Leona Sparrow, the official liaison between the Musqueam Indian Band and the Peter A. Allard School of Law, is no stranger to UBC. Sparrow completed both a BA and MA in Anthropology at UBC. After an esteemed career serving on the Musqueam and Chief Council, Sparrow returned to UBC to pursue a law degree. She graduated with the LLB class of 1992. A notable advocate and spokesperson for the Musqueam and other Indigenous peoples, Sparrow currently acts as Director of Treaty, Lands, and Resources for the Musqueam Band.
Sparrow has actively shaped and maintained the strong relationship between the Musqueam Indian Band and UBC, whose campus sits on traditional and unceded Musqueam territory. She served as a member of the UBC Senate from 1993-2003 and also sat on the President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. The Peter A. Allard School of Law is particularly grateful for Sparrow’s commitment Indigenous legal education. As the designated Musqueam liaison for the law school Sparrow continually advises on the intersection between legal education and Indigeneity. In particular, Sparrow’s expertise was heavily relied upon for the development of the Indigenous Legal Studies Program at the Allard School of Law. Furthermore, Sparrow played an important role in the design of Allard Hall by advising on how the architecture and environment of the building could better instill, reflect, and promote Musqueam values.
Stemming from her educational background in Anthropology, Sparrow also serves on advisory boards at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) located on UBC’s Vancouver campus. During her time at MOA, Sparrow emphasized the importance of community-based museology and exhibitions, thereby focusing on partnership and collaboration. In addition, Sparrow co-developed the Reciprocal Research Network which permits online access to interactive research between a number of museums that feature artifacts and collections connected to the Pacific Northwest. This innovative project acts as a vehicle through which Indigenous communities can better research and access materials pertaining to their own histories.
Leona Sparrow is a widely celebrated name at UBC for her tireless dedication to Indigenous advocacy and educational development. She received an Alumni UBC Achievement Award in 2014 and an Honorary Degree during Spring Convocation in 2019.