Federal police force of Canada. It is also the criminal and provincial force in all provinces except Ontario and Quebec and the only force in the Yukon, Northwest, and Nunavut territories. It was founded as the North West Mounted Police (1873) with a force of 300 men to bring order to western Canada, where U.S. traders were creating havoc by trading whiskey to the Indians for furs. That success was followed by peacekeeping in the Klondike gold rush (1898) and later settlement of the west. The group assumed its current name in 1920, when it became a federal force and its headquarters were moved to Ottawa.
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