Mary-Anne Neal

Associate faculty

Leadership Studies

Mary-Anne Neal’s interests and accomplishments are wide-ranging, focused primarily on communication and education. Neal works closely with remote Indigenous communities in the Sahtu region of the Northwest Territories to build leadership capacity, increase pride in Dene identity and improve learning outcomes. International assignments have taken her to China, Vietnam, Turkey, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Kenya and Tanzania. She is a frequent keynote speaker, presenter, panel member and workshop facilitator at conferences. Neal’s passion is to re-imagine education practices as experiential, project-based learning. Visit Neal’s website.


Neal is the project director of the Dene Hero Publication Project which won the Arctic Inspiration Prize in 2018 for innovation and excellence in the North. With Global Affairs Canada and the Mongolian National Academy of Governance, she recently developed and implemented a training program that will be delivered to 20,000 civil servants in Mongolia in 2021. Neal is the Sahtu regional lead for the National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education at First Nations University. In her role as an educational leader with the BC Ministry of Education, she directed provincewide projects and consultations for nine years. As a scholar-practitioner, she develops and facilitates courses for various organizations.

During a teaching career that spanned almost 20 years, she taught students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.


Master of Education (specializing in curriculum and technology)

University of Victoria

Bachelor of Education (with distinction)

University of Alberta


Arctic Inspiration Prize


Excellence in Teaching Award

From Austin O'Brien High School

Rutherford Award

For Excellence in Written Communication

Public speaking

From IX and XV Commonwealth Games

Southam Paragon Award

For outstanding achievement


Under the Midnight Sun (2021)

Dene Heroes of the Sahtu, Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 (Editor) 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Trained Dene researchers for First Nations University, National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education:

Youtube promo for Dene Hero celebrations:

“Voice of Experience:  Love Letters” for Education Canada (published June, 2013)

"Appreciative Assessment: Inquire!” for Education Canada (published June, 2012)

Engage Me or Enrage Me – Battle Cry of Adolescent Learners (professional development textbook for K – 12 teachers, in progress)

“Career Pathways for Aboriginal Youth” for the Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education (winter 2010 publication)

“Make Your Peace” project and handbook for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games

“Leading Sustainable Change in an Education System” for the Australian Association for Research in Education (published online by AARE and Royal Roads University, 2009)

Educational publications for BC Ministry of Education:  Grad Planners, Parent Guides, policy documents, reports, pamphlets, brochures

Educational media:  52 hour-long radio broadcasts for ACCESS CKUA, various television and radio scripts for ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists)

Tree Tales publication to accompany software for Grades 4 – 8 Science teachers

Monthly columns for Edmonton Magazine; Feature articles for Edmonton Sun, Foresight, Island Parent; Articles for U VIC Centre for Youth and Society newsletter and many other publications

Youtube presentation at RRU on “Education Beyond Borders,” facilitating professional development workshops for teachers in Kenya

For a list of publications and short bio, see: