“Small, Intimate, and Loving: Re-scaling and Embodying Sustainability”

Sarah de Leeuw



Associate Professor
Sarah de Leeuw grew up in northern British Columbia, a landscape which early on inspired her interests in cultural geographies, colonialism, and relationships between non-Indigenous and Aboriginal peoples. At its most fundamental, her research is focused on relationships between people in place – this often includes how people care for or account for each other, mobilize power in relation to each other, or even how they relate to each other creatively and/or strategically.

Research Focus:
Sarah’s research concerns small, intimate, geographies and expressions of power in and through place. Specifically, she focuses on colonialism in British Columbia, child welfare and residential schools, and creative and artistic expressions as means of disrupting power imbalances. Unquestionable links exist between 1) historical and contemporary colonial activities and 2) the significant health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, both in Canada and around the world. Her research with the Northern Medical Program and the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health aims to expand understandings about colonialism (past and present), particularly as it was undertaken geographically, as a determinant of Aboriginal peoples’ health. More about her research on creative expressions and health can be found at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) funded website:

Current Research Includes:
– Colonialism in British Columbia
-Social determinants of Indigenous health
-Impact of medical programs in northern and rural geogrpahies in partnerships with health care providers who think about doctor-patient relationships with Aboriginal peoples.

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