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Harold R.

Harold R. Johnson (1957-2022) was born and raised in northern Saskatchewan. He was a member of the Canadian Navy and worked in mining and logging before graduating from Harvard Law School and becoming a Crown prosecutor. Johnson authored five works of fiction and five works of nonfiction, including Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours) which was a finalist for a Governor General’s Literary Award. Johnson was a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation and lived on his family trapline outside La Ronge, Saskatchewan with his wife, Joan.


Former Crown Prosecutor Harold R Johnson on his award-nominated book, Peace and Good Order

Award History

2019 Finalist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
for Peace and Good Order: The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada

Jury Citation

"Former Crown Prosecutor (and acclaimed science fiction novelist) Harold R. Johnson lays out a caustic, clear, and compelling indictment of Canada’s criminal justice system and its impact on the lives of Indigenous Canadians. With mordant wit and moral passion, Johnson draws on his own personal experiences, and his practical and academic knowledge of the law, to offer up a cogent analysis of the failures of Canada’s courts and to present an alternate reality, a vision of a culturally grounded justice system that could help to heal, not harm, vulnerable communities. With masterful control of language, and a voice that is fresh and fierce, Johnson doesn’t stop at public policy analysis. He issues a challenge to Canada’s politicians — and to all Treaty people — to rethink the meaning of peace and good order." —2019 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Jury (Greg Donaghy, Althia Raj, and Paula Simons)