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Indigenous Olympian killed at Passchendaele remains an inspiration to Canadians – Toronto Star

by ahnationtalk on November 10, 201753 Views

Alexander Decoteau, 29 when he died in WWI’s Battle of Passchendaele 100 years ago, was the first Indigenous cop in Canada. His great-niece and an Edmonton police officer helped keep his story alive.

Nov. 10, 2017

By the time Alexander Decoteau enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in 1916 and shipped out for Europe, he was already a local hero in Edmonton and a man of many firsts.

The young Cree had become the first Indigenous police officer in Canada when he joined the Edmonton Police Service in 1911, and he soon became one of the country’s first motorcycle policemen.

He was a world-class athlete and had won most major middle-distance or long-distance races there were to enter in Western Canada. In 1912, he’d represented Canada in the Olympics in Stockholm, running the 5,000 metres. In Edmonton, they celebrated his return from the Games with a parade down Jasper Ave.

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