|Date of Issue
|September 28, 2023
Current monetary value: $0.92.
|Truth and Reconciliation
|Series Time Span
|2022 - 2023
Denomination: Roman Catholic
Located in a historically Métis community, Île-à-la-Crosse Residential School was selected to represent the little-known and complicated history of Métis experiences at residential schools. The school had frequent funding shortages and students were forced to contend with the continual threat of fires as well as physical and sexual abuse.
When the federal government later agreed to compensate residential school Survivors and establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Île-à-la-Crosse was not included. The government argued the school was left out because it predated the federal residential school system. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission nonetheless conducted a hearing in Île-à-la-Crosse in November 2012.
Métis continue to advocate for federal recognition of their experiences at Île-à-la-Crosse Residential School.
First release in 2022:
Released on the day prior to September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, this stamp issue is the first in a series showcasing the visions of Inuit, Métis and First Nations artists for the future of truth and reconciliation, with the hope of encouraging awareness of and reflection on the effects of colonization on Indigenous Peoples and the work of the truth and reconciliation process.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were forced to attend federally created Indian residential schools, which operated for nearly a century and a half. More than 150,000 children were taken from their families and communities, many never to return home.
The illustration by First Nations artist Jackie Traverse, centred on the bunchberry, a flowering plant found across Canada, represents seeds of change, reminding us that for bountiful future harvests, we must share the sun, water and land.
Inuit artist Gayle Uyagaqi Kabloona features a woman lighting a qulliq, the traditional Inuit stone lamp, to signify care and healing for all Indigenous communities.
Métis artist Kim Gullion Stewart places beaded flowers over the contour lines of a map as a reminder of the need to live symbiotically with the land, nature and each other.
Canadian designer Blair Thomson offers two perspectives – the trauma and pain endured by Indigenous Peoples and the settlers’ shame and acknowledgement of this truth. An Indigenous child looks out from behind the hands to reinforce the message that we must never look away again.
The stamps also include the words “Truth and Reconciliation” in the traditional languages and regional dialects of the three artists, respectively Anishinaabemowin, Saulteaux dialect; Inuktitut, Kivalliq dialect and Heritage Michif.
Second release in 2023:
Featuring stark archival images of residential schools in different parts of Canada, the stamps serve as a reminder of the fear, loneliness, pain and shame experienced by generations of Indigenous children in these federally and church-created institutions. The stamp issue serves as a vehicle for truth about Canada’s residential school system to help support the process of reconciliation and, ultimately, healing.