Militia serving sparsely populated coastal areas and the far North, consisting mainly of Inuit and native Canadians living in these areas. The first two companies were formed at Dawson City and Whitehorse in September 1947. By the early 1960s, there were over twenty companies.
Prevailing feeling between Canada and the United States. Relations between Canadian and American colonists were always very tense, although there was an initial calm from 1760 to 1775 when North America came under the British flag. Open conflict broke out with the Americans attempting to invade Canada in 1775 and 1776. The United States again tried to invade British Canada from 1812 to 1814. Border disputes continued after the War of 1812 until the 1817 Rush-Bagot Treaty heralded a process for dispute settlement.
Relations remained fragile up to the 1850s, and fortifications were maintained along the border and the British garrison in Canada kept at a size roughly equivalent to that of the small American regular army. Incidents such as the Fenian raids, between 1841 and 1871, put a strain on relations, but Canada did feel a great threat until the tremendous expansion of the US Army in the 1860s because of the American Civil War. Britain's Royal Navy was very strong, however, and its ability to retaliate with great damage to ports such as San Francisco, New York and Boston, keep relations in balance.
To avert war over Canada, Britain and the United States signed the Treaty of Washington in 1871. British troops in Canada were withdrawn and relations between Canada and the United States improved as trade and commerce became integrated. Canadian foreign policy was still controlled by Britain, but the decision of thousands of Canadians to volunteer for service under the British in the Boer War, while many Americans favoured the Boers, did not harm their increasing close relations.
The Canadians and Americans became even closer when they fought as allies against the Germans in the First and Second World Wars, and often worked together during the Cold War. During the latter part of the 20th century, the British influences in the Canada's relatively small armed forces were gradually replaced with American ways, reflecting the increased Canadian-American collaboration within alliance treaties such as NORAD and NATO. Strains in relations do occur, however, often due to differing views on international policy, such as Cuba, Vietnam and the Middle East.
See also: Alaska Highway, NATO, NORAD, Nuclear Warfare
Mounted artillery gun originating in 14th century Europe. Explorer Jacques Cartier fired the first recorded cannon shots in Canada in 1534. Ammunition such as cannonballs were made at the St. Maurice ironworks as early as the 1740s, but cannons themselves were not made in Canada until the 20th century.
See also: Artillery, Howitzer, Mortar