Peaceful Protector of the Prairies: John A. MacDonald

People are inherently evil without the threat of government and law hanging over their necks. John A. Macdonald realized this and righteously took it upon himself to create the North-West Mounted Police. The North-West Mounted Police were established in 1873 with the goal of governing the unruly prairies and suppressing the North-West Rebellion (Butts.) While some say that the North-West Mounted Police did heinous crimes like “intercept[ing Indigenous] children” and “physically abus[ing]” them, the claims are all anecdotal and lack evidence (LeBeuf). However, it is irrefutable that the North-West Mounted Police were crucial in suppressing riots and revolts. Seeing that John A. Macdonald’s creation of the North-West Mounted Police allowed for the rule of the Prairies through law rather than violence which championed Canada through a time of Indigenous discrimination and unruly whiskey trade, his name should continue to be known as a venerable peacekeeper in the public sphere. 

John A. Macdonald’s constant concern and care is what helped turn the Prairies, destitute and desolate wasteland of crime and corruption into the rich and bountiful land it is today. In fact, “the Liberal opposition actually berated him for spending too much on food relief for the famine-stricken [Prairie] native [tribes]” when Macdonald increased the budget of feeding the Indigenous (Hopper). John A. Macdonald’s protective actions to ensure that the natives are fed and able to sleep comfortably is a value that many Canadians did not have at the time. Macdonald was very forward thinking when it came to taking care of the natives, especially in the Prairies where he used the North-West Mountain Police to detain many Indian Agents who were hiding food from the natives or even poisoning the natives due to their discriminatory beliefs (Hopper). Macdonald built the North-West Mounted Police based on “honesty, courage, impartiality, tenacity and a job well done” which is exactly how they handed out punishments to the guilty criminals of the Prairies (Steele). 

The group of people that removed John A. Macdonald’s statue from the city hall of Victoria, B.Cargued that the “injustices that Macdonald inflicted upon the First Nations outweigh [his] contributions [as] the Father of Canadian Confederation” (Thomas). However, without John A. Macdonald’s intervention in the whiskey trade, countless Indigenous lives would have been lost in what is currently known as the American Indian Wars (Peters). The whiskey trade in the Prairies was a series of transactions where American companies were diluting whiskey and selling them to Indigenous Peoples until they were addicted to it. The Indigenous were outraged and began to enter combat with the Americans. During the constant fighting between the Blackfoot Confederacy and the American companies who were trying to conquer Rupert’s Land (present-day Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba), Macdonald “knew that the only way to achieve this end would be to dispatch a force of mounted riflemen to the North-West Territory to quell the whisky trade” which was the North-West Mounted Police (Peters). Through Macdonald’s selfless act to put government funds into building the martial force, Macdonald saved thousands of Indigenous lives and stopped Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan from being annexed by the U.S.A. 

John A. Macdonald’s heroism is under dispute as one side claims that “Macdonald basically had Indigenous People locked down so tightly that they became irrelevant after 1885”, but Macdonald’s actions have only helped to provide aid for the Indigenous People as everyone else neglected and took advantage of them (Hopper). John A. Macdonald built the North-West Mounted Police based on the most righteous of intentions which were to protect and administer justice for all of Canada which was a huge success in terms of suppressing rebellions and violence in the Prairie and saving many Indigenous lives in the vulgar whiskey trade. MacDonald and the North-West Mounted Police fought for Canadian law and order. For Canada to suddenly turn their back on the contributions of John A. Macdonald is sickening, especially when John A. Macdonald refused to turn his back on Canada and the Indigenous People even when everyone else was against him. 

Butts, Edward. “North-West Mounted Police.” North-West Mounted Police | The Canadian Encyclopedia, 7 Feb. 2006, www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/north-west-mounted-police. 

Hopper, Tristin. “Here Is What Sir John A. Macdonald Did to Indigenous People.” National Post, 28 Aug. 2018, nationalpost.com/news/canada/here-is-what-sir-john-a-macdonald-did-to-indigenous-people. 

LeBeuf, Marcel-Eugene. PhD. “The Role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police During 

the Residential School System.” Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 2011. Ontario:  

Canada. 20. Print. 

Peters, Hammerson. “How John A. Macdonald Helped the First Nations.” Canada History and Mysteries, 25 Aug. 2018, www.mysteriesofcanada.com/alberta/how-john-a-macdonald-helped-the-first-nations/. 

Steele, Samuel Benfield. “North-West Mounted Police – A Tradition in Scarlet.” Police à Cheval Du Nord-Ouest – Une Tradition En Rouge, nwmphistory.ca/eng_html/7.3_legacy.html. 

Thomas, Megan. “’It’s Time’: John A. Macdonald Statue Removed from Victoria City Hall | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 12 Aug. 2018, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/john-a-macdonald-statue-victoria-city-hall-lisa-helps-1.4782065. 

 

 

 

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