Speaker uses snow machine to get NWT’s mace to Tsiigehtchic

The NWT’s official mace ordinarily lives a sedate life, resting in or near the chamber of the Legislative Assembly. On Wednesday, it got a snowmobile ride.

Speaker of the House Frederick Blake Jr, taking the mace on an educational tour of some NWT communities, found the path to his home community, Tsiigehtchic, blocked.

“A tractor trailer jack-knifed there, pulling in a mobile home, so it blocked the road – and it’s the only way in,” Blake told Cabin Radio.


“I noticed it before the team came in, so I just figured, ‘Ah, probably warm up the Ski-doo, just in case.'”

A jack-knifed tractor trailer blocked the road
A jack-knifed tractor trailer blocked the road. Photo: Legislative Assembly
A GNWT video showcases the NWT’s mace.

When the mace and its travelling companions arrived, Blake ferried it by snowmobile around the blocked road to Chief Paul Niditchie School.

The mace routinely goes on tour. Students are taught how it serves as a symbol for the legislature and the NWT, bringing together the likes of painting, carving, beadwork, quillwork and even pebbles to represent all 33 of the territory’s communities. Most of the time, the mace either sits on display at the legislature or performs a ceremonial role in each day’s proceedings in the chamber.

Rarely do snowmobiles feature in its itinerary. In this instance, Blake – the Mackenzie Delta MLA – happens to live in Tsiigehtchic, where he has previously served as chief and mayor.

Other stops on the tour this week included Aklavik and Fort McPherson.


“It’s been great, a very good turnout, and hopefully we can make it to some more communities in June,” Blake said.

He acknowledged that a snowmobile rescue might be a trickier task for the June tour. “Probably by boat,” he laughed.