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The Dr. Gordon Wicijowski Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Lecture


Changing the Story We Tell Ourselves About Alcohol

Presented by: Harold R. Johnson
Author, Trapper, Storyteller, and Former Crown Prosecutor

Tuesday 24 September 2019, 7:00 PM
Research and Innovation Centre (RI 119), The University of Regina

This lecture was recorded. View it on the Faculty of Arts YouTube channel.


Harold Johnson lives traditionally in a cabin on the north end of Montreal Lake, Saskatchewan. He’s a Montreal Lake Cree Nation Band member, an accomplished author, a trapper, a former Crown Prosecutor with the Ministry of Justice and a talented speaker and storyteller. He is the author of five works of fiction: Billy Tinker, Back Track, Charlie Muskrat, The Cast Stone and Corvus (respectively, Thistledown Press, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2015). He is also the author of two works of nonfiction: Two Families: Treaties and Government (Purich, 2007), and Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours). In 2016, Firewater was a shortlisted nominee for the Governor General's Award for English-language non-fiction. His new book, Peace and Good Order: The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada, will be published by McClelland & Stewart this September.

Harold has initiated a courageous conversation, challenging us all to “change the story we tell ourselves about alcohol,” which inspired momentum across the country. He was formally seconded to the alcohol strategy project in 2016, and has since retired from Justice but remains on contract to support the Northern Alcohol Strategy. His message is not confined to any single institutional silo. He speaks in plain, direct language about the topic and addresses the people rather than the profession.

All are welcome and refreshments will be provided. Free parking on campus is available in Lots 16 and 17. For more information please call 306-585-4226.


The Law Foundation of Saskatchewan is an organization dedicated to enhancing legal education and research in order to respond to challenges facing the administration of justice. Owing to the generous support of this organization, the Law Foundation Chair in Police Studies was established in 2005 at the University of Regina Faculty of Arts.

The Law Foundation Chair allows the University to function as a centre of excellence in police studies, enabling the Chair to support issues of direct relevance to policing in Saskatchewan, to bring world-renowned experts in the field of criminal justice to Saskatchewan to share their expertise, and to participate in national discussions about current policing practices.

In support of these goals, each Fall a speaker is invited to the University of Regina in order to deliver a public lecture. In February 2011 the Law Foundation lecture was renamed ‘The Gordon Wicijowski Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Chair in Police Studies Lecture’, in recognition of the key role played by Dr. Gordon Wicijowki in the establishment of the Chair in Police Studies. This title change acknowledges Dr. Wicijowski’s years of service with the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan as well as the contributions he has made to the University of Regina, including serving on the Board of Governors – contributions for which Dr. Wicijowski has been presented an honorary doctorate. Today the lecture is known as the Dr. Gordon Wicijowski Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Lecture.

Past Law Foundation Lectures

  • 2018: Why Do Hackers Hack? presented by Dr. Thomas J. Holt, Professor of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University
  • 2016: Domestic Violence: The Challenge of Taking Account of the Interests of Children
    presented by Professor Nicholas Bala, Faculty of Law, Queen's University
    View Prof. Bala's slide presentation PPT (2.51 MB)
  • 2015: Smart Policing and the Challenge of Translational Criminology
    by Dr. Scott H. Decker, Foundation Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University
    View videotape of lecture. View Dr. Decker's slide presentation (671 KB) PPT
  • 2014:Beyond the Criminal Law: What Local and Provincial Authorities Can Do to Regulate Sexually-oriented Business
    by Dr. Mariana Valverde, FRSC, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto
    View event poster (1.7 MB) PDF
    View videotape of lecture on Youtube at
  • 2013: Proceed Until Apprehended
    by Karyn McClusky, Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit
    View event poster (671 KB) pdf
  • 2012: Murder and Maggots: The use of insect evidence in criminal investigations
    by Dr. Gail Anderson, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University
  • 2011: The Future of Policing in Saskatchewan
    by Dr. Rick Rudell, University of Regina
  • 2010: Some Reflections on the Discourse of Crime and Punishment in Canada
    by Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada
  • 2009: Does the Charter Matter?
    by Harry Arthurs, University Professor Emeritus and President Emeritus, York University