Four new stamps focus on residential schools’ legacy

Canada Post has issued four new stamps highlighting the truth and legacy of residential schools, whose impacts are still felt by Indigenous peoples today.

The stamps, released to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, are the second issue in an annual series honouring truth and reconciliation. Featuring stark archival images of residential schools in different parts of Canada, the new 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,” according to a statement from Canada Post.

“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.”

The designs were unveiled on Sept. 27 at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ont. The centre was established in 1972 after the closing of the Mohawk Institute Residential School, the first school in Canada’s residential school system. A photograph of the Mohawk Institute is featured on the official first-day cover (OFDC) issued alongside the set.

Canada Post says it worked with the Survivors Circle of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation on this year’s issue. The Survivors Circle stressed the need to address the truth before Canadians collectively work toward reconciliation.

The residential schools and school residence featured on the stamps include:

  • Kamloops Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.;
  • Île-à-la-Crosse Residential School in Île-à-la-Crosse, Sask.;
  • Sept-Îles Residential School in Sept-Îles, Que.; and
  • Grollier Hall in Inuvik, N.W.T.

Along with the OFDC, the issue includes a booklet of eight Permanent domestic-rate stamps.

The OFDC cancel location is Ottawa, Ont., the seat of the federal government, which created the policies of assimilation that forcibly separated Indigenous children from their families and communities.

The issue is now available online and at select postal outlets across Canada.

The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line provides 24-hour support to former residential school students and their families. If you require support, please call 1‑866‑925‑4419.

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