A Mi’kmaq elder and spiritual leader who was a Korean War veteran and Nova Scotia’s first aboriginal Sergeant-at-Arms at the provincial legislature, Noel Knockwood, has died at the age of 81. The news about his death was confirmed by the family and posted after midnight on the Facebook page of Shubenacadie Band Chief Rufus Copage. The post said that “at the request of family. It is with great sadness to report that one of our Elders Noel Knockwood has just passed away.” According to his family, Knockwood suffered a massive stroke in his Hilden home early Monday night.
Knockwood spent his childhood studying in the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School, after which he was affiliated with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre and Mi’kmaq Children’s Centre in Halifax for many years. He was a wise teacher who treated natives and non-natives alike. Later on, Knockwood went on to the post-secondary level and earned a B.A. from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and a diploma from the Coady Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish.