Fort Macleod celebrates RCMP turning 150

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Fort Macleod celebrates RCMP turning 150
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is marking 150 years of service and the Fort Museum in Fort Macleod is celebrating in a big way. As Quinn Campbell reports, organizations are coming together to look back at the force's long history and the road ahead – Jul 12, 2023

The Fort Museum the North West Mounted Police and First Nations Interpretive Centre in Fort Macleod celebrating the RCMP’s 150 years in Canada.

“They’ve kind of been the force through the ages, becoming the NWMP then the Royal NWMP and then the RCMP,” said Christopher Richmond-Krahn with the Fort Museum.

He added the community is rich with policing history.

“They first came to this area in 1874 with the march west coming from Ontario to here in southern Alberta,” he said.

The town of Fort Macleod will turn 150 next year, and it has a long history with the RCMP and First Nations in the area.

RCMP Superintendent Rick Jané said Indigenous people played a crucial role in the cross-country migration.

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“We would never normally be able to survive the march west without indigenous peoples and those supports and that relationship is very powerful and important to me and to our organization,” he said.

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Inspector Kimberly Mueller is the officer in charge of indigenous policing and said events like this are part of an effort to continue repairing the RCMP’s relationship with first nations communities.

“I realize it’s not going to happen overnight. We say reconciliation is our journey… It’s a destination,” added Mueller.

The Fort’s celebration also honouring past members who dedicated decades of service to the community.

“The veterans’ association is almost as old as the RCMP itself,” said Ken Taylor with the RCMP Veterans Association in Lethbridge said. He added celebrating the work done by vets is just as important as honouring those serving today.

Two long-time members got a salute from the RCMP Musical Ride which made a special stop in Fort Macleod. RCMP/Lethbridge Police Service veteran Glen Michelson and RCMP veteran Ron Rooke.

Rooke retired more than 40 years ago and was instrumental in bringing the NWMP musical ride to The Fort which can be seen every year during the summer months at the museum in Fort Macleod.

“I’m quite amazed by it all, I really am. I didn’t think the original from back in the ’70s, would last anywhere near this length of time. It’s been 50 years,” added Rooke.

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The historic moment gave Rooke and other RCMP veterans a ride down memory lane.

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