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Firewater & The Power of Stories: An Evening with Cree Author Harold Johnson.

February 28 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm


Harold Johnson is the author of Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours) short-listed for 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award (non-fiction). Harold is also a Crown Prosecutor in La Ronge, Saskatchewan. He lives with his wife Joan at the northern end of Montreal Lake, where they continue the traditions of trapping and commercial fishing common to Johnson’s Cree background. Harold has published five works of fiction. His latest novel is called Corvus.

On February 28 evening, Harold will speak about his book, Firewater. A passionate call to action, Firewater examines alcohol—its history, the myths surrounding it, and its devastating impact on Indigenous people.

Hosted by Tracey Lindberg, author of National Bestseller, Birdie

Drawing on his years of experience as a Crown Prosecutor in Treaty 6 territory, Harold Johnson challenges readers to change the story we tell ourselves about the drink that goes by many names—booze, hooch, spirits, sauce, and the evocative “firewater.” Confronting the harmful stereotype of the “lazy, drunken Indian,” and rejecting medical, social, and psychological explanations of the roots of alcoholism, Johnson cries out for solutions, not diagnoses, and shows how alcoholism continues to kill so many. Provocative, irreverent, and keenly aware of the power of stories, Firewater calls for people to make decisions about their communities and their lives on their own terms.

Powerful testimonials from Richard Van Camp and Tracey Lindberg are included in this book. Written in plain, frank language, Firewater speaks to anyone struggling with addiction.

more info:


February 28
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Centretown United Church
507 Bank St.
Ottawa, ON Canada
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Octopus Books