Norma has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre/English Education from the University of Wyoming. She wrote her own material and developed her own shows through research, family information, and sometimes information provided from her audience or other interested people.

She has lived in Wyoming all her life - now in Riverton, Wyoming on the Hungry Horse Ranch with her husband Harry Haskell. They have a buckskin overo stallion with three of his offspring to be born this spring. A retired firefighter, Harry enjoys the ranch, keeping busy making improvements and feeding the horses. Norma hopes to attain a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wyoming.

As Calamity Jane, Norma wears a pair of fringed-leather trousers and a beaded leather vest that were copied from pictures of the original items Calamity Jane wore according to an article in a True West magazine. She also has her great grandmother’s bead design on her leather gauntlets. Her great grandmother Nettie Borner was married to Tobias Borner the nephew of Calamity Jane. She wears a pair of “lady leg” spurs that are over 100 years old and were given to her by her grandmother. A portion of Norma’s presentation contains entertaining stories about her historically recreated “get up” and her journey to portraying Calamity Jane. Norma does not claim to have the one and only true story about Calamity Jane, but she does claim to have a family version of how the controversial pioneer woman Martha Jane Canarie became know as Calamity Jane. An emotional undertone and meaning come from Norma’s portrayal and she says she relays the information with a lot of heart and as only a relative would.

As Norma tells her stories of Calamity Jane, she displays the spirit of that outspoken woman by shooting off her mouth and cracking her ten foot bullwhip. Unlike the real Calamity who used language that would curl your toes, Norma breaks out in old time song now and then like “Red Wing,” “Buffalo Gals,” and “Red River Valley.”

Norma has four different programs: “How Calamity Jane Came by Her Name,” Cantankerous Nature Show,” Calamity Jane’s Love Story,” and “Bits and Pieces.” Each program takes around _ hour to 45 minutes but can be altered to fit almost any time schedule. Over the years Norma has adapted her programs into an educational or an entertainment setting. A versatile performer, she has performed with a microphone in front of large audiences in large coliseums all the way down to intimate settings in libraries or luncheons. She has sung the national anthem from the back of BlackJack at various rodeos including last year at the rodeo at Pageant Days in Thermopolis, Wyoming and in the past Days of 76 Rodeo in Deadwood, South Dakota. She also sang the anthem for the Great American Wild West Show horseback. When appropriate she likes to leave a little time after storytelling for questions or to visit.


Norma's Family History

Norma’s great great
grandmother was Lena
Canarie Borner. Lena was
Martha Jane Canarie’s
sister. She married John
Borner in South Pass City,
Wyoming in 1875 and
moved with him to the
Borner homestead at the
foot of the Sinks Canyon,
Popo Agie River, Lander,
Wyoming. Lena went on
her own western adventures,
for she had seven children
by the time she was 31 years
old. At that age she died
from injuries in an accident
and is buried in an
unmarked grave north of
Lander, Wyoming. John
Borner took his family to
a spot where the Greybull
River, Shell Creek, and
Big Horn River came
together and settled. He
hired a teacher to tend to
his children. The remains
of his fireplace can be found in the City Park
of Greybull, Wyoming, a town he is considered to be the founder of. Tobias Borner,
their son – Norma’s great grandfather, told a newspaper reporter for the Basin Wyoming Herald the story he had been told by his mother and aunt (Calamity Jane) about how the family came to the West and how Martha Jane became known as Calamity Jane. Norma’s grandmother Rose Borner White, Tobias’ daughter, gave her the newspaper copies.

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Copyright 2010

Norma Slack Haskell
Martha Jane Canarie’s
Great Great Grand Niece


A fifth generation Wyoming native, Norma Slack Haskell has portrayed her famous relative nationwide in the Great American Wild West Show, 11 years at the Wyoming Territorial Prison and Western Theme Park, Laramie, Wyoming, and two decades of many kinds of shows all over the United States.