The Mace of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut was first unveiled to the public on March 30, 1999.
It was carried by the Sergeant-at-Arms to open the first sitting of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut on April 1, 1999. At the beginning of each day’s sitting of the Legislative Assembly, the Sergeant-at-Arms carries the Mace over his or her right shoulder, leading a procession of Pages, Clerks and the Speaker into the Chamber.
In the Chamber of the Legislative Assembly, the Mace rests in the hands of a man and woman carved in granite and labradorite. This represents the equal respect for both genders of the population. Following British Parliamentary traditions, there are upper and lower positions for the Mace. The upper is used when the Speaker of the House is presiding and the lower is for when the House takes a recess during the sitting day or convenes as the Committee of the Whole.
In the 12th century, the mace was a weapon to protect English and French Kings. The Sergeant-at-Arms was held responsible for protecting the king and used the mace as a weapon. Now, the mace symbolizes the authority of the Legislative Assembly.
The mace is made out of Narwhal tusk. The animals on the mace represent the connection between land, sea and a food source. The common loons carved from Nanisivik silver form a crown with a cross on top. The cross symbolizes the respect for the British Monarch. The carved people carrying the mace represent a family working together. The elder helps lead the way to the future. The man and the woman represent gender equality. The big ball is blue lapis lazuli, from Kimmirut, which one of the only three deposits of lapis lazuli in the world. The gemstones around the crown were hand-cut by the artists. The clear stones are quartz, the purple stone is amethyst, the red is garnet, black quartz, green citrine, blue lapis, white marble. At the tip of the mace is a 2 ¼ carat diamond from the Jericho Diamond deposit in Western Nunavut.
All the materials on the mace come from Nunavut, as do the artists. The mace has traveled outside Iqaluit once to Rankin Inlet.
The artists are:
- Inuk Charlie – Cambridge Bay
- Paul Malliki – Repulse Bay
- The late Simata Pitsiulak – Kimmirut
- Mathew Nuqingaq – Iqaluit
- The late Mariano Aupilardjuk – Rankin Inlet
- Joseph Suqslaq – Gjoa Haven
The Mace and the Coat of Arms of Nunavut are copyrighted symbols reserved for the official use of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, and may not be used without the express permission of the Clerk’s office.