“Indian” in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power ~ Jody Wilson-Raybould (2021)


I am a political nerd. I have been fascinated by politics from the time I was 12 and my parents voted in the 1995 Quebec referendum. I found it amazing that whether a province of my country separated from the rest of Canada was down to how many people thought it should be so.

Over the years, I have learned more and more about politics, including the awful history of racism and colonialism in Canada. No matter how awful, or frustrating, or painful politics can be, I am consistently curious and always believe that change is possible.

Wilson-Raybould’s book is part memoir, part political snapshot, focusing on the extraordinary scandal surrounding SNC Lavalin in Canada in 2019 that led to her being summarily thrown out of cabinet and ultimately out of the leading Liberal party.

Wilson-Raybould was the first indigenous Attorney General in Canada, and through her efforts, Bill C-14 (the right to die) and Bill C-46 (the Cannabis Act) came into effect. Wilson-Raybould discusses her wariness of joining the non-indigenous, colonial Government of Canada and why she was adamant that she would not be Minister of Indigenous Affairs, stating that she refused to be “Head Indian Agent” enforcing unjust laws on her people.

Wilson-Raybould is a strong narrator and through her years as a lawyer and regional Chief, she knows how to back up her stories with facts and evidence. Her self-confessed love of prodigious note taking in small, black moleskine notebooks helped to create a fulsome and anecdotal spotlight of one of the Justin Trudeau Liberal Government’s many, many breach of ethics scandals.

I highly recommend this book to all who are interested in politics, are curious about the inner workings of the Canadian Cabinet, indigenous relations, or really just want to know if Justin Trudeau is as clueless about what goes on in his government as he indicates whenever he is slapped with another ethics violation.

I applaud Wilson-Raybould for her moral stance, and for making the very hard decision to stand firm in her beliefs, while “speaking truth to power”.
(304 pgs)


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