Inuktitut singer featured on Canada Post stamp

Inuktitut singer Elisapie, whose face adorns a new Canada Post stamp unveiled last week in Montreal, said she was “excited,” about the honour.

In fact, the award-winning singer-songwriter-activist, actor and director said she was thrilled to be on the stamp because the Post Office was a central part of her early life.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “I’m very excited for kids and for the elders back home who can go to the Post Office and see this. It’s the centre of our lives in small community, so it’s a big deal.”

The singer was born Elisapie Isaac in 1977 in the remote community of Salluit, in Nunavik. There, she sang in church and also performed with her uncle's band as a youth. After moving to Montreal to go to school, she very quickly hit her stride as a filmmaker, singer and activist.

After arriving in the city, she wrote and directed the prize-winning documentary short, ‘Sila piqujippat’ or ‘If the Weather Permits’ in English in 2003.

She also won a Juno Award as part of the musical duo Taima in 2005, and another one for her solo work in 2019. She didn’t stop there, either, recording four solo albums - There Will Be Stars (2009), Travelling Love (2012), The Ballad of the Runaway Girl (2018) and Inuktitut (2023).

In 2021, she created and produced Le Grand Solstice for Radio-Canada – a musical and cultural French-language celebration televised annually to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, Canada Post said.

She won her third Juno award in 2024, this time for Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year.

Other honours bestowed upon Elisapie include the Ambassador Prize at the 2011 Teweikan Awards for her work as an artist and activist; a Félix Award for Indigenous Artist of the Year in 2020; being named to the order of arts and letters of Québec in 2021, and receiving an honorary doctorate from Concordia University in 2023.

The stamp is the first of three commemorative stamps honouring Indigenous leaders that will be unveiled in coming days. This marks the third consecutive year Canada Post issued special stamps honouring Indigenous trailblazers.

The three stamps will be released tomorrow to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day. On Tuesday, a stamp commemorating Josephine Mandamin was unveiled in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and next Tuesday, the stamp recognizing Christi Belcourt will be unvei

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase