A descendant of legendary North West Mounted Police scout Jerry Potts was honoured Thursday for his family’s contributions to policing.
Tyrone Potts accepted a bronze statue during a ceremony at The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police.
The presentation by Cpl. Bryan Mucha, acting commander of the Fort Macleod RCMP detachment, was for the Potts family’s contributions to the RCMP, Fort Macleod and Piikani Nation.
“However, the story does not begin with Tyrone Potts,” Mucha said.
Mucha was referring to Jerry Potts, who in 1874 was hired at Fort Benton, Mont. by the North West Mounted Police as a guide and interpreter.
Jerry Potts is credited with leading the North West Mounted Police to what is now Fort Macleod to establish the first post in the North West Territories.
Potts was hired on a 22-month contract with the North West Mounted Police that paid him $90 a month.
“He was well known for his quick wit, reckless bravery, skills with a knife and lethal accuracy with a revolver and rifle,” Mucha said of Jerry Potts. “He was equally known as a wealthy man for his steady inventory of horses.”
Jerry Potts honoured his 22-year contract with the North West Mounted Police and highly regarded for his service.
Potts died in 1896 and was buried with full honours in Fort Macleod’s Union Cemetery as a North West Mounted Police special constable.
Mucha said he has known Tyrone Potts for about 19 years.
“He is one of those memorable people whose name and reputation precedes him,” Mucha said. “I know him as a humble man, quiet in demeanor and selfless.”
Tyrone Potts has served 28 years with the RCMP.
“He has spent a lifetime in service to the Piikani people while proudly wearing the uniform of the RCMP,” Mucha said.
Tyrone Potts, like his ancestor, is also a horseman, excelling at rodeo and raising and training horseman.
Tyrone Potts also served a full term with the famed RCMP Musical Ride.
“I cannot speak for Tyrone’s quick wit, reckless bravery, skill with a knife or accuracy with a revolver or a rifle, but I don’t think I would want to test him,” Mucha said.
The presentation was to commemorate the long history of the Potts family with the North West Mounted Police and RCMP in the community.
“Tyrone, on behalf of the RCMP and the people of Fort Macleod and southern Alberta, and the Piikani people, thank you for your many years of dedication,” Mucha said.
MD of Willow Creek Reeve Neil Wilson also presented Potts and RCMP Assistant Commissioner Craig MacMillan with a bronze plaque.
The plaque will be displayed at the Fort Museum.