Mary Stapleton

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Mary Stapleton is currently Cultural Liaison at the Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary.   She represents the Arctic Institute of North America as a Permanent Non-state Observer of Arctic Council. Her special interest is the advocacy of preserving circumpolar indigenous cultures.  She promotes involving indigenous people directly in communication about indigenous cultures in all media.

Mary has been President of InterFacts Consulting Ltd. for over 35 years. InterFacts is a consultancy providing professional communications management, research and planning services to resource companies, regulated utilities, governments, and social agencies.  Her major areas of specialization include public consultation, economic and employment development, and land use planning.  Professional assignments include participation on inter-disciplinary teams evaluating socio-economic/environmental impacts, and developing public involvement programs for hydroelectric and harbour developments.  She has wide experience in working with aboriginal groups in northern Canada and in assessing socioeconomic impacts, including cultural heritage and traditional knowledge.

Mary was also Managing Director of The Arctic Circumpolar Gateway, a holistic research and communications project.  She was instrumental in forming the Arctic Circle of Indigenous Communicators (ACIC), an advisory group to the ACG, which promoted communications in the circumpolar North.  ACG was sponsored by UNESCO and the Arctic Institute of North America. The ACG’s goal to identify, coordinate, interpret and disseminate information on the cultural heritage linkages of northern indigenous peoples, along with the history of others whose travels and exploration have affected the Arctic Regions, continues to be a focus of interest and development. 

Mary received a Master of Architecture (Environmental Design) degree from the University of Calgary.  She studied fine arts and museum management at Harvard University School of Graduate Studies, and conducted research for the Glenbow Museum.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree with honours from Miami University, with specialization in fine arts, English and French, and a Permanent Secondary Teaching Certificate from the University of California, Berkeley.  She is fluent in English and French. She has lived in Alberta and British Columbia since 1964, and has consulted in the northern areas of both provinces as well as the Yukon and Northwest Territories.  She has been involved in community service work throughout her career, in English, French, and aboriginal language communities.