This revised and updated edition details the latest legal developments surrounding tribal leadership and the state of governance on Canadian reserves.
When Bad Medicine first appeared in 2010 it was an immediate sensation, a Canadian bestseller that sparked controversy and elicited praise nationwide for its unflinchingly honest portrayal of tribal corruption in a First Nation in Alberta.
Now, in a new, revised and updated edition, retired Alberta jurist John Reilly sketches the latest legal developments surrounding tribal leadership at Morley and the state of governance on Canadian reserves, as well as national developments such as Canada’s long-delayed assent to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, currently wending its way through the Senate, and the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Early in his career, Judge John Reilly did everything by the book. His jurisdiction included a First Nations community plagued by suicide, addiction, poverty, violence and corruption. He steadily handed out prison sentences with little regard for long-term consequences and even less knowledge as to why crime was so rampant on the reserve in the first place.
In an unprecedented move that pitted him against his superiors, the legal system he was part of, and one of Canada’s best-known Indian chiefs, the Reverend Dr. Chief John Snow, Judge Reilly ordered an investigation into the tragic and corrupt conditions on the reserve. A flurry of media attention ensued. Some labelled him a racist; others thought he should be removed from his post, claiming he had lost his objectivity. But many on the Stoney reserve hailed him a hero as he attempted to uncover the dark challenges and difficult history many First Nations communities face.