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July 24 , 2007

Running: The Alex Decoteau Story


“Meticulously researched, this play brings Alex Decoteau – the man, his life, his death – before us. A man of ability, ambition, and integrity. And at root: a true warrior. And one who was ultimately sacrificed on the altar of futile tactics.” (Major (Retired) David Haas, CD, rmc)

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“Charlotte Cameron touches on major issues which drive us now: race, gender, family, colonialism, Canadian identity, and the horrors of war. Cameron's juxtaposition of actual and imagined words and events, and her introduction of significant mundane objects – a pencil box, a policeman's cap, a watch – inspire our affection for Alex and move us to tears as he runs from the North Saskatchewan River floods to the mud and blood of Passchendaele.” (Phyllis Reeve, contributing editor to The Dorchester Review)

Inspired by the life of Alex Decoteau, this moving one-act play tells the tale of a Cree hero and running warrior. In 1911, in Edmonton, Alberta, he became Canada’s 1st aboriginal police officer, famous for chasing after speeding vehicles on foot to ticket them! A champion runner and popular figure, Decoteau raced for Canada at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, fought for Canada in World War I and was killed, in 1917, while running a message at the Battle of Passchendaele. He was only 29 years old.

The book includes an historical note, archival photographs, and a fascinating introduction to the play and the Alex Decoteau Run, which introduced Edmonton schoolchildren to this aboriginal role model.

Attention teachers: Appropriate for Grades 5 and up (9 years and older).

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