To Karen Braun-Prince, her collection of aged newspaper clippings is a treasured keepsake. She cherishes the historic headlines showcasing a war hero– a father she never met.
“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.
“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 by how much he accomplished in his life. It’s inspiring.”
Prince is Canada’s most decorated Indigenous war hero.
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.
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.
A street in Calgary’s Marda Loop neighbourhood bears his name, along with a monument detailing his story.
Now a stamp with his picture commemorates his life.
“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.
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 Oct. 28.
Prince died in 1977 at the age of 62. He is buried in the Field of Honour.
“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.”