Born in Sucker Creek Cree First Nation, Lewis Cardinal was nine when he joined his father in Edmonton. His dad, vice-president of the Indian Association of Alberta, inspired him to become a community and political activist. He studied at the University of Alberta, earning a PhD in Indigenous Education, afterwards teaching in the Department of Educational Studies. Politically active, he ran for municipal and federal office. As an educator and communicator, Cardinal emphasizes creating links among Indigenous communities and between their communities and non-Indigenous communities.