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The Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police and First Nations Interpretive Centre


Red-coated precursors to Royal Canadian Mounted Police were dispatched to Fort Macleod in the 1870s to stop American whiskey traders from abusing Blackfoot First Nations and defying Canadian sovereignty on the Prairies. Museum and musical rides honour Canada's tradition of cavalry riding to the rescue of natives, not interlopers. Visit the nearby restored 1884 police barracks and interpretive centre.

Musical Ride at Fort Museum – David Thomas

The story of Canada's famous Mounted Police force is brought to life through hands-on programs and interactive exhibits. Canadian Confederation in 1867 brought the region of the North West under control of the Dominion of Canada. The subsequent departure of the Hudson's Bay Company, which had maintained relative stability in the region during the previous two hundred years, resulted in the introduction of a destructive new threat, the American whiskey trade.

Known today as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the North West Mounted Police was established in 1873 to bring order to the rugged Canadian frontier and to stem the corrosive influence of the American traders. After finishing an arduous 800-mile trek west in 1874, the North West Mounted Police established their first post, Fort Macleod. From Fort Macleod, the Mounted Police developed a series of new posts and patrols that protected the First Nations people, as well as the new settlers who came to the Canadian West after completion of the Canadian Pacific Railroad in 1885.

The first NWMP post was named Fort Macleod in honour of Colonel James F. Macleod's strong leadership of the Mounted Police during the 1874 trek west. The Museum also provides a glimpse into how the traditional First Nations plains culture was impacted by the arrival of the NWMP and prairie settlement.

Historical Time Period for Site



Open Months