Warren Cariou grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and has worked as a construction worker, a technical writer, and a political aide. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto and now teaches Aboriginal Literature at the University of Manitoba, where he is Canada Research Chair and Director of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Traditions. He is of Métis, German and Norwegian heritage, and his writing explores the relationships between Native and non-Native communities in Western Canada. His first book, The Exalted Company of Roadside Martyrs: Two Novellas (Coteau, 1999), garnered rave reviews, and his memoir Lake of the Prairies won the Drainie-Taylor Prize and was nominated for the Charles Taylor prize. Land of Oil and Water and Overburden are his first films.