The Court of Better Fiction

Overview

In its rush to establish dominion over the North, Canada executed two innocent Inuit men.

In 1921, the RCMP arrested two Copper Inuit males suspected of killing their uncle. While in custody, one of the accused allegedly killed a police officer and a Hudson's Bay Company trader.

The Canadian government hastily established an unprecedented court in the Arctic, but the trial quickly became a master class in judicial error. The verdicts were decided in Ottawa weeks before the court convened. Authorities were so certain of convictions, the executioner and gallows were sent north before the trial began. In order to win, the Crown broke many of its own laws.

The precedent established Canada’s legal relationship with the Inuit, who would spend the next seventy-seven years fighting to regain their autonomy and Indigenous rule of law.

Reviews

…a concise, scathing, and at the same time, sympathetic account of a travesty of justice committed against the Indigenous peoples living above the Arctic Circle.

Miramichi Reader

About the Author

Debra Komar

Posted by Kendra on June 12, 2018
Debra Komar photo

Debra Komar

Debra Komar’s books have won numerous honours, including the Canadian Authors Award for History. A Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, she investigated genocides for the United Nations, testifying as an expert witness at The Hague and across North America.