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A new railway brought success on several fronts, among them employment, commercial activity and industry. Many cities and towns owe their very inception to railways. For example, the same year that the first Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) train arrived at Pile O'Bones in 1883, the site was renamed Regina; its first post office and church were established and the headquarters of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP), later the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was created.
Main Steet, Calgary, Alberta, 1886
A new town, one week old. The CPR Strathmore Station, Strathmore, Alberta, 1905
Aboriginal residents on Crow's Nest Pass Line Railway, n.d.
As much as the railways contributed to the prosperity of many, it irreversibly altered the way of life for the Métis and First Peoples, especially in western Canada. Tracks, trains and towns over their traditional lands, resulted in their displacement and dispersal.
Native camp at Thompson River, British Columbia, with Canadian Pacific Railway in background, around 1899
Men lining up for work at David H. Hays office, Grand Trunk Pacific Town Development Co. Ltd., June 1908
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