Real Justice: Convicted for Being Mi'kmaq

SKU: 9781459404397

Bill Swan
Grade Levels:
Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve
Mi'kmaq, Woodland
Book Type:
James Lorimer & Company Ltd.
Copyright Date:

Sale price$12.95


Real Justice: Convicted for Being Mi'kmaq, The Story of Donald Marshall, Jr. is one of the titles in the Real Justice Series from James Lorimer and Company. The book covers the wrongful conviction of Mi'kmaw youth Donald Marshall, Jr. for the murder of Sandy Seale in Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1971. Author Bill Swan takes a journalistic approach to telling this story of a First Nation youth facing intolerable racism and the Canadian criminal justice system.  Donald Marshall (1953-2009) was Mi'kmaw from Membertou First Nation. His father, Donald Marshall, Sr. was a respected First Nation political leader and Grand Chief of the Mi'kmaq Nation. When a black teen was murdered in a Sydney, Cape Breton park late one night, his young companion, Donald Marshall Jr., became a prime suspect. Sydney police coached two teens to testify against Donald which helped convict him of a murder he did not commit. Donald Marshall spent 11 years in prison until he finally got a lucky break. Not only was he eventually acquitted of the crime, but a royal commission inquiry into his wrongful conviction found serious errors in policing methods had combined with racism of the period. Donald became a First Nations activist and later won a landmark court case in favour of Mi'kmaq fishing rights. He was often referred to as the "reluctant hero" of the Mi'kmaq community. While there is minimal cultural background provided in this book, the author stays true to the format of identifying the injustice and racism in this case. Fry Reading Level: 5.0; Lexile Reading Level: HL770L.

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