Premier Stephen McNeil is extending condolences to the family and friends of Mi’kmaq elder and spiritual leader, Noel Knockwood, who has died at the age of 81.
“Noel Knockwood was a pillar of his community who touched the lives of many Nova Scotians with his wisdom, compassion and commitment to building a society that practices inclusion and respect of Mi’kmaq heritage and culture,” said Premier McNeil.
“He made history in so many ways by quietly and passionately sharing his deep belief in Mi’kmaq spirituality and serving his country with distinction in a time of war.
“On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I want to express sympathy to his family at this difficult time. They are in my thoughts and prayers.”
Mr. Knockwood was born in 1932 on the Shubenacadie First Nation. He was a keptin of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council and served as the first aboriginal sergeant at arms for the Nova Scotia legislature from 2000-05. He was a veteran of the Korean War and succeeded in having traditional Mi’kmaq wedding ceremonies officially recognized in Nova Scotia.
“Noel Knockwood was not just a leader in the Mi’kmaq community, he was also able to share his knowledge of Mi’kmaq heritage and culture with many Nova Scotians as a teacher and spiritual leader,” said Premier McNeil.
In 2002, he was awarded a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for his contributions to culture, heritage and spirituality.
Memorial arrangements will be announced later.