Truth & Conviction: Jane McMillan in conversation with Justice Harry LaForm

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:00 PM
Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5H 4B2

The name Donald Marshall Jr. is synonymous with wrongful convictions in Canada. After being wrongfully convicted of murder at age 17 and spending over a decade in prison, Marshall was exonerated by a royal commission that exposed the entrenched racism found in the Canadian justice system.

Only a few years later, Marshall was pulled back into the justice system with a charge of eel fishing without a license. Backed by Mi’kmaw chiefs and the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, Marshall took his case to the Supreme Court to fight for Indigenous treaty rights, which resulted in the landmark Marshall decision.

In her new book, Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi'kmaw Quest for Justice, McMillan provides insight into Marshall’s life and experiences with the Canadian justice system. McMillan also explores how Marshall’s legacy lives on as Mi’kmaw people continue to assert their rights and build justice programs grounded in customary laws and practices.

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Truth and Conviction and hear McMillan, in conversation with Justice Harry LaForme, explore the current state of Indigenous relations in Canada, and understand if we are actually learning from our past mistakes.

A book signing will follow the event.


Dr. Jane McMillan is the chair of the Anthropology Department at St. Francis Xavier University and the former Canada Research Chair for Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Communities. A former eel fisher and one of the original defendants in the Supreme Court of Canada’s Marshall decision (1999), she has worked with Mi’kmaw communities for over twenty years, advocating for Indigenous and treaty rights and for community-based justice. Her debut book, Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi'kmaw Quest for Justice is published by UBC Press.

Justice Harry LaForme is Anishinaabe and a member of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. He has forged a distinguished legal and judicial career including, from 2004 until late-2018, as a member of the Ontario Court of Appeal - the first and only Indigenous appointment to a Canadian appellate court. Justice LaForme is now senior counsel to OKT, one of Canada’s premiere First Nations law firms.

  • Truth and Conviction
Posted by Megan M.
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