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Bad Medicine: A Judge's Struggle for Justice in a First Nations Community Paperback – Oct 1 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Paperback, Oct 1 2010
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rocky Mountain Books; 1 edition (Oct. 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926855035
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926855035
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Bad Medicine is an insider’s look at the failure of the justice system in its dealings with Aboriginal law-breakers. Alberta Provincial Court Judge John Reilly spares no one, including himself, in his belief that a different and non-racist approach would serve First Nations more effectively. He makes a compelling case for “good” medicine to replace the “bad.” A must read for anyone connected with Canada’s legal system.―Catherine Ford, author of Against The Grain: An Irreverent View of Alberta


Judge John Reilly demonstrates an uncommon understanding of the complex issues and problems confronting Canada's Aboriginal peoples. Were everyone in Canada to share his perspectives we would be much further ahead in overcoming these challenges.―The Honourable Patrick Brazeau, Senator and former National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP)


[John Reilly's] crusade has touched off a nationwide debate about government policies that are designed to foster native self-determination but may condemn another generation of Indians to lives of dependency and despair ―Steven Pearlstein, The Washington Post


Judge John Reilly wanted to expose wrongdoing on the Stoney reserve. What he didn’t realize was that powerful forces―in Ottawa, in Edmonton, and in the band itself―had a vested interest in ignoring the problem. ―Gordon Laird, Saturday Night


. . . here’s a judge willing to speak out and actively engineer alternatives and swim bravely against powerful societal currents.―Bill Kaufmann, Calgary Sun


. . . government dollars flow in, and many reserves get huge oil and gas revenues, but housing is pitiful, in some cases water is unclean, and social problems, unemployment and crime are all high. Why is this? Reilly had the courage to ask. He’s not alone.―Linda Slobodian, Calgary Sun


Judge Reilly has done the Stoneys a great service, firstly in recognizing the underlying issues which bring so many Stoneys before his court, and then by asking for an investigation. Many are hoping that at last something will be done.―Jeffrey Perkins


Reilly has done a courageous and important deed. His unusual request has drawn widespread media attention to the ongoing problems on the Stoney reserve and has emboldened reserve residents to speak openly to the media.Western Catholic Reporter


Judge Reilly’s order was a brave and crazy political stunt. There is little chance that his order will hold up on appeal, but that’s not the point. This man, this powerful white man who makes his living moving people from the scenic ghettos we quaintly call “reservations” to the even worse environment of prison, tried to do the right thing.―Nick Devlin, FFWD Weekly


At first it appeared little would come of Provincial Court Judge John Reilly’s order for an investigation into physical and political squalor on the Stoney Indian reserve, 30 miles west of Calgary….But now it seems Judge Reilly’s intervention has unleashed a maelstrom of activity: in the courts, in Ottawa―and especially in band offices, where frustrated Indians are taking matters into their own hands.Alberta Report


About the Author

Judge John Reilly was appointed to the bench at age 30 and had the distinction of being the youngest Provincial Court Judge in Alberta. At 50 he made a promise to himself that he was going to improve the delivery of justice to the Stoney Nakoda First Nations at Morley. Reilly retired in 1998, but continues to sit as a supernumerary judge.

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