North West Canada Medal
The medal was authorized on 24 July 1885, for issue to military personnel on 18 September 1885. A Canadian Order-in-Council of December 13, 1886 recommended that the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) receive the medal. This recommendation was accepted by the British Government on February 16, 1887.
Eligibility and Criteria
The medal was originally approved for presentation to soldiers taking part in the suppression of the Rebellion of 1885, but only to those who served west of Port Arthur. Award of the medal was also approved for some of the volunteers who participated in key actions, including the crew of the steamer "Northcote" which was recognized for its services at the Battle of Batoche, and members of the Prince Albert Volunteers who fought at Duck Lake. A grant of 320 acres of land or scrip of $80 were also awarded to these recipients.
The NWMP were initially excluded from receiving the medal. Those serving in the NWMP during the Rebellion (prior to July 3, 1885) were made eligible in 1887, but were not awarded accompanying land or scrip. During the 1930s surviving NWMP veterans of the Rebellion received $300 grants in lieu of the land or scrip that originally had been denied to NWMP recipients.
A circular, silver medal, 1.42 inches in diameter. For mounting there is a plain, straight, suspender is attached to the medal with a double-toe claw.
On the obverse there is a diademed and veiled effigy of the Queen Victoria, facing left, with the legend: VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX. (Identical to the Egyptian Medal.)
On the reserve the legend: NORTH WEST / 1885 / CANADA appears in three lines within a wreath of maple leaves.
The slate grey (blue) ribbon is 1.25 inches wide, with crimson (0.25 inch wide) stripes, 0.125 inches from each edge.
Saskatchewan: Awarded to all those who took part in any or all of the main encounters during the rebellion. These took place along the Saskatchewan River at Fish Creek, Batoche, Cut Knife and Frenchman's Butte.
(Batoche): Medals have been found with an unofficial bar for the battle of Batoche.
- The medal was issued to military recipients unnamed, but a considerable number were named locally. Those later awarded to the NWMP were engraved with the recipient's name prior to presentation.
- There were 5,650 medals issued (16 of them to British Officers), plus 1,753 Saskatchewan Bars. There were 920 medals authorized for issue to members of the NWMP.
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