Athabasca University Mace

Donated by Richard and Carol Aberg June 1996

Created by Brian Clark, originally from the Fort McMurray region of Alberta, the Athabasca University Mace is symbolic of the traditional talking stick commonly used by many indigenous people to express the authority and power of the group.

The component parts of the mace were selected based on the artist’s perception of the wildlife that Alberta Native People regard as being most powerful and worthy of respect:

  • The base is moose horn, chosen because of the way the moose feeds low for strength yet stands tall and strong in its domain.
  • The shaft is pine and fir, fully twisted, challenging all directions at once.
  • The bear claws reflect the balance of power by the strongest in nature.
  • The bear teeth represent wisdom and solidarity.
  • The arrowhead represents firmness and counsel.
  • The stone eagle’s head represents guidance and spirit.
  • The eagle and raven feathers represent mobility and wariness.
  • The beads represent the human element, so lightly attached to nature.