Archive for November 5th, 2014

A Canadian Mountie stops for my photo shoot. Thanks!

A Canadian Mountie stops for my photo shoot. Thanks!

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police force has always fascinated me. In this day of planes, trains, and automobile, its refreshing to see horses involved in police work. I am impressed because, although it seems like it is from days gone by, horses can often get places automobiles can’t. Here’s how it began. Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald first started planning a permanent force to patrol the Northwest Territories after the Dominion of Canada purchased the territory from the Hudson’s Bay Company. Reports from Army officers surveying the territory led to the recommendation that a force of 100 to 150 mounted riflemen could maintain law and order. The Prime Minister first announced the force as the North West Mounted Rifles but concern from the United States of America fearing a military buildup led the Prime Minister to rename the force the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP).

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The police was established by an act of legislation from the Temporary North-West Council the first territorial government of the Northwest Territories. The Act was approved by the Government of Canada and established on May 23, 1873, by Queen Victoria, on the advice of her Canadian Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald, with the intent of bringing law and order to, and asserting sovereignty over, the Northwest Territories. The need was particularly urgent given reports of American whiskey traders, in particular those of Fort Whoop-Up, causing trouble in the region, culminating in the Cypress Hills Massacre. The North West Mounted Rifles sounded too militaristic and Macdonald feared it would antagonize both aboriginals and Americans. The force was organized along the lines of a cavalry regiment in the British Army, and was to wear red uniforms.

The North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) was a Canadian police force. In 1904 the name was changed to Royal Northwest Mounted Police, it merged with the Dominion Police to become the current Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

For interesting information about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform, click here.

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