Canada Post issues Sgt. Tommy Prince stamp


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This article was published 26/10/2022 (216 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Canada Post is recognizing the life and achievements of decorated war veteran and Anishinaabe activist Sgt. Tommy Prince with a new stamp.

The postage features a photo of Prince in the uniform he wore during the Korean War. The northern lights behind him are a nod to Brokenhead Reserve, where he was raised.

Prince was born in Petersfield, Man. in 1915 and served in the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War and the Korean War.

The new Sgt. Tommy Prince stamp is available for pre-order at and will be available at post offices on Oct. 28.

He enlisted with the Royal Canadian Engineers on June 3, 1940, and trained as a sapper. He later joined the 1st Special Service Force, a joint Canada-U.S. unit that specialized in reconnaissance and raiding.

Prince was the most highly decorated Indigenous veteran of the Second World War and the Korean War. He was awarded 11 medals, including the Military Medal and the Silver Star. He enlisted during a time when military service wasn’t mandatory.

During an Oct. 17 stamp unveiling ceremony at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Chief Gordon Bluesky of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation said Prince’s story is fit for a Hollywood blockbuster.

“I think about how powerful of a presence he must have been to be awarded these types of medals, but also in the face of the things our people were struggling with back then,” Chief Bluesky said.

Prince was a survivor of Elkhorn Residential School, which he attended from 1923 to 1931. He was the great-great-grandson of the legendary Chief Peguis.

Sgt. Tommy Prince’s son, Tommy Prince Jr., shared stories of his father’s sense of humour and generosity during the Oct. 17 stamp unveiling ceremony at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

“A person like Sgt. Tommy had to endure carrying the PTSD he already had from attending residential school, and just from the systemic racism he had to endure,” Chef Bluesky said. “That’s a lot to be carrying and then to lead the battalions into war…”

In August 1950, Prince returned to the Canadian Armed Forces to fight alongside the United Nations troops in the Korean War. Prince was honourably discharged from the military in 1953, at which time he was not eligible for Canadian Armed Forces veteran benefits as a First Nations man.

After leaving the military, Prince became the vice president of the Manitoba Indian Association. In this role, he fought for the abolition of the Indian Act. He also pressured the Canadian government to honour existing treaties.

Prince’s son, Tommy Prince Jr., shared memories of his father during the ceremony.

“My father was a caring, loving man,” Prince Jr. said. “If he had a dollar in his pocket, and you needed it more than he did, he would gladly give it to you.”

Prince Jr. also remembers his father having a keen sense of humour. He was known to dress up as Elvis or Roy Rogers to entertain family and friends.

“He liked to be a jokester,” Prince Jr. said.

Prince was commended for his marksmanship and tracking, but he was also known for his stealth. Prince once dressed as a farmer to distract opposing forces while he repaired a broken telephone line he was using to report enemy positions. He pretended to tie his shoe while fixing the cord.

Three commemorative stamp packages are for pre-order at and will be available for purchase at post offices beginning Fri., Oct. 28.

Chief Gordon Bluesky of Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation said Prince’s story means a lot to him and his community.

First Nations men weren’t eligible for veteran benefits at the time Sgt. Tommy Prince served in the Canadian Armed forces.

Katlyn Streilein

Katlyn Streilein
Community Journalist

Katlyn Streilein was a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review.

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