Professor Emeritus in Education
Convocation: October 18, 2007
Robert Leavitt dedicated his academic career to the support of First Nations education and identity through the preservation and revitalization of indigenous culture and languages.
Working together with First Nations educators, he helped to unlock doors to understanding and discovery for First Nations students and communities, and to enhance understanding of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet cultures in the university as well as in mainstream New Brunswick society.
A Harvard scholar in architectural sciences and education, he taught and developed curriculum materials in reservation schools in rural Maine before he began his distinguished career at UNB in 1981. In 1992 he became a full professor and director of the Mi’kmaq-Maliseet Institute. His passion for his work is rivaled only by the esteem in which he is held by a legion of First Nations students, colleagues and friends.
Prof. Leavitt is nearing completion of the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet dictionary which he is compiling with Maine’s David A. Francis. Nearly 40 years in the making, it will be one of the largest aboriginal dictionaries in the world.