The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Southeast BC marked 150 years of the force with a gala celebration at Fort Steele Heritage Town, Saturday, Sept. 16.
Officers from around the East Kootenay, Southeast District, and other areas of the province were in attendance.
The occasion was also marked in conjunction with the Ktunaxa First Nation. A Pipe and Sunrise Ceremony was held at dawn, on Saturday, with members of the Ktunaxa Nation, the RCMP, and members of Fort Steele Heritage Town.
Fort Steele itself was the North West Mounted Police’s first station in British Columbia.
On May 23, 1873, a bill passed through Parliament and received Royal Assent establishing the North-West Mounted Police, which would eventually become the RCMP.
“What began as a 300-person corps in the West has grown into an internationally recognized organization of more than 30,000 people serving Canadians from coast to coast to coast and supporting international policing and peacekeeping activities,” according to the RCMP website marking the occasion.
The gala at Fort Steele Heritage Town’s Wasa Hotel featured special guests — including Assistant Commissioner John Brewer, Staff Sergeant Heather Lew, Southeast District Assistant Supervisor David Greig, Nasu’kin Joe Pierre of the Aq’am Community, Nasu’kin Sophie Pierre of Aq’am, Staff Sergeant Barry Graham of the Cranbrook RCMP detachment, and others.