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Warren Cariou's story of origin begins in the boreal Saskatchewan landscape of rock, water and muskeg that is Meadow Lake - ensconced in the ethos of the north, where there is magic in a story and fiction is worth much more than fact.
Grounded in the fertile soil of Meadow Lake are two historical traditions - Native and settler. Warren Cariou's maternal grandparents were European immigrants who cleared acres of dense forest and turned it into pasture. This land also held traces of centuries of Cree settlement - arrowheads, spear points and stone hammers, which Cariou stumbled upon as a boy. Though the tragic story of how these traditions came to share the same home would remain buried from Warren until much later, history's painful legacy was much in view. In the schoolyard and on the street corners Warren witnessed the discrimination, anger and fear directed at the town's Cree and Metis populations - prejudices he absorbed as his own.
As an adult, Warren Cariou has been forced to confront the politics of race in Meadow Lake. He learned that a rambunctious Native schoolmate could be involved in a torture and murder that would shock the world. And then Warren discovered family secrets kept hidden for generations, secrets that would alter forever Warren's sense of identity and belonging in Meadow Lake. In the tradition of Wallace Stegner's classic Wolf Willow, Lake of the Prairies is an intimate and provocative memoir.
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