Harold R. Johnson

Harold R. Johnson is a Cree lawyer and writer.
Harold R. Johnson is the author of Corvus, Clifford, Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours) and other works. (House of Anansi)

Harold R. Johnson is the author of five works of fiction and two works of nonfiction. His nonfiction work Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours) was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction. Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan to a Swedish father and a Cree mother, he is a graduate of Harvard Law School and managed a private practice for several years before becoming a Crown prosecutor. Johnson is a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation and lives in the north end of Saskatchewan, with his wife, Joan. 

Harold Johnson on the nature of memory

"You can't be completely accurate when writing about the past. That's impossible. When you're sitting around with your family and you talk about something that happened a long time ago, you begin to notice that your siblings have different perspectives on the same event.

Who's telling the truth? You or them?- Harold R. Johnson

"Who's telling the truth? You or them? I accept that my version might not be exactly the same as somebody else remembers it. But that's the way I remember it."

Read more of Harold R. Johnson's interview with CBC Books.

Books by Harold R. Johnson

Interviews with Harold R. Johnson

Harold R. Johnson talks to The Afternoon Edition in Saskatchewan about his dystopian novel. 7:34
Harold R. Johnson talks to Shelagh Rogers about his latest book Clifford. 17:04
Harold R. Johnson's book "Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing my People (and yours)" is a passionate call to action and a lament for the lives he's seen destroyed by alcohol. 18:41
Harold R. Johnson is a Harvard-educated lawyer, a former crown prosecutor, author and a traditional trap line operator. Johnson spoke with Checkup host Duncan McCue from his home in La Ronge, Sask., about his book. 7:48
Harold R. Johnson is an Indigenous crown prosecutor and says alcohol is killing his people. He is urging for a new narrative on alcohol abuse, finding inspiration in those who overcome rather than thinking there are only those who succumb. 23:50
During his 20 years as a lawyer and Crown prosecutor in Northern Saskatchewan, Harold Johnson sent many Indigenous offenders to jail for crimes committed while drunk. This, he says, was not helping anyone. He tells Piya why he now believes Indigenous people should be able to take over justice in their own communities. 6:35


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