As the Dominion of Canada pushed west across the country according to Prime Minister MacDonald’s National Policy, a police force was formed in 1873 to preserve Canadian sovereignty and administer justice in the West. The first troops marched out in July 1874 under Commander French with the objective of destroying the whiskey trade and bringing the area under Canadian law.

Fort Livingstone housed 185 men and their horses with a residence for a magistrate and remained the headquarters of the NWMP until 1876. Between 1876 and 1877 Fort Livingstone was the first capitol of Northwest Territories and its first parliamentary session was held here while its permanent home Fort Battleford was constructed. The fort was destroyed in a prairie fire in 1884.