University of Minnesota
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Neil T McKay

American Indian Studies 19 Scott Hall 72 Pleasant Street SE

Department Affiliations


Neil McKay is a Dakota Language Specialist in the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, where he has been a member of the teaching staff since 2000. His research interests include indigenous language acquisition and Dakota history. Since becoming a University of Minnesota staff member he has helped create the Dakota Iapi Unspewicakiyapi Teaching Certificate, designed to produce and train committed Dakota language instructors. He currently teaches Introduction to Dakota Linguistics, Advanced Dakota II and Dakota Language for the Classroom and Community.

Neil participates in the Dakota-Ojibwe Language Revitalization Alliance and he's a board member for Oyate Nipi Kte Dakota and Walls to Bridges. He's also a consultant for Wicoie Ninadagikendan Immersion School and a Master Speaker and advisor to Dakota Wicohan. He teaches once a week at the Dakota Language Table at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. The language table is held for community members interested in learning the language.

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts: American Indian Studies with a focus on the Dakota language, University of Minnesota, 1997.


  • Minnesota Indian Education Association Post-Secondary Indian Teacher of the Year, 2012
  • College of Liberal Arts Professional and Administrative Outstanding Service Award, 2005
  • Minnesota Indian Education Association Post-Secondary Indian Teacher of the Year, 2003
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