North West Mounted Police

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Canada 612

     On May 23, 1873 the Canadian Parliament created the North West Mounted Police and charged it with enforcing Canadian law in the still unorganized and unsettled Canadian west. The first commissioner was W. Osborne Smith, who served temporarily from September 25, 1873 to October 1873, when George Arthur French was appointed the first permanent commissioner. He served from October 18, 1873 to July 21, 1876.

     In 1874 300 newly trained officers left Fort Dufferin in Manitoba on the “March West” under the direction of Commissioner French. They established posts at Cypress Hills, Fort Whoop-Up, and Fort MacLeod in southern Alberta.

     In 1904 the name was changed to The Royal North-West Mounted Police, and in 1920 to The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and charged with responsibility for the enforcement of all Federal laws throughout Canada.

     The stamp was issued in 1973 to mark the centenary of the founding of the NWMP. It shows a line map of the March West and a portrait of G.A. French.

SCN 612