Problematic Postage: Canada’s Claim to the Arctic through a Postage Stamp



Settler societies have simultaneously attempted to extinguish Indigenous claims to lands while appropriating aspects of Indigenous cultures to differentiate themselves on the global stage. They have done this through a variety of methods, including the issuance of stamps as symbols of a greater national narrative. This article seeks to demystify one such example, the 1955 “Eskimo hunter.” It is argued that this stamp, issued by the Canadian Post Office Department, sought to incorporate Inuit culture into the Canadian imaginary while strengthening the nation’s tenuous claim to the High Arctic during the 1950s, coinciding with the relocation of several Inuit families to Ellesmere and Cornwallis islands.

Author Biography

Daniel Dumas, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich, Germany

Daniel Dumas obtained his master’s in geography from the University of Ottawa in 2017. His thesis, entitled “Negotiating Life within the City: Social Geographies and Lived Experiences of Urban Metis Peoples in Ottawa,” was a study in modern urban Indigeneity. Afterward, Daniel worked as a Special Projects Intern for the Alberta Ministry of Indigenous Relations in Edmonton, Canada. Daniel joined the Doctoral Program Environment and Society at LMU Munich in October 2018. His dissertation explores the evolving responses of Indigenous peoples to tar sands extraction on their traditional territories in Alberta, Canada.