Shawn McCann was born and raised in Yellowknife. She graduated Sir John Franklin High School and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies at the University of Calgary. She has worked with the Government of the Northwest Territories since 2000, most recently as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations. She has volunteered with a variety of activities and organizations such as Folk on the Rocks, the NWT SPCA, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, and speedskating. Shawn and her husband Jordan Martin have two kids.