The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or RCMP, is an iconic symbol of Canada. Known for their red serge uniforms, wide-brimmed hats, and steadfast dedication to duty, the Mounties hold a special place in Canadian history and culture.

Key Facts about the RCMP

  • Formation: Established in 1920 through the merger of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police and the Dominion Police. However, its roots trace back to 1873 as a force to maintain order in the Northwest Territories.
  • Mandate: A multifaceted agency providing:
    • Federal Policing: Responsible for enforcing federal laws across Canada, including national security, organized crime, and border security.
    • Provincial and Municipal Policing: Serves as the provincial police force in eight provinces and three territories under contract. Also provides policing services to over 150 municipalities.
    • International Services: Participates in international policing missions, training, and peacekeeping efforts.
  • Organization: Headed by a Commissioner, the RCMP operates through a network of divisions and detachments across Canada.
  • Symbolism: The Mounties are internationally recognized. The image of a lone Mountie on horseback is synonymous with Canada, representing law, order, and a sense of national identity.
  • Training: Recruits undergo a rigorous 26-week training program at the RCMP Academy (Depot) in Regina, Saskatchewan.

The RCMP in History

  • Shaping the West: The original Northwest Mounted Police played a pivotal role in bringing law and order to Western Canada during its settlement.
  • World Wars and Beyond: The RCMP made significant contributions to both WWI and WWII efforts, and continued to evolve into a modern police force in the later 20th century.
  • Controversies and Reforms: The force has faced challenges and controversies throughout its history, including accusations of discrimination and misconduct. The RCMP remains committed to ongoing reform and modernization.

The RCMP Today

While the RCMP’s role has evolved over time, its core mission remains the same: to protect Canadians and uphold the law. The RCMP is a vital national institution, serving communities from coast to coast to coast.

Additional Resources

  • RCMP Website: (
  • RCMP Heritage Centre: Located in Regina, Saskatchewan, this museum explores the rich history of the force.

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