OCTOBER 30, 1917

CREE OLYMPIAN RUNNER ALEX DECOTEAU KILLED IN ACTION

Born on November 19, 1887, on the Red Pheasant Indian Reserve in Battleford, Saskatchewan, Alex attended day school on the reserve and then Battleford Industrial School.  Moving to Edmonton, he joined the city’s police force in 1909 becoming Canada’s 1st indigenous police officer and, by 1916, had made sergeant.  Known in Western Canada as a competitive distance runner, Decoteau represented Canada at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games, competing in the 5,000-metre race.  In 1916, he enlisted with the 202nd Infantry Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.  Stationed in England, Alex won 2 Allied sports competitions and received a gold pocket watch from King George V.  In France, he was with the 49th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry when killed by a sniper at Passchendaele.  Decoteau has been inducted into the Edmonton, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan First Nations, and Canadian Sports Halls of Fame.  He also was inducted into the Edmonton City Police Hall of Fame.

Sources:
  “Alexander Decoteau,” Library and Archives Canada.  Retrieved 8/1/2020, https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/100-stories/Pages/decoteau.aspx
 Lawrence Herzog, "Alex Decoteau's Inspiring Run at Life," Edmonton City As Museum Project. Edmonton Heritage Council, 1/20/2015.  Retrieved 8/1/2020, https://citymuseumedmonton.ca/2015/01/20/alex-decoteaus-inspiring-run-at-life/
 Wikipedia
Photo:  Sanderson, 1912.  Public Domain. Source: https://sasksportshalloffame.com/inductees/alexander-alex-decoteau/.

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