Welcome home to Norway House

A new school year, new beginnings

The Norwegian American

Dear readers and friends,

At the time of writing, we find ourselves at a difficult point in our history. This week we have seen the fall of Kabul in a challenging evacuation effort, with loss of life and uncertainty about the future, both in the short term and the long term. Things feel dark and heavy for many.

It therefore feels very gratifying for me to share some very positive, bright news with you: As of Sept 1, 2021, The Norwegian American has been converted into a 501(c)3 non-profit entity, having found a permanent home at Norway House, the National Norwegian Center in America, located in Minneapolis.

A new partnership for the future:

This expansion of our network with Norway House at the epicenter of the Norwegian community in the United States will allow North America’s oldest and only newspaper to thrive and grow, with its core mission to connect our readers to their heritage and to build bridges to contemporary Norway.

Over the past few years, major improvements have been made to our newspaper under new editorial direction, as we’ve watched our subscriber base grow. We now plan to take things to new heights, with our core team remaining in Seattle, while leveraging the support of the enhanced organizational structure of Norway House.

In practical terms, this means that our content will remain the same, with a newspaper that is both national and international in scope, but our business will rest on a secure foundation. 

Most importantly, our new tax status will allow us to obtain public grant monies previously inaccessible to us, and going forth, your donations will be fully tax-deductible, as we lay the groundwork for generations to come.

Here at The Norwegian American, we are so happy to join forces with the Norway House team, as we continue to extend our outreach. When I visited Norway House for the first time a few years ago, I immediately felt a warm welcome—like I was coming home. We hope that going forth you will share in this strong feeling of community in every issue of our newspaper.

The value of education

It feels very fitting that this news of our reorganization is shared in our annual education issue, for education is at the heart of what we do. For immigrants, it has always been key to assimilation into a new society and upward mobility, and sharing these stories is of great value to all of us. 

Today, it is also important to understand that we live in a global society, and awareness of what is going on in the world around us is critical. This is a big part of the mission of The Norwegian American. With each issue, we want you to learn something that will be enriching to your life. Of course, we also want you to have an enjoyable reading experience, and that is why we publish the education issue after our summer break: I thank my talented team for all the work they’ve put in to bring you a variety stories that are quite unique to our community and publication.

Embracing diversity.

It’s no coincidence that we chose to feature a young Sámi woman, Sandra Andersen Eira, in our cover story. Sandra is not only a role model for young women who want to break into male-dominated professions, she is an inspiration for anyone who wants to enact change.  Through Sandra, I personally gained more knowledge about the Sámi people and what it means to be part of a minority population—and if we have learned anything this year, it is that we need to educate ourselves better about the broad spectrum of our society and to embrace our entire human family.

Quality journalism

We hope it’s been noticeable that we strive to bring you the best newspaper possible, which a large extent happens through the amazing support of our community. This issue, we are particularly grateful to Dr. Michael Osterholm for taking the time to talk to us about the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also built up relationships to bring you the voices of prominent community figures. And then there are our many regular contributors who are subject matter experts in their own right—I cannot thank them enough.

Community service

Community service is important to us, and in our online edition at norwegian-american.com, we offer a complete listing of scholarships and grants available to the Nordic community. We hope that you, your family, and friends will take advantage of this and all that we bring to you with our education issue.

A special thanks

Finally, I have to give a special thank you to our former publisher, Ragnar Meyer-Knutsen, whose support has sustained The Norwegian American for so many years. We are so grateful that he has joined the board of our new non-profit entity and will continue to support us. Ragnar, we cannot thank you and your family enough for all your kindness and generosity.

With a special thanks to all our supporters,

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 3, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.