Know Your Mace: Northwest Territories Vol 38 No 2

Article 1 / 11 , Vol 38 No 2 (Summer)

Vol 38 No 2Know Your Mace: Northwest Territories

The current Mace of the Northwest Territories (NWT) was unveiled in January 2000. It was constructed by three artists – Bill Nasogaluak, Dolphus Cadieux and Allyson M. Simmie – who were dubbed ‘the snowflake team’. Sitting on the top of the Mace is a northern diamond. This 1.31 karat diamond rests on two ulus forming the shape of a tipi and within this shape is a cutout of a house. The ulu, tipi, and house represent all aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples in the NWT. Beneath these symbols rests a band of silver engraved with the words “One Land, Many Voices” in 10 of the official languages of the NWT. The most distinctive feature of this Mace is its sound. Within the language band, shaft, and the foot are tiny pebbles collected from the 33 communities in the NWT. When moved, the shifting of the pebbles creates a magical sound similar to a rainstick, representing the united voices of the people and a firm reminder that we live on one land with many distinct voices.

The original Northwest Territories Mace (left) was fashioned in 1955 by nine aboriginal artists from Cape Dorset, who worked with well-known artist, James Houston. The Mace included materials such as whalebone, muskox horns, narwhale tusk, copper, and oak salvaged from Sir William Parry’s ship, the HMS Fury. After only three short years of service, the original Mace began to deteriorate and was replaced by a replica in 1959.

Kaitlyn Vician
Public Affairs and Communications Advisor
Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly