tommy prince

An Indigenous Canadian hero could be the face of the new $5 bill

Indigenous war hero Sergeant Tommy Prince could be the face of Canada's new five-dollar bill, if a petition by a group of Conservative MPs gathers enough steam.

Prince is the most decorated Indigenous war veteran in Canada's history. He fought in both the Second World War and Korean War, earning 11 medals during his service.

Now, Canadians are asking for him to be recognized.

The petition acknowledges that over 15,000 Indigenous Canadians fought in World War Two and Korea for a country that — due to systemic racism — they couldn't even vote in.

"It is the responsibility of every Canadian to understand the injustices of the past towards Indigenous heroes like Sergeant Tommy Prince and to work towards establishing a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples," the petition says.

Although historically Canada's bank notes have featured the faces of white Prime Ministers (many with ties to oppression and anti-Indigenous racism), the Bank of Canada seems to be setting out to change that.

In 2018, the Bank announced that Viola Desmond — a successful Black businesswoman that advocated for racial equality in Canada — would be the face of the new $10 bank note.

In January, the Bank put out an open call for nominations for Canadians that should feature on a new five-dollar bank note.

According to the Bank of Canada website, there are currently more than 600 candidates for the five-dollar note; Terry Fox and Louis Riel are also popular choices on social media.

The Bank of Canada's Advisory Council is currently compiling a short-list of candidates based on public opinion and research.

Lead photo by

Honour Tommy Prince

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