Kenneth Strath Moore
Kenneth Strath Moore is the first First Nation athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. A citizen of the Peepeekisis Cree Nation, he was born in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1910.
Moore would excel at every sport he played, including hockey, baseball, lacrosse, rugby, basketball, speed skating and cycling, although he was most passionate about hockey. His athletic and academic abilities enabled him to win scholarships, and he attended Campion College and Regina College in the late 1920s at a time when almost no First Nations students attended universities and colleges. He captained hockey and rugby teams, played baseball and basketball, and was described as “the most versatile athlete in the College.”
Moore became a Canadian Junior Hockey Champion in 1930, scoring the winning goal with 40 seconds left in the game to win the Memorial Cup. He won two Allan Cup National Hockey Championships, and in 1932 traveled to Lake Placid, New York, to represent his country and the Cree Nation at the Olympics. There he scored a goal in the game against Poland, won a gold medal, and made history.
Today, Moore’s achievements would be exceptional. A century ago, his achievements are extraordinary. He represents excellence and what can happen when talent and heart triumph over poverty and prejudice.
After Moore’s retirement from sport a Winnipeg newspaper noted “It is doubtful if any other athlete in Canada has a record that will stand up to that of Moore’s.” He gave back to the community by coaching three teams to championship titles and sitting on the board of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association.
In 1967 Moore’s Regina Pats hockey team was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, in 1976 his Kimberley Dynamiters team was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame, and in 1987 the Winnipegs, his 1932 Olympic hockey team, was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. Moore’s accomplishments were celebrated in 2018 in a hockey exhibit at the Manitoba Museum, and his achievements are on display at the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame.