The 42-year-old Bert Knockwood was found dead on Monday in his home in Millbrook, N.S. The police have ruled his death a homicide two days later. Knockwood was from Nova Scotia’s Sipekne’katik First Nation.
He lived a hard life, as he lost his mother and sister when he was a kid. His father Doug, a residential school survivor, died in 2018.
People have started posting a message that says “Meskay nitap” on social media to express their sorrow. “Meskay nitap” means “I’m sorry, my friend” in Mi’kmaw.
Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack offered condolences to Knockwood’s family. He said in a statement:
“Our community is strong and we will support each other during this time as we continue to grapple with the effects of intergenerational trauma.”
Eric McIntyre knew Knockwood for a long time. They met at a skatepark when McIntyre was 11 years old. Knockwood was 10 at that time. Eric McIntyre said:
“He progressed at it so fast and became an incredible skateboarder, and that’s kind of a testimony to what Bert was like. Anything he ever applied himself to, he would focus on and become absolutely incredible. He was a really charismatic and caring person who loved his friends and family. He had such a hard life, and went through so much loss, but he was just so strong.”
McIntyre said that, as time went by, Knockwood got better. He became a DJ known the name DJ Shinook. Still, he said that Knockwood’s death shocked everyone who knew him.
Brian Pelrine, also known as DJ IV, said that Knockwood helped him get started. He said:
“He taught me so much. I was always in awe of how fast he was and how he could manipulate the records and the crossfader so quickly.”
He said that his friend’s death has shattered his heart. Pelrine concluded:
“He was finally in a great spot. Bert has dealt with a lot of demons throughout his life, and for the first time, it seemed as though he had found his happy place in life. Nobody deserves to lose their life like this, especially not Bert Knockwood.”