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Harry Swain makes the shortlist for the best book on Canadian public policy

Harry Swain makes the shortlist for the best book on Canadian public policy

April 2011

Douglas & McIntyre is delighted to announce that Harry Swain’s Oka: A Political Crisis and Its Legacy has been nominated for the 2010/2011 Donner Prize.

The 13th annual Donner Prize rewards excellence and innovation in Canadian public policy writing. The prize was established to recognize and reward the best public policy thinking, writing and research in Canada, and the role it plays in determining the well-being of Canadians and the success of Canada as a whole. The jury described Oka as “written with clarity and purpose,” and extolled it as “a crisp, focused inside account of one of Canada’s most controversial military interventions.”

The four competing titles, drawn from a pool of 69 entries, are Perverse Cities: Hidden Subsidies, Wonky Policy, and Urban Sprawl, by Pamela Blais (UBC Press); Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights, by Tom Flanagan, Christopher Alcantara & André Le Dressay (McGill-Queen’s University Press); Le CHUM, une tragédie québécoise, by Robert Lacroix & Louis Maheu (Les Éditions du Boréal); and Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World, by Doug Saunders (Knopf Canada). Each nominee will receive $5,000, and an addition $30,000 will be awarded to the author of the winning title.

On July 11, 1990, tension between white and Mohawk people at Oka, just west of Montreal, took a violent turn. Harry Swain was deputy minister of Indian Affairs throughout the 78-day standoff, and his recounting of events is dramatic and opinionated. Twenty years on, health, social and economic indicators for Aboriginal Canadians are still shameful. The well-funded “Indian industry” is a national disgrace, Swain says, and the Indian Act is in urgent need of replacement. Identifying current flashpoints for Aboriginal land rights across the country, he argues that true reconciliation will not be possible until government commits to meaningful reform.

The winner of the 2010/2011 Donner Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony, held in Toronto on Wednesday, April 27 at the Carlu. The ceremony will be hosted by Don Newman, Chairman, Canada 2020.

Read more about Oka >>