The North-West Mounted Police were established by the relatively new Dominion of Canada in May 1873. Initially an attempt to make sense of the massive, varied, and challenging geography of the Dominion, which had expanded dramatically after the purchase of Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company a few years prior, the North-West Mounted Police have environmental themes baked into their roots. Its was amalgamated with the Dominion Police, the Dominion’s federal law enforcement agency, in 1920 to form the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Not only have the Mounties, as they came to be called around the turn of the 20th century, been a relative through-line in Canadian history, but they have also been mobilized as a symbol of what it means to be Canadian. They have appeared in Hollywood films, cartoons, and in commemorative, parodic, and patriotic consumer culture of all sorts. Subsequently, the RCMP is a part of both “real” and “imagined” Canadian environments, shaping how Canada looks and feels at home and elsewhere.
NiCHE is seeking contributors for “RCMP at 150,” a series of blog posts that explores the past 150 years of mounted policing in Canada. Intended to be something of a companion to 2020’s “HBC at 350” series, this series will interrogate the hand the RCMP has played in Canadian environments. How have the lands we currently refer to as Canada been “policed” by the Mounties? How has the RCMP’s presence (or absence) in certain environments affected how those environments have been perceived, and how did environments change due to that presence (or absence)? What can the RCMP as a policing body and as a symbol of Canada tell us about the priorities of the nation?
Themes for this series might include:
– NWMP/RCMP perceptions of environments over the past 150 year
– NWMP/RCMP on Indigenous land
– NWMP/RCMP and Canadian environments in popular culture
– NWMP/RCMP in urban environments
– NWMP/RCMP’s environments, such as stables and stations
– NWMP/RCMP’s role in the spatial aspects of Canadian history, such as the railroads
Posts need not necessarily adhere to these themes! We also have the capacity for alternative types of posts, such as interviews, video or audio, and photo-essays. Pitches will be accepted until April 15, 2023 with publication running through May. Send any pitches or queries to series editor Blair Stein (bstein AT clarkson DOT edu).
Cover Image: Rows of mounted RCMP officers, Rockcliffe, 1948. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1971-271 NPC.
Latest posts by Blair Stein (see all)
- Call for Contributors: RCMP at 150 - March 7, 2023
- Call for Participants: Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association Writing Workshop - July 29, 2022
- Get Outside! A NiCHE/Source Story Collaboration - June 17, 2022
- “Stuff” as a Source: A Source Story and NiCHE Collaboration - April 26, 2022
- An Interview with Alex Souchen, Author of “War Junk” - October 26, 2020
- Call for Contributors: HBC at 350 - August 31, 2020
- Identity, Community, and Environmental History - July 20, 2020
- Envirotech: At the Intersection of Technology and Nature in Canadian History Live Stream - July 3, 2020
- Five-and-a-Half Things I Learned Teaching My First Course - July 10, 2017
- “North Stars Flieth Here:” On Maps and Humour in Environmental History - July 27, 2016