Grindal

Early Norwegian American Leaders as Exemplified by Linka Preus and Elisabeth Koren (Friday)


Øyvind Gullikson

Strength, Grace & Skills of Norwegian-Americans (Friday)


Elaine Helgeson Hasleton

Twenty First Century Norwegian Family Research Melding old and new (Friday)


Barbara Horn

Preparing for a research trip in the 21st century – Getting the most out of your time and tools (Friday)


Terje Mikael Hasle Joranger

American, Norwegian, or Sogning? Norwegian-American Identity Formation in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Friday)

A Sense of Place: Norwegian-Americans in the Upper Midwest (Saturday)


Karen Humphrey

Bringing Families Together: Historical Societies, Archives, and the 21st Century (Friday)


Jean Knaak

Norwegian Heritage, Research Skills and the Future (Friday)


Fredrik Larsen Lund

The Norwegian archival system including information about various relevant services and sources for Norwegian- American family history (Friday)

Finding Family in Norway: What You Should Know Before You Travel. (Saturday)


H Christine Midelfort

Enduring Ethnicity—Two Approaches (Friday)


Marvin Slind

The Cultural, Social, and Economic Dimensions of Norwegian Immigration to America (Friday)


Marilyn D Somdahl

Fellesraad - An Abbreviated History (Saturday)


Marilyn Sorensen

Norwegian Heritage, Research Skills and the Future (Friday)

Fellesraad - An Abbreviated History (Saturday)


Johnathan Storlie

DNA impact on Norwegian Family History Research (Friday)


Garth Ulrich

Canadian research for Norwegian family history. (Friday)

April 14, 2016

Book Signing at Norway House

Join us at NORWAY HOUSE on SUNDAY, MAY 8th at 1:00 pm for a book reading / book signing with national award winning and New York Times bestselling author, Neal Bascomb. Mr. Bascomb’s newest book, The Winter Fortress , tells the true tale of one of the greatest feats of sabotage during WWII the destruction of the heavy water plant in Telemark Norway.

March 13, 2016

Lena and Ole Build a Lag Cabin

Lena and Ole Build a Lag House Photo

Lena and Ole will be featured in “Lena and Ole Build a Lag Cabin at the centennial reception on Friday evening, May 6 at 7 pm. This humorous skit has been developed for this occasion and will be very special. The location is the Doubletree by Hilton in Brooklyn Center. Attendance is included with all paid registration fees for the conference.

February 20, 2016

Norwegian Bunad Parade

Bunad Parade Photo

There will be a Bunad Parade at the banquet on Saturday, May 7, at the Fellesraad Centennial at the Earle Brown Center. Many areas of Norway will be represented so there will be a large array of colors and styles. All individuals who have bunads may participate if they are registered for all day Saturday. There will be a meeting scheduled on Saturday, May 7, to go over the staging with the time of the meeting available at the registration desk. When registrants sign in for the conference, they will also to sign in for the bunad parade and prepare their information card for the bunad show.

February 9, 2016

Norwegian Glee Club Sings

Glee Club Logo

The Saturday luncheon will feature the Norwegian Glee Club of Minneapolis. This is a Member Chorus of the Norwegian Singers Association of America, bringing the musical treasures of Norway to the American public and reminding us of our great Scandinavian heritage.

The Norwegian Glee Club was formed on August 7, 1912, by the remaining members of two other choruses: the Norwegian Good Templar Singing Society and the Hugnad Male Chorus. The chorus continues the Norwegian-American tradition of men’s singing choruses, which is a part of our great Norwegian choral tradition.

January 27, 2016

Poster Exhibit Secured For Thursday and Friday

New Land, New Life! poster

New Land, New Life: Norwegian Immigration in Minnesota: 1825-1925 will be on display Friday, May 6, during the Fellesraad Centennial Celebration. It is a poster display about immigration of people to Minnesota from Norway from 1825- 1925. It shows a time line starting with Eric the Red and Leif Eriksson, moving on to settling in the 1880s. It shows maps where high concentrations of Norwegians settled. The series of twenty panels depicts the first 100 years of Norwegian immigration in Minnesota. It is lent to the centennial celebration and is a collaboration of RCHS and the Synnove-Nordkap Sons of Norway Lodge.

January 14, 2016

"A View from My Heart" Exhibit - Thursday and Friday

Photo by Øystein Johnsen

"A View from My Heart", a special display from Norway of Norwegian landscape and wildlife by photographer Øystein Johnsen will be exhibited on Friday, May 6 at the Fellesraad Centennial. Please take the time to view this display. For more information go to oystein-johnsen.com/.

December 7, 2015

Stoughton Norwegian Dancers to Entertain

Photo of Stoughton Dancers

During the Saturday morning session (currently scheduled for 9:50 am) we will have a chance to watch the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers put on a display of folk dances and music. These twenty-four talented high schoolers are well known for their prowess in the art of folk dancing. Those who have seen them before will tell you that it is not an experience you would want to miss. Read more...

Saturday - Now Includes a Norwegian Day Camp

Youngsters from 5-16 are encouraged to come along with their parents/grandparents to the Centennial Celebration on Saturday, May 7th. The $60 registration fee includes all materials, lunch and snacks. It also covers admission to the Friday evening reception and Saturday evening banquet.

This special day of activities designed especially for the 'next generation' begins at 8 A.M. and ends at 5:00 p.m. We'll start things off with the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers, who will teach us a Norwegian folk dance. We'll then have a getting-to-know-you session, learn a little Norwegian history, and sing some Norwegian folk songs. After sharing a special lunch together, we'll fill the afternoon with games and crafts…and a visit from a ventriloquist!

Centennial Celebration on Saturday, May 7th. The $60 registration fee includes all materials, lunch and snacks. It also covers admission to the Friday evening reception and Saturday evening banquet.

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