The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced the shortlist for this year’s Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The Prize is granted annually to an exceptional book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers. The winner will be revealed September 23rd during the Politics and the Pen virtual gala.

Here is what the jury had to say about Johnson’s remarkable book, published by McClelland & Stewart:

“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.”

Harold R. Johnson 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 is the author of 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 in nonfiction. Johnson is a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation and lives on his family trapline outside La Ronge, Saskatchewan with his wife, Joan. Harold is represented by Stephanie Sinclair.

See the full shortlist here: