Retired Canadian Forces Veteran Floyd Powder stands in front of the Yellowknife cenotaph. Photo: Sarah Sibley/Cabin Radio
The NWT Legislative Assembly appointed Floyd Powder as the new Sergeant-at-Arms on Wednesday. Responsible for the preservation of order, decorum, and security of the House, the Sergeant-at-Arms manages security and safety programs for the assembly.
Powder, an Indigenous northerner born and raised in Fort Smith, has over 40 years of experience with the GNWT and Canadian Armed Forces and is one of 12 Indigenous researchers in Canada supporting the Last Post Fund and its Indigenous Veterans Initiative in his spare time.
“This work is so important, especially in the context of commemorating National Indigenous Veterans Day,” said Premier Caroline Cochrane.
“The work he is doing will help make sure Indigenous veterans who gave their life to supporting the freedoms in this country at a time for many were not necessarily the same.”
Brian Thagard, the NWT’s Sergeant-at-Arms until Powder officially takes over on December 5, is retiring from the position after 18 years of service.
Katrina Nokleby, Great Slave MLA, recognized Thagard’s service by acknowledging the difficulties brought by the current Assembly, deeming it as “challenging.”
“I wanted to say thank you to Mr Thagard for all of his hard work for us and for keeping us safe,” she said.
“I know that our assembly has been a particularly challenging assembly, and I know that’s made Brian have to stay on his toes. I know it’s a well-deserved retirement, and I look forward to seeing him riding his bike on the highway.”
Cochrane concluded the new appointment by acknowledging the difficulties of the position and commending Thagard for his dedication to the legislative assembly.
“Anyone that can last in this building 18 years deserves to retire and deserves a huge reward,” she said. Thagard is the longest currently serving Sergeant-at-Arms in Canada.
“I’d also like to congratulate Mr Powder for taking over; he couldn’t have picked a better person,” said Cochrane.