North-West Mounted Police - A Tradition in Scarlet   Francais Home Sitemap Links Feedback Credits
Pour voir davantage du Mus´┐Że virtuel du Canada / See more of the Virtual Museum of Canada
1. Introduction2. Birth of a Police Force3. The March West4. Establishment of the Force5. The Railroad and the Rebellion6. The Growth of the Force7. Establishment of a National Police Force8. Biographies
Canadian West (prior to 1873)
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Fur Trade

European fashions called for black felt hats made from beaver. Canada had lots of beaver. The fur trade had begun!

Imagine, that flat tailed, yellow-toothed rodent launching the exploration of a country!

The Hudson's Bay Company came first. They built fur trading posts in Hudson Bay and waited for the Native people to bring the furs to them. This worked for about a hundred years.

The North West Company was started by the French. Their headquarters was in Montreal. This company decided to take their trade goods to where the Native people lived.

By the mid 1700s, the North West Company had trading posts across the west, to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The Hudson's Bay Company had some catching up to do!

But did they need a police force? Not yet. Sure, there were crimes like theft or fights. Most could be handled by the fur traders themselves, who became the law of the land.

No, there were other reasons for having a police force, reasons that you'll find out soon!

These hats were the height of fashion thanks to Canada's beaver!
These hats were the height of fashion thanks to Canada's beaver!

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2. Birth of a Polce Force

The Expeditions