Former Crown Prosecutor, bestselling author and finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award Harold R. Johnson has been commissioned by McClelland & Stewart to write a book about the failures of the Canadian state to deliver justice to Indigenous people.
The book, tentatively titled PEACE AND GOOD ORDER, will argue a case against Canadian criminal law for its failure to deliver justice to Indigenous people. The book will examine the roots of the justice system’s failures, and explore how those failures have affected Indigenous people. In documenting the struggle for peace and good order for Indigenous people today, it will also reflect on the role the author understands himself to have played in that mismanagement as former Crown Prosecutor.
Harold R. Johnson says, “We have to have a conversation about justice and the over incarceration of Indigenous and marginalized people. We need to talk about changing a culture, not Indigenous culture—we need to change the culture of justice.”
Martha Kanya-Forstner has acquired Canadian English rights for Spring 2019. The deal was arranged by Stephanie Sinclair at the Transatlantic Agency.
Martha Kanya-Fortnser says, “I am profoundly grateful that the outrage and confusion following the verdicts in the deaths of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine inspired Harold to write. As a former Crown prosecutor in northern Saskatchewan and a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, he is uniquely and perfectly situated to argue the case against the Canadian justice system.”
Harold R. Johnson is the author of five works of fiction and two non-fiction. His most recent work “Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours)” was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction. Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan to Swede Cree parents, Harold has a connection to the land from which he writes. After having had a variety of occupations, Harold attended Harvard University to obtain a Master’s Degree in Law. Harold managed a private law practice for several years before he became a Crown Prosecutor.
He and his wife Joan live at the north end of Montreal Lake, Saskatchewan where they continue the traditions of trapping and commercial fishing. The cabin they built together is off grid and without road access. In this quiet space, except for the howling of a dozen sleigh dogs, and the caw of the occasional raven, he can listen to the sounds the land makes and remember ancient stories.