Adrian Tanner was born in the UK and came to Canada as a young farm worker. He went on to work on weather stations in the Arctic, where he gained some familiarity with Inuit hunters. He attended UBC and McGill University, before earning a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He has been with the Anthropology Department at Memorial University since 1972, where he is now Honorary Research Professor. His current research interests are on the Indigenous peoples of Quebec, Labrador, and Northern Ontario, on such topics as social suffering, community healing, forestry, land tenure, politics, and the documentation of local knowledge. He has also conducted research outside Canada, especially on the people of the Colo Navosa region of Vitilevu, Fiji.