Native Village
Youth and Education news
November 1, 2010, Volume 1

N.W.T. elder awarded bravery medal
Condensed by Native Village


North West Territories:  Three years ago, elder Thomas Manuel Sr. from Fort Good Hope protected his wife and three grandchildren from an armed intruder.  That act has earned him a Medal of Bravery. Manuel was awarded the medal in a ceremony by Canada's Governor, Gen. David Johnston.

"It's a very special day for Thomas," said Belinda Gully, the mother of two of Manuel's grandchildren. "Thank you, Thomas.  If it wasn't for you, my children wouldn't be here."

Manuel was severely wounded by an 18-year-old man who broke into his house in 2007. The intruder, Alexis Taureau shot him in the face, neck, stomach.

According to a statement, Taureau broke into Manuel's house and started firing a shotgun loaded with buckshot  shells.

Manuel, who was 73 at the time, was shot in the neck and stomach when he tried to stop Taureau.

The injured elder, his wife, and their three grandchildren barricaded themselves in a bedroom. Manuel made a rope from bed sheets and shirts and guided everyone safely out of the house.

Once outdoors, Manuel tried to distract Taureau, but Alexis shot the elder in the face and then fled.

Taureau was arrested a short time later and is now serving 7 years in jail.

Manuel required weeks of surgery in Edmonton for his injuries.  23 shotgun pellets were embedded in his body. Two of those damaged his left eye.

Thomas's wife, Denise, was treated for back and wrist injuries suffered while climbing out of the house.

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