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Aboriginal War Veterans WWI 1914 – 1918 WWII 1939

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Aboriginal War Veterans
WWI 1914 – 1918
WWII 1939 - 1945
Aboriginal War Veterans
• At least 3,000 status
(treaty) Indians—
including 72 women—
enlisted, as well as an
unknown number of
Inuit, MГ©tis, and other
They Came From Across Canada
• Aboriginal peoples
from every region of
Canada served in the
armed forces during
the Second World War,
fighting in every
major battle and
campaign of the
They Volunteered
• "We're proud of the
word volunteer.
Nobody forced us. We
were good
we fought for our
• Syd Moore, Second
World War Veteran
Tommy Prince
• Born in Manitoba, Canada, Tommy Prince
was a member of the Ojibway Nation at the
Brokenhead reservation in Scanterbury
Tommy Prince
• He was accepted into the
Canadian Army on 3 June
1940. First as a Field
Engineer and then with the
Canadian Parachute
Battalion. He then was
chosen for the 1st Special
Service Force. They
became known to the
enemy as the Devil’s
Brigade. *Historica Online
Tommy Prince
• In the summer of 1944, he
walked across miles of
mountainous terrain deep
behind German lines,
going days without food
or water, to locate an
enemy camp. He returned
with his unit and they
captured more than 1000
German soldiers.
*Historica Online
Medals for Bravery
• When the fighting ended, King George VI
decorated Prince with both the Military
Medal and the Silver Star, an American
decoration for gallantry in action. He was
honorably discharged on 15 June.
*Historica Online
• He said "All my life I had wanted to do
something to help my people recover their
good name." He dedicated himself to
attaining increased educational and
economic opportunities for Aboriginal
*Historica Online
Home to Canada
• Prince returned from the wars to a country that
denied him the right to vote in federal elections
and refused him the same benefits as other
Canadian veterans.
• Native land, expropriated during the war for
military use, was not returned.
• Native land was sold to White veterans under the
Soldiers' Settlement Act, and Aboriginals did not
have the right to buy land or obtain other benefits
because of Indian Act restrictions.
Canada Denied Benefits
• Veterans Land Act – Gave veterans a lowinterest loan of $6, 000 to purchase
agricultural property or to invest in the
fishing industry
• This was revised in 1942 to deal with Status
Since reserve land could not be sold, Status Indians
Were not eligible for the loan.
Instead of $6, 000 they got $2, 320
Korean War
1950 - 1953
Service in Korea
• Facing unemployment, Prince re-enlisted
and served with the Princess Patricia’s
Canadian Light Infantry.
More Medals
• During two tours of duty
during the Korean War he
won the Korean, Canadian
Volunteer Service and
United Nations Service
• He was wounded in the
knee, and was honourably
discharged on 28 October
War Hero
• Tommy Prince is Canada’s most-decorated
Aboriginal war veteran.
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