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Pitseolak, circa 1904-1983, Inuit Artist

Canadian Women


Pitseolak, circa 1904-1983, Inuit Artist



Date of Issue

March 8, 1993




Postal Administration



Canadian Women

Series Time Span


Perforation or Dimension



Ashton-Potter Limited.


Designed by Heather J. Cooper.

About Stamp

Two centennials are being celebrated in 1993: the founding of the National Office of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), and of the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC). It is also the 50th anniversary of the first federally appointed woman judge in Canada. Honouring these events, four stamps are being issued depicting outstanding Canadian women. One of Canada's best known Inuit graphic artists, Pitseolak's early years were spent in the traditional Inuit lifestyle of travelling from camp to camp. In 1922 she married Ashoona, but following his death, life became extremely difficult. In the 1950's James Houston became the first civil administrator at Cape Dorset. He encouraged the Inuit to carve, sew and draw as an alternate livehood. Pitseolak began with socks and parkas which he sold for her. Then he gave her pens, pencils and paper to draw. The concept of expressing herself on paper intrigued her. At Cape Dorset she produced thousands of drawings depicting monsters and spirits, early Inuit life and other sentiments close to her heart. Her work can be found in public and private collections around the world. Three of her sons are gifted stone carvers and her daughter, Napadive Poottoogook, is a well-known graphic artist.
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Similar Stamps


Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, No. 9, 1993, p. 13, 15-16.

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