In this illuminating book, Hunger, Horses, and Government Men: Criminal Law on the Aboriginal Plains, 1870-1905, Shelley Gavigan argues that the notion of criminalization captures neither the complexities of First Nations and Métis participation in the courts nor the significance of the Indian Act as a form of law. Gavigan uses records of ordinary cases from the lower courts and insights from critical criminology and traditional legal history to interrogate state formation and criminal law in the Saskatchewan region of the North-West Territories between 1870 and 1905. By focusing on Aboriginal people's participation in the courts rather than on narrow legal categories such as the state and the accused, Gavigan allows Aboriginal defendants, witnesses, and informants to emerge in vivid detail and tell the story in their own terms. Their experiences -- captured in court files, police and penitentiary records, and newspaper accounts -- reveal that the criminal law and the Indian Act operated in complex and contradictory ways. By showing that the criminal courts were as likely to include acts of mediation as coercion, Hunger, Horses, and Government Men takes the study of criminal law and criminalization in a new direction, one that challenges conventional wisdom and popular images of relations of power and discrimination in the courts. The volume focuses on the court cases Cree and Métis men and women living in Saskatchewan during the 1870s to 1905. This volume is published in association with the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. Shelley A.M. Gavigan is a professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Winner, 2013 CLIO Prize - The Prairies, Canadian Historical Association.