The Canadian Militia is a traditional title given to volunteer forces raised from local communities for the defence of Canada. Militia forces played an instrumental role both under the French regime (prior to 1763) and under British rule (after 1763). It is also the title given to the land forces of Canada from Confederation in 1867 to 1940 when it was renamed the Canadian Army.
Use of militias date back to New France, with small local volunteer militia units and colonial militias supporting the French military in the defence of the colony. Local militia units continued to be raised, and support British soldiers stationed in the Canadas. However, as the British began to withdraw soldiers from British North America, the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada passed the Militia Act of 1855, creating the Active Militia. The Active Militia, later referred to as the Permanent Active Militia, was created as a regular armed unit, although it continued to use the label militia. After PAM's formation, the remaining sedentary militia regiments were collectively referred to as the Non-Permanent Active Militia (NPAM). Prior to Confederation, the colonies that made up The Maritimes maintained their own militias independent of the Canadian Militia.
In 1940, PAM was renamed Canadian Army (Active) and the NPAM as Canadian Army (Reserve). The two units were renamed following World War II as Canadian Army Active Force, Canadian Army (Regular) and Canadian Army Reserve Force respectively.
In the 1950s, the reserve force again adopted the title "Militia" and that title has remained an unofficial designation for part-time soldiers of the land forces of the Canadian Forces.
In 1968, the Militia was re-organized for the last time under Mobile Command (and Mobile Command (Reserves)) under the unified Canadian Forces.
- Canadian Forces Primary Reserve
- History of the Canadian Army
- Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Colonial militia in Canada
- "The 1855 Volunteers". Canadian Military Heritage, vol. 2. Government of Canada. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "The Defence of Canada by Canadians". Canadian Military Heritage, vol. 3. Government of Canada. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "In the Maritimes". Canadian Military Heritage, vol. 2. Government of Canada. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- Corinne McDonald (29 November 1999). "THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES: THE ROLE OF THE RESERVES". Political and Social Affairs Division. Retrieved 17 May 2013.