Postage stamp honours Canadian Indigenous war hero

For Karen Braun-Prince, her collection of aged newspaper clippings are a treasured keepsake. She cherishes the historic headlines showcasing a war hero, and a father she never met.

Album of newspaper clippings her family saved for Karen Braun-Prince. Jill Croteau/Global News

“I really wish I had known him, I really do,” Braun-Prince said.

She is his youngest daughter and has devoted part of her life to finding the stories of his past and giving a voice to Sgt. Tommy Prince.

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Karen Braun-Prince at Military Museum display. Jill Croteau/Global News

“I found it empowering. I wanted to be the daughter my dad would have been proud of,” Braun-Prince said.

“I am overwhelmed and I am amazed how much he accomplished in his life it’s inspiring.”

Prince is Canada’s most decorated Indigenous war hero.

Sgt. Tommy Prince
Sgt. Tommy Prince. Courtesy: Karen Braun-Prince

He was awarded 11 medals, among them a silver star for his bravery for venturing into enemy territory. He served in World War II and the Korean war.

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He was part of an elite unit, the First Special Service Force, also known as the Devil’s Brigade.

“He was referred to as the forgotten soldier. His story wasn’t out there,” Braun-Prince said.

Street sign, Tommy Prince Road. Tom Andriuk/ Global News

A street in Calgary’s Marda Loop neighbourhood bears his name along with a monument detailing his story.

Monument in Marda Loop. Tom Andriuk/Global News

Now a stamp with his picture commemorates his life.

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“I can honestly tell you, I was overwhelmed excited and I was thinking, wow, what an honour,” Braun-Prince said. “I am just very proud.”

She is grateful beyond words to Canada Post for commemorating his accomplishments in the stamp.

Stamp honouring Prince’s accomplishments. Courtesy: Karen Braun-Prince

The stamp features northern lights in the background, designed to represent the sky above the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, where he was raised.

The stamps will be issued on October 28.

Sgt. Tommy Prince. Courtesy: Karen Braun-Prince

Prince died in 1977 at the age of 62. He is buried in the Field of Honour.

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“There are so many First Nations people that have been involved in military and who dedicated their lives and their stories need to be told,” Braun-Prince said. “I want to try to keep capturing their stories and their legacies.”

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