Dr. Sarah de Leeuw

de Leeuw, Dr. Sarah

PhD, Cultural Historical Geography (Queen's University at Kingston - 2007); MA, Interdisciplinary Studies - Geography and English (UNBC); BFA, Creative Writing (University of Victoria)

Professor, Northern Medical Program
Canada Research Chair in Humanities and Health Inequities
Adjunct Professor, Health Sciences
Room 9-383, NHSC
Prince George


An award winning researcher and creative writer whose work focuses broadly on marginalized peoples and geographies, Sarah de Leeuw grew up and has spent most of her life in Northern British Columbia, including Haida Gwaii and Terrace. She is the Research Director of the Health Arts Research Centre and teaches in the areas of Indigenous peoples well-being and health humanities.

Research and Expertise

My research sits at the crossroads of social-cultural geography, health-humanities, social determinants of health, and anti-colonial methodologies. I am interested in why some peoples and communities have better lives than others, why other peoples and communities live with burdens of poverty, isolation, violence, discrimination, racism, sexism, or poor health. Fundamentally, this division does not seem fair to me – and since I grew up in northern and rural British Columbia, in communities often marked by higher rates of poverty or poor health or isolation and marginalization, these topics are also personal. I ask questions about the determining conditions of marginalization and, while trying to answer those questions, I also try both to recognize the tremendous resiliency and strengths that often reside in marginalized places and to document these resiliencies and strengths through creative and arts-based means.

Research Fields
  • Community
  • Culture
  • First Nations
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Geography
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • History
Areas of Expertise
Anti-colonial theory; health inequities; northern rural and remote health; critical health humanities; feminist theory.
Languages Spoken
  • English

Selected Publications

Magrane, E., Russo, L., de Leeuw, S., & Perez, C. S. (Eds.). (2019). Geopoetics in Practice. Routledge.

de Leeuw, S. and Hunt, S. (2018). Unsettling decolonizing geographies. Geography Compass, 12(7), e12376. 

Greenwood, M., de Leeuw, S., and Lindsay, N., Eds. (2018). 2nd Edition Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health in Canada: Beyond the Social. Toronto, Ont.: Canadian Scholars’ Press. 364 pgs.

de Leeuw, S. (2017). Where it Hurts. Edmonton, Alberta: NeWest Press.

de Leeuw, S. (2017). Writing as Righting: Truth and Reconciliation, Poetics, and New Geo-Graphing in Colonial Canada. The Canadian Geographer. 61:3. 306-318.

de Leeuw, S. (2016). Tender Grounds: Intimate Visceral Violence and British Columbia’s Colonial Geographies. Political Geography. Special Issue on Violence.

Curriculum Vitae