Sergeant Prince, an Indigenous war veteran, was recently honoured by Canada Post with his image on a newly released stamp. Born on St. Peter’s reserve in Manitoba, part of the Brokenhead OjibwayNation, he took part in World War ll as well as the Korean War, Among the eleven medals he was awarded, they include the Military Medal (MM) and the Silver Star. And in 2019, he was named a National Historic Person of Canada. The Canadian Forces Base in Petawawa, Ontario, where he trained was renamed The Tommy Prince Barracks, as were schools, streets etc. After the war, he was the VP of the Manitoba Indian Association and was a well-known Anishinaabe activist.
Shamefully, when Tommy returned to Canada, despite his heroism and sacrifice, he faced injustice and discrimination. As a member of the First Nations, he did not qualify for the usual Canadian Armed Forces Veteran benefits, receiving only a small supplement. Like many other veterans, he also had a hard time returning to civilian life and suffered what we would today call PTSD, having nightmares and flashbacks of war He died at age sixty-two, Canada’s most decorated First Nation Soldier.