Executive Council
Environment and Climate Change
January 16, 2017

Celebrating Newfoundland and Labrador’s Vast Historical and Cultural Tourism Profile

Canada Post Recognizes Three Provincial UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Newfoundland and Labrador’s UNESCO sites, L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, and Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, have been recognized by Canada Post through the release of their Canadian Identity series of commemorative stamps. Since 2014, Canada’s UNESCO World Heritage sites have been featured on commemorative stamps. Through the series, Canadians are invited to discover the country’s early historic settlements and to envision the origins of complex organisms on this planet through the new stamps.

“We are proud that three of Newfoundland and Labrador’s UNESCO World Heritage sites are being celebrated as part of Canada 150. Newfoundland and Labrador is rich in natural and cultural treasures, which people from all over the globe come and explore. As part of this year’s celebrations, I encourage all Canadians to come and tour these sites and the many more our province offers.”
- The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

UNESCO's mission is to encourage international cooperation in the conservation of the world's cultural and natural heritage and inspire local participation in the preservation of that heritage. The UNESCO World Heritage Site program seeks to identify and ensure conservation of significant natural and cultural heritage sites worldwide. Additional information on the three Newfoundland and Labrador sites featured can be found in the backgrounder below.

“As the Minister of Environment and Climate Change I was delighted this past summer when Mistaken Point, home to some of the world’s oldest fossils, was inscribed as a World Heritage Site. The province now boasts four UNESCO sites and they are certainly jewels in the province’s tourism and ecological crown. Having such treasures right here in our own back yard, which we must preserve and protect, not only makes us stewards of our ecological and cultural history, but custodians of world heritage as well. I am pleased Canada Post has recognized this through this dynamic series of stamps.”
- The Honourable Perry Trimper, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Newfoundland and Labrador’s cultural tourism resources, such as UNESCO sites, showcase the best the province has to offer and help share our dynamic cultural and natural history with follow Canadians and the entire world. The latest series of Canadian Identity stamps begins circulation today.


  • Newfoundland and Labrador’s UNESCO sites L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, and Red Bay Basque Whaling Station have been recognized by Canada Post through their Canadian Identity series of commemorative stamps.
  • Inscription on the World Heritage list provides international recognition for designated sites and elevates the reserve to a prominent position amongst other irreplaceable sites. Additional information UNESCO can be found at: whc.unesco.org/ external.
  • There are currently four World Heritage Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador: Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve; Gros Morne National Park; L’Anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site; and Red Bay National Historic Site. Additional information on UNESCO can be found at: whc.unesco.org/ external.
  • Information on the stamps featuring the UNESCO sites can be found by visiting: www.canadapost.ca/web/en/blogs/collecting/details.page?article=2017/01/10/unesco_world_heritag&cattype=collecting&cat=stamps external.

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Media contacts:

Michelle Cannizzaro
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Chrysta Collins
Media Relations Manager
Department of Environment and Climate
709-729-5783, 690-4436


Newfoundland and Labrador UNESCO sites featured by Canada Post on Canadian Identity Themed Stamps

L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
At the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, the remains of an 11th -century Viking settlement are evidence of the first European presence in North America. The excavated remains of wood-framed peat-turf buildings are similar to those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland. L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site contains the excavated remains of a Viking settlement consisting of timber-framed turf buildings (houses, workshops, etc.) that are identical with those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland at the same period.

L’Anse aux Meadows is the first and only known site established by Vikings in North America. As such, it is a unique milestone in the history of human migration and discovery.

Red Bay Basque Whaling Station
Situated in Labrador, on the shores of the Strait of Belle Isle, Red Bay was an Arctic maritime base for Basque mariners in the 16th century. It is the earliest, most comprehensive and best preserved archaeological testimony of a pre-industrial whaling station. Gran Baya, as it was called by those who founded the station in 1530s, was used as a base for coastal hunting, butchering and rendering of whale fat to produce oil which was shipped to Europe where it was used for lighting. The site, which was used in the summer months, includes remains of rendering ovens, cooperages, wharves, temporary living quarters and a cemetery, together with underwater remains of vessels and whale bone deposits. The station was used for some 70 years, before the local whale population was depleted.

Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve is located east of Portugal Cove South on the tip of the Avalon Peninsula. The fossils on the site are the oldest multi-cellular life forms found on earth and are remains of creatures that lived 560 to 575 million years ago. Fossils of similar age are found in Russia and Australia, however, the variety found at Mistaken Point make the site unique and provide a window into the early colonization of the deep-sea floor. These fossils illustrate a watershed in the history of life on earth: the appearance of large, biologically complex organisms, after almost three billion years of micro-dominated evolution.

2017 01 16                              2:50 p.m.