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Sketches of Canada for February 1st!

Canadian History for Kids: RCMP

February 1, 1920 – Founding of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with a merger of the Royal North-West Mounted Police.

This Canadian History for Kids exclusive, looks at the RCMP.

On February 1, 1920, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was formed with the merging of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police and the Dominion Police.

Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was the first to conceive the idea that Canada needed a strong police presence in the West. The Royal Northwest Mounted Police was established in 1873 by the Parliament of Canada with approximately 150 recruits. Within the next ten years offices were established in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Ford Edmonton and Fort Pelly, Saskatchewan, Fort Calgary and Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan. By 1885, the number of men in the Force had grown to 1000. In 1886, Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier tried to disband the Royal Northwest Mounted Police but support for the Force was too great. The RNWMP made history policing the Klondike Gold Rush.

In 1919, Parliament merged the RNWMP with the Dominion Police, a federal police force with jurisdiction in eastern Canada, and the headquarters was moved to Ottawa from Regina. By the late 1930’s the size of the Force had doubled and now policed provincially in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In 1950 they took over the provincial policing in Newfoundland and absorbed the British Columbia provincial police.

In 1974, women were first accepted as uniformed members.
Many believe the motto of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is “they always get their man.” But the RCMP motto is “Maintiens le droit”, which can be translated to be Defending the law or Maintain the right.

The RCMP’s responsibilities now include organized crime, terrorism, illicit drugs, economic crimes and offences that threaten the integrity of Canada’s national borders. The RCMP also protects VIPs, has jurisdiction in eight provinces and three territories.

And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!
 

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