Retired RCMP assistant commissioner Russell Mirasty has been appointed Saskatchewan’s 23rd lieutenant-governor. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement Wednesday morning on Twitter.
Mirasty also served as the commanding officer for the RCMP’s “F” Division in Saskatchewan in 2010, the first Indigenous person to command an RCMP division.
Mirasty is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, making him the province’s first Indigenous lieutenant-governor.
During his 36-year policing career, Mirasty served in seven provinces and participated in an exchange with the Northern Territory Police Service in Australia. He retired from policing in December 2013.
“Known as a relationship-builder, Mr. Mirasty is an outstanding leader who paved the way for Indigenous peoples in the national police force. As Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, I know he will continue to make a difference for the people of his province and all Canadians, and inspire others to create change in their communities,” Trudeau said in a statement.
In a biography of Mirasty posted on the prime minister’s website, Mirasty led a province-wide engagement on how to improve Saskatchewan’s education system in his retirement.
He’s also served on a number of boards and had been appointed to Saskatchewan’s advisory group on poverty reduction.
Mirasty’s appointment follows the passing of former Lt.-Gov. W. Thomas Molloy.
Molloy, 78, passed away July 2, 2019, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. A state funeral was held in Molloy’s honour in Saskatoon on July 13.
A swearing-in ceremony will take place Thursday at Government House in Regina to allow Mirasty to immediately assume his duties. The province will have a formal installation ceremony for the Mirasty at a later date at the legislative building.
“I look forward to working with Mr. Mirasty as he assumes the role of Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant Governor,” Premier Scott Moe said in a statement.
“With a deep connection to Saskatchewan’s Indigenous communities and a background of service with the RCMP, Mr. Mirasty will bring a valuable perspective to a role that has a rich history of service to the people of Saskatchewan.”
Mirasty lives in La Ronge, Sask., with his wife Donna, where he was born and raised. The couple has two children and two grandchildren.