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Preservation of the Peace

Photograph of members of the Cree Nation at Prince Albert, 1885

Photograph of members of the Cree Nation at Prince Albert, 1885
Source

 

Map entitled GENERAL MAP OF PART OF THE NORTH-WEST TERRITORIES INCLUDING THE PROVINCE OF MANITOBA SHEWING DOMINION LAND SURVEYS TO 31 DECEMBER 1882

General Map of Part of the North-West Territories Including the Province of Manitoba Shewing [sic] Dominion Land Surveys to 31 December 1882
Source

In this section:

Although the Department of Indian Affairs was established in 1880, administration of the department fell to ministers with other portfolios until 1966, when the office of minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development was created. On October 17, 1883, Governor General Lorne (1845-1914) approved an order-in-council in which Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891) shifted control of Indian Affairs from the Minister of the Interior to the President of the Privy Council. The President was also given authority over the Mounted Police, which Macdonald argued was established for "the preservation of the peace in the North West Territories and principally for the protection of settlers against any hostile action by the Indians." At the same time, Macdonald resigned as Minister of the Interior, and appointed himself President of the Privy Council. Thus, with a single order-in-council, the prime minister became President of the Privy Council, Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs and director of the North West Mounted Police, a consolidation of executive power that would have profound implications for the "preservation of the peace" during the North West Rebellion of 1885.