1083 Selkirk Avenue
A tribute to Seargeant Tommy Prince, Canada's most decorated aboriginal soldier.
Location: NW corner Selkirk & Prince; East Face
Occupant: private residence, Manitoba housing
District: North End
Neighbourhood: Burrows Central
Artist(s): Graffiti Art Programming/Graffiti Gallery, Nereo Eugenio II (Scenereo, Zorro), Fred Thomas
Sponsors: Seargent Tommy Prince Memorial Fund, Graffiti Art Programming
Painters: Project Manager: David Levasseur
About Seargeant Tommy Prince
Thomas George Prince was born in 1915 and was a citizen of the Brokenhead First
Nation located about 80 km north of Winnipeg. He was the great-great-grandson of
Chief Peguis who played a prominent role in the early history of the Red River
settlement. As a young man, Prince helped support his family and community as a
hunter, trapper and farm labourer and earned a reputation as an honest hard worker.
Prince received his formal education at the Elkhorn Industrial School where he developed
a strong interest in the military through his participation in the school's Cadet Corps.
With the onset of World War II, Prince enlisted and served in the Royal Canadian
Engineers, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the 1st Canadian Special Service
Battalion-part of the 'Devils Brigade'. Prince's courage and disregard for his own
personal safety inspired his comrades, earning him the military metal for 'exceptional
bravery' and the Silver Star (United States) for 'gallantry in action'. King George VI
awarded these medals to Prince at an investiture at Buckingham Palace in 1945.
Prince also served with the Princess Patricia's Canadian light infantry during the Korean
War, for which he received the Korean, United Nations, and the Canadian volunteer
Today, Tommy Prince has become an outstanding role model from the aboriginal
community. He demonstrated that an opportunity and good training can lead to success,
and he did so in an exemplary manner. He was a natural leader, an educator, an
entrepreneur, lobbyist, politician, visionary and statesman. In civilian life he was a
highly respected advocate of increased educational and economic opportunities for
aboriginal peoples, the honouring of treaty rights, and the abolition of the repressive
measures of the Indian Act. One year before Prince passed away in 1977, the Manitoba
Indian Brotherhood awarded Prince with a certificate of merit "for his years of dedicated
service to the Indian people of Manitoba".