Episode 20 - Sam Steele and the North-West Mounted Police
The Mountie is one of the iconic images of the Klondike Gold Rush, whether in red serge in Dawson or behind a dogsled on a rugged Yukon Patrol. We'll talk about the feats that made the reputation of the North-West Mounted Police in the Yukon, how Hollywood took their image and ran with it, as well as their complicated relationship with First Nations. We'll also get to know Sam Steele, the legendary NWMP leader during the Stampede and who some call the quintessential Canadian man of action in the Victorian era.
Photo: Sam Steele, Hegg & Co. Photographers, Dawson, Yukon, 1898. Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, University of Alberta (2008.1.2.1.6.1.12)
Sources, maps & reading
The telegram ordering Sam Steele to the Yukon, courtesy of the Sir Samuel Steele Collection at University of Alberta Libraries
Undercover report by a NWMP officer reporting on criminals and their activities in the Klondike, courtesy of the Sir Samuel Steele Collection at University of Alberta Libraries
Petition protesting Steele's recall from the Yukon, courtesy of the Sir Samuel Steele Collection at University of Alberta Libraries
Yukon News story by John Thompson on the rediscovery of the grave of the Nantuck brothers in Dawson City
Yukon Nuggets on Sam Steele by Les McLaughlin, courtesy of the Hougen Group
Sam Steele, Canadian Dictionary of Biography
Showing the Flag: The Mounted Police and Canadian Sovereignty in the North, 1894-1925 by William Morrison
Faded Hero: How Canada forgot—and then rediscovered—Sir Sam Steele, by Charlotte Grey in the Walrus
Lion in Winter: Sam Steele, the Yukon, and the Chaos in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in England William F. Stewart.
The Klondike Stampede, by Tappan Adney.