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Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP or Mounties) are the national police force of Canada. In addition to providing federal (national) level policing, they also provide provincial, and municipal police services to parts of Canada under contract to the three territories, and eight of the provinces (excepting Ontario and Quebec), approximately 198 municipalities and 192 First Nations communities. In French it is known as the Gendarmerie Royale du Canada (GRC).

The RCMP is famous for its distinctive scarlet ceremonial dress uniform, and the Musical Ride. The Musical Ride is a ceremony in which 32 RCMP officers (Mounties) show off their horse riding skills and uniform in the execution of a variety of intricate figures and cavalry drills with music.

The Mounties were immortalized as symbols of Canadian culture in numerous Hollywood movies, often featuring the image of the Mountie as square jawed, stoic, and polite and with the motto that the Mountie "always gets his man". Dudley Do-Right (of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show) is an example of the Mountie myth.

History

The RCMP was created on May 23, 1873 by Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada, under the name the North West Mounted Police with the intent of bringing law and order (and asserting Canadian sovereignty) over the North-West Territories (which then included modern day Alberta and Saskatchewan).

The RCMPs early activities included containing the whisky trade, and enforcing agreements with the First Nations peoples. In the early years, the force's dedication to enforcing the law on the First Nations peoples' behalf impressed them enough to encourage good relations. In 1885 the NWMP were used to quell the North-West Rebellion led by Louis Riel.

In 1895 jurisdiction was extended to the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush where the force served with distinction under the command of Sam Steele[?] making the gold rush the one of the most peaceful and orderly affairs in history. Ironically, the force's dissolution was being discussed around this time in parliament, but the Mounties' conduct so impressed the prospectors during the gold rush that the force became famous around the world and their survival was ensured.

In 1903 to the Arctic coast, and in 1912 to northern Manitoba. On February 1, 1920 the NWMP was merged with the Dominion Police and was renamed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with responsibility for federal law enforcementin all provinces and territories.

In 1919 the RCMP was used to repress the Winnepeg General Strike[?] when they fired into a crowd of strikers, killing two and causing injuries to thirty others.

In 1935 the RCMP, collaborating with the Regina city police, crushed the On-to-Ottawa-Trek which was organised to call attention to the need for decent treatment of the unemployed men in the relief camps.

In the 1920s, The RCMP assumed the duties of national counter-intelligence which continued for decades. However, by the late 1960s, it was discovered the force had engaged in crimes in the course of their intelligence duties such as burning a barn and stealing documents from the seperatist Parti Québécois among other abuses. This led to a royal commission called the Royal Commission of Inquiry Into Certain Activities of The RCMP[?], better known as the Macdonald Commission, named after the participating judge David Macdonald. The commission recommended that the force's intelligences duties be removed in favour of the creation of a separate intelligence agency which was named The Canadian Security Intelligence Service[?] (CSIS).



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