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ARCHIVED - " Without Fear, Favour or Affection:" The Men of the North West Mounted Police

Serving the Nation

Transforming the Northwest

Photograph of members of Blackfoot tribe, migrating, ca. 1886


Blackfeet Migrating, ca. 1886

It is clear that the North West Mounted Police were more than simply policemen. As agents of the federal government, they were called upon to undertake a variety of tasks and responsibilities that were important to the development of western Canadian society after 1875. They oversaw the rapid transformation of the Territories in the short space of 30 years: the displacement of First Nations and the creation of the reserve system. They enforced laws, some of which were unpopular; protected the Canadian Pacific Railway to ensure its speedy construction; acted as federal officials in customs enforcement and border patrol; controlled the mad rush in the Klondike; and volunteered to serve in 1885 and again in 1899.