A new bronze and copper sculpture of a wolf riding in a canoe has been unveiled in a pond outside the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que.

The sculpture is called 'namaxsala, from the the Kwak'wala language, and means "to travel in a boat together."

Artist Mary Anne Barkhouse said the idea for the sculpture came from a story her grandfather in B.C. told her about how he once gave a wolf mother a ride on his boat across a treacherous strip of water.

Barkhouse said she was intrigued by the open mind you would need to help an alpha predator like that.

"Not only help the wolf, but let it in your boat," said Barkhouse.

Barkhouse hopes it serves as a reminder of the value of independent thought and having compassion for living things.

She also notes the wolf is staring straight across the river at Parliament Hill.

"It's the perfect location for this work. It couldn't go anywhere else," said Barkhouse.

Winnipeg philanthropist John Buhler donated the funds for the sculpture, which was unveiled on Friday.