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The power of story with Harold Johnson

Award-winning author Harold Johnson will ignite a conversation close to his heart as the third speaker in Lakeland’s four-part Reconciliation Speaker Series on Nov. 9.

In his book Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours), Johnson hopes to reduce the suffering and address the problem that’s affecting indigenous people.

“Story is important and powerful, and it can shape the way we think about things. Firewater shows how that works with alcohol,” he says. “I’m hoping to start a conversation that’ll inspire people to walk out of the room and talk to one another about this topic. If the conversation gets big enough, solutions will come.”

Reviewers have called Firewater a passionate call to action. It examines alcohol — its history, the myths surrounding it, and its devastating impact on Indigenous people. Drawing from his Master of Law degree from Harvard University and experience working as a crown prosecutor, Johnson challenges audiences to confront the harmful stereotypes associated with indigenous people, and challenge the medical, social and psychological explanations at the root of alcoholism.

Johnson’s presentation is free and open to the public at the Lloydminster campus on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 11:30 a.m. in the Servus Credit Union Lecture Theatre (Room 2038).

Johnson is the author of two non-fiction titles and five works of fiction, several of which are set in northern Saskatchewan against a background of traditional Cree mythology.

His most recent novel Corvus was shortlisted for the 2016 Saskatchewan Book Award for Aboriginal Peoples' Writing and The Cast Stone won the 2011 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction.

Johnson's book Firewater is available for purchase in the Lloydminster campus bookstore.
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