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Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi'kmaw Quest for Justice
L. Jane McMillan
UBC Press - University of British Columbia / Hardcover / Dec 2018
9780774837484 (ISBN-10: 0774837489)
Indigenous Peoples / Discrimination & Racism
price: $34.95 (may be subject to change)
288 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

The name “Donald Marshall Jr.” is synonymous with “wrongful conviction” and the fight for Indigenous rights in Canada. In Truth and Conviction, Jane McMillan – Marshall’s former wife, an acclaimed anthropologist, and an original defendant in the Supreme Court’s Marshall decision – tells the story of how Marshall’s life-long battle against injustice permeated Canadian legal consciousness and revitalized Indigenous law. Marshall died in 2009, but his legacy lives on. Mi’kmaw continue to assert their rights and build justice programs grounded in customary laws and practices, key steps in the path to self-determination and reconciliation.


Truth and Conviction tells the story of Donald Marshall Jr., his impact on criminal justice and treaty rights, and the ongoing struggle of the Mi’kmaq to have their own laws and justice system. It also tells the story of the author herself, a settler with deep connections within the Mi’kmaw Nation. McMillan’s experiences have given her many thoughtful insights into what is needed to achieve meaningful reconciliation in the country – especially for those living in Mi’kma’ki.
— Naiomi Metallic, Chancellor’s Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

Jane McMillian has written an admirable, engaging, and formidable book about an Indigenous man’s quest for justice against the systemic injustices of Canada.
— Sákéj Henderson, Research Fellow, Native Law Centre of Canada, University of Saskatchewan

This book offers powerful, insightful, and intimate insights into Mi’kmaw law and lifeways. It contains a perfect mix of stories, context, history, and analysis. It is just what I need to understand and be able to teach law in more nuanced ways.
— John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, University of Victoria

Jane McMillan’s close account of Donald Marshall’s subjection to racism and mistreatment serves as a point of reference for wider reflections about constitutional protections, treaty rights, and the promise of Indigenous self-governance. Her work is meticulously, even intimately researched, driven by an abiding and controlled sense of indignation, and narrated with deep empathy. Unless you are already on the front lines of justice reform, this book will change the way you think about Indigenous rights and criminal justice in Canada.
— Ronald Niezen, Canada Research Chair in the Comparative Study of Indigenous Rights and Identity, Faculty of Law and Arts, McGill University

About the Author:

L. Jane McMillan is the former Canada Research Chair for Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Communities and chair of the Department of Anthropology at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

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