The End of the Canadian Wild West:
The United States agreed to help the Canadian police catch the Whites that were involved in the Cypress Hills Massacre. Two mounties travelled into the United States, and with the help of U.S. marshalls, were able to arrest seven. Immediately, there was mob violence and public criticism throughout Montana. The seven had to be transferred to a slightly less hostile town for a hearing.
In the hearing to decide if they should be sent back to Canada, the stories given were conflicting. The judge made the decision that it would be hard to convict them and there was no intent to murder. So the Whites were set free. This decision was extremely popular in Montana. The accused were treated like heroes.
Out of the 16 White men who took part in the Cypress Hills Massacre, the Mounties were only able to bring three before the courts. The three were caught in Canada and were sent to Winnipeg where they stood trial before a jury of 12. Statements were gathered from the Natives and a few were at the trial. But the key witnesses that testified were biased and unhelpful. The jury returned with a verdict of not guilty.
The Winnipeg Trial had been highly publicized in an effort to impress the Natives on the plains. It did succeed in convincing the Natives that the Queen's government was going to enforce a Canadian law that would be fair to all. The Natives were grateful that they were being treated better than in the past.
So with the arrival of the Mounties came law and order. Instead of experiencing battles and bloodshed, the Mounties created peace in the Canadian West. In the following years, the Mounties got a lot of respect, and the West remained fairly peaceful. This was important because Canada could not afford what was happening in the Western United States where the Whites were fighting costly "Indian Wars."
Part of the reason why things turned out the way they did was the unique way the Mounties dealt with the frontier people. The Mounties were their friends and they helped out in any way they could. They married people, and they buried people.
Unfortunately, the Canadian government was running short of money, and the Canadian people wanted a simple and inexpensive solution to the problems in the West. The government cut back on the food and aid that had been promised to the Natives in treaties. As some of the Natives were starving, conflicts arose which were a real challenge for the police.
to Part 7: The Railway Incident.