Bio (Mary-Anne Neal)
Education, community service and communication are the primary threads that weave the fabric of Mary-Anne Neal’s career. As associate faculty, Neal divides her time between instructional duties and skill-building in remote northern communities in the Sahtu region of the Northwest Territories. Neal was awarded the 2018 Arctic Inspiration Prize for her work with Indigenous learners to develop the skills required for self-government. She is highly respected for launching the Dene Hero Publication Project that celebrates the Dene people of the Sahtu. Neal takes an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research at Royal Roads University. She has served as an active member of the Royal Roads Research Ethics Board, Education Beyond Borders, Leadership Victoria, ACTRA Writers’ Guild, ACTRA Performers’ Guild, Parent Advisory Councils, BCcampusTechnology Advisory Council, Sahtu Renewable Resources Board and many other community and academic organizations.
Neal’s background includes classroom teaching, launching a successful advertising agency, running a busy communications shop for the BC government, researching educational institutions in the United Arab Emirates and conducting professional development workshops for teachers in BC, NWT, China, Africa and Vietnam. She has delivered keynote addresses, workshops and presentations to more than 5,000 people around the world. Her writing is frequently published in newspapers, magazines and educational periodicals. In addition to teaching for the University of Victoria, Camosun College and Royal Roads University, she develops courses and programs for Indigenous communities and organizations.
Neal earned a Bachelor of Education (with distinction) from the University of Alberta and a Master of Education (specializing in curriculum and technology) from the University of Victoria. During a teaching career that spanned almost 20 years, she taught students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Neal has earned accolades and awards for such varied accomplishments as Dene Heroes of the Sahtu (Arctic Inspiration Prize), Most Enthusiastic Teacher (Austin O'Brien High School), Excellence in Written Communication (Rutherford Award), Public Speaking (IX and XV Commonwealth Games) and Outstanding Achievement (Southam Paragon).