EN | FR
Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

JOE BENJAMIN KEEPER

Inducted in 2015

Member Details

Date of Birth: January 17, 1886
Place of Birth: Norway House, Manitoba
Date of Passing: September 29, 1971
Sport: Athletics
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1911

Set a ten-mile record of 54:50 

Honoured Member JOE BENJAMIN KEEPER
Inspire

Story

Joe Benjamin Keeper, an Olympic athlete and a WWI veteran, originated from the Norway House Cree Nation in Walker Lake, Manitoba. During his time spent in a residential school in Brandon he developed his passion for long distance running.  In 1911, Joe moved to Winnipeg and set a ten-mile record of 54:50 which earned him a spot on the 1912 Canadian Olympic Team.

Unfortunately the outbreak of WW1 ended his Olympic opportunities, but Joe was recognized with a military medal for his bravery in 1917. He continued to use his running skills during WWI by serving as a dispatch carrier along with other First Nations long distance runners with the 107th Pioneer Battalion. Following WWI Joe returned to Manitoba and worked until his retirement in 1951. The Manitoba Runner’s Association and the Norway House Cree Nation each host a memorial races in Joe’s name annually.


Our Address

169 Canada Olympic Road SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T3B 6B7