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Canada Post unveils new stamps for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

By Skye Bryden-Blom Sep 29, 2022 | 12:03 PM

(SOURCE: Canada Post)

New stamps are showcasing Indigenous artists’ visions for the future.

Canada Post has unveiled four stamps to help mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Friday, September 30th.

It says the stamps aim to encourage awareness and reflection on the tragic legacy of residential schools and the need for healing.

This stamp issue is the first in an annual series showcasing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis artists.

More than 150,000 children across Canada were taken from their families and sent to residential schools between the 1830s and 1990s.

They were stripped of their languages, cultures, and traditions.

“Children endured unsafe conditions, disease, and physical, sexual and emotional abuse while at the church-run schools. Thousands of them never made it home,” a news release says. “Residential school Survivors continue to experience trauma from their time at the institutions, and that has been passed down to successive generations.”

The Indigenous languages found on the stamps represent the dialect of the artists who created the work.

Those creatives include Jackie Traverse, Gayle Uyagaqi Kabloona, Kim Gullion Stewart, and Blair Thomson.

Learn more about their vision here:

Artist and graphic designer Thomson explains his design aims to remind Canadians to reflect on the pain of the past and never to look away again.

He says he wanted to convey the hard truths that we now have to face.

“A pair of bold hands are held over the eyes and human face. Intended to be cross-representative — those of Indigenous Peoples/Survivors, covering their face in sadness, pain, memories, and those of the settler, masking their view of reality and shame,” Thomson says. “Tears stream from between the fingers. The background further connects to the school windows, looking out and dreaming of home. The eyes looking out from behind the hands reinforce the message that settlers must ‘never look away again’.”

The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation honours the children who never made it home, the survivors and their families.

It encourages all Canadians to reflect and participate in the reconciliation process.

Blair Thomson. (SOURCE: Canada Post)

September 30th also marks Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative initiative aiming to raise awareness of the impacts of residential schools and to remind Canadians that “Every Child Matters.”

The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom, and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.

Canadians are encouraged to wear orange on Friday.


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