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Canada Post Honours 3 Indigenous Leaders

Written by catpaw

June 20, 2022

Canada Post is honouring Indigenous leaders Harry Daniels, Jose Kusugak and Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21, 2022). Lime Design, the designers behind some of Canada Post’s best Black History Month stamps created this trio of stamps and covers. You can see more of their work with last year’s Black History stamps here and here. They excel in creating strong portraits, and this talent shines through in this series. 

Daniels.Métis single stampJose_Kusugak_single stamp Day Walker single stamp 

Indigenous Leaders Souvenir Sheet

 

Métis leader Harry Daniels  (1940-2004)  

Indigenous Leaders OFDC Daniels Indigenous Leaders OFDC Back Daniels

1 stamp, booklet of 6, FDC, cancel

Métis leader Harry Daniels  (1940-2004). 

Read press releases in Michif 220613-NR-IL-Harry-Daniels-Michif  and 220610-MA-IL-Daniels-Michif (final)

He was a writer, activist and politician who dedicated his life to protecting the rights of the Métis and non-status Indians. 

One of Daniels’ most important contributions was successfully leading an effort to convince the federal government to enshrine the inherent rights of Métis and non-status Indians in the new Constitution. As a result, Métis are included, along with First Nations (named as Indians) and Inuit, as Indigenous (identified as Aboriginal) Peoples in the Constitution Act, 1982.

For Daniels, however, constitutional recognition was just a first step. Since 1867, the federal government had recognized only “status Indians” as being its jurisdictional responsibility. The provincial governments had also not claimed responsibility for Métis and non-status Indians. To this end, in 1999, Daniels and several other plaintiffs launched Daniels v. Canada to determine the federal government’s relationship with the two groups. The case was not decided until 2016, 12 years after Daniels’ death, when the Supreme Court upheld the Federal Court ruling that Métis and non-status Indians are Indians under the British North America Act, 1867, and therefore, come under the federal government’s jurisdiction. Canada Post issues commemorative stamp recognizing Métis leader Harry Daniels | Canada Post (canadapost-postescanada.ca)

You can learn more about Daniels and the Métis at the following links:

 

Inuit leader Jose Kusugak (1950-2011)

Indigenous Leaders OFDC Kusugak Indigenous Leaders OFDC Back Kusugak

1 stamp, booklet of 6, FDC, cancel

Inuit leader Jose Kusugak (1950-2011)

Read the press releases in Inuktut 220610-MA-IL-Kusugak-Inuktut and 220614-NR-IL-Jose-Kusugak-Inuktut

 An Inuit activist, linguist and award-winning broadcaster, Kusugak played a critical role in efforts that led to the creation of Nunavut in 1999, for which many consider him a Father of Confederation…

In 1971, he joined the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC), where his natural abilities as a communicator helped in his efforts to disseminate and explain the concept of land claims to Inuit communities. To further spread the land claims message across the Arctic, Kusugak joined CBC North in 1980 as area manager for the Kivalliq region. After 10 years with CBC, he joined the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation, introducing new areas of programming in Inuktitut.

From 1994 to 2000, Kusugak was president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. The organization played a pivotal role in negotiating the land claim that created Nunavut, which became a territory on April 1, 1999. Canada Post unveils new stamp honouring Inuit leader Jose Kusugak- | Canada Post (canadapost-postescanada.ca)

You can learn more about Jose Kusugak and the Inuit people here: 

Our ancestors were ingenious and inventive, prospering in an environment that many outsiders have unfairly characterized as bleak and inhospitable. Inuit | Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada

 

 

Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan

 Indigenous Leaders OFDC Day Walker-Pelletier Indigenous Leaders OFDC Back Day Walker-Pelletier 

1 stamp, booklet of 6, FDC, cancel

Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan

Read the press releases in Cree 220615-NR-IL-Day-Walker-Pelletier-Cree and 220613-MA-IL-Walker-Cree.

Chief Day Walker-Pelletier has left huge mark on indigenous communities across Canada.  She has worked tirelessly for social reform and fostering healing within First Nations communities across the country. She also championed indigenous rights, which included the right to celebrate their own cultures and languages.  Even in retirement Day Walker-Pelletier continues to work towards healing the generational trauma indigenous communities are dealing with.

Throughout her leadership, she fought to improve the quality of life of the Okanese and to protect the culture, rights and traditions of all First Nations people through her involvement in numerous tribal, provincial and national initiatives on social reform, health and wellness, and education. She was an advocate of many important issues including violence against women, drug abuse, economic development, housing, health and education.

A survivor of the residential school system, Day Walker-Pelletier was particularly passionate about improving the lives of women and children. In 2021, a year after she retired, her decade-long dream to reintegrate Indigenous foster children into their families culminated in the opening of the Daywalker Home Fire Family Centre. 
New stamp commemorates extraordinary leadership of Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier | Canada Post (canadapost-postescanada.ca)

You can learn more about Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier and the Okanese First Nations here:

There were so many great videos of Chief Day Walker-Pelletier, it was difficult to pick just one. She’s a true force. But I settled on Canada Post’s video on her because it gives a wonderful overview of her strength and love of community.

 

Learn More

In a final note, I offer this video to gain a little perspective on the battle Indigenous peoples have faced in reclaiming their cultural identities and lands.  If you’d like to do more reading, check out the Indigenous Peoples of Canada Atlas.  

For a substantive examination of Indigenous peoples, the University of Alberta offers a course, via Coursera, titled Indigenous Canada. It’s a free, 12 lesson course that explores history, culture and current issues facing Canada’s indigenous peoples.  The course is in English, but subtitled in the following languages Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, Spanish.

The University of Toronto offers Aboriginal Worldviews and Education through Coursera. This 14 hour course is free as well. It takes a look at how indigenous peoples view the world with topics like Aboriginal Worldviews and Education and Aboriginal Worldviews Colliding with Newcomers.  The course is  in English with subtitles in French, Portuguese (European), Russian and Spanish.

Indigenous Peoples Day takes place on June 21 each year. This link is a pretty decent description of the history of the day  National Indigenous Peoples Day | The Canadian Encyclopedia.  CBC has a series of programs worth exploring CBC MARKS NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY & NATIONAL INDIGENOUS HISTORY MONTH – CBC Media Centre,  As well as resources for children, and what celebrations are on, the page offers a hard look at the deep generational trauma experienced by Indigenous communities across the country. Often unflinching and deeply disturbing, it’s a must read.

To see all the stamps in this series, check out Sneak peek at Canada’s 2022 stamp program and skip down a few stamps to see everything. 


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