Fort Steele was a short-lived NWMP post with a huge impact. Settlers in the Kootenays felt threatened by the resident Ktunaxa and petitioned the federal government to send help and protection. Superintendent Samuel Benfield Steele with three officers and 75 men arrived in the summer of 1887 and built Kootenay Post on the high bank of the Kootenay River. Steele began to investigate the grievances, starting with the murder of two miners and the arrest of two Native suspects. After a thorough review of the case, he concluded that the two Native men were not the murderers. This judgment broke the tension, and a peace between the Ktunaxa and the settlers was gradually stitched together.
The NWMP left the area in 1888. The townspeople, grateful for the assistance, petitioned the government to change the name of their town from Galbraith's Ferry to Fort Steele.
Today, the NWMP post has been moved to and reconstructed in the Fort Steele Heritage Town. The Officers' Quarters have been restored to the period when they were occupied by Steele, his officers and the post surgeon.