Alberta RCMP celebrating 150th with historic trail ride

by Morinville News Staff

To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary as a nation, the RCMP in Alberta will reproduce the last leg of the 1999 re-enactment of the March West that brought the then North West Mounted Police (NWMP) to Alberta.

The original March West took place in the mid-1870s following a recommendation from Prime Minister Sir John A. McDonald to establish a police force for the North West Territories.

“The 150th is a chance to reflect on and celebrate Canadian history, and as we look back, we realize that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police plays an integral part in that history,” said Sergeant Jack Poitras, Media Relations Manager, Alberta RCMP in a release Tuesday. “The re-enactment of the March West is our way of showcasing a pivotal moment in both Canadian and RCMP history.”

This year’s re-enactment will consist of approximately twelve Mounties on horseback and three wagons.

The Mounties will begin their ride June 30 at 9 a.m. at the Gymkhana Site (Josephburg, Alberta) following a prayer and smudge given by Elder Roy Louis. The procession will end in the Heritage Precinct of Fort Saskatchewan at approximately 4 p.m. that afternoon. While the procession makes its way to the Fort, members of the public are invited to visit with RCMP veterans and Elder Roy Louis in a traditional tipi set up within the precinct. The veterans and Elder Louis will be sharing personal stories and RCMP history with interested visitors.

A procession of Mounties and wagons will participate in the City of Fort Saskatchewan’s Canada Day parade July 1.

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