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A Bright Red Coat
By Joanne Mortensen

1     Who wears a bright red coat, a brown hat with a stiff brim, and rides a big, black horse? If you said a Mountie, you're right. The Mounties, also known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, are the national police force of Canada.
2     The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have been around for a long time. In 1867, Canada became a country. It was made of the provinces which today are known as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario. Most of the land from Ontario to the Rocky Mountains was known as the North-West Territories. A few settlers moved west into these Territories. The new settlements had a few traders, missionaries, and First Nations People such as Cree, Saulteaux, Assiniboine, and Blackfoot, but there was no one to keep law and order. In 1873, an Act of Parliament created the North-West Mounted Police Force. Its job was to establish friendly relations with the First Nations People and keep the peace as the settlers arrived. Much of its early work involved breaking up the illegal whiskey trade which was destroying traditional First Nations culture and way of life. The North-West Mounted Police Force eventually became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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