Transformation and Activism at the centre of Indigenous Research Conference

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The University of Waikatos Te Kotahi Research Institute is hosting its inaugural indigenous research conference – He Manawa Whenua – at the Claudelands Events Centre in Hamilton in July.

The conference will feature more than 150 individual presentations from International and local speakers involved in indigenous research.

Key themes in the keynote presentations are of transformation and activism within research and communities.

Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith is hosting the event and joins Dr Rangi Matamua in the opening session that includes Dr Matamua celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori with a discussion of the term He Manawa Whenua in te reo Maori. Professor Smith follows with an exploration of the relationship between activism, transformation and Indigenous Research. Dr Leonie Pihama, member of the organising committee says the conference will bring together a range of Indigenous researchers to share research and to engage in conversations about the role of research in creating positive change for our whanau, hapu, iwi and communities.

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Among the international keynote speakers are Waziyatawin, a Dakota writer, teacher, and activistfrom the Pezihutazizi Otunwe (Yellow Medicine Village) in south-western Minnesota, Aboriginal rights activist Nala Mansell-McKenna from Tasmania, Dr Jo-Ann Archibald, Associate Dean for Indigenous Education and Director of the Native Indian Teacher Education Program at the University of British Columbia and Dr Debra Harry, a Northern Paiute woman from Nevada who is a global leader in the movement to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples to their genetic resources, indigenous knowledge.

We asked these Indigenous guests to come and share their experiences in their communities and the place of research and critical thinking in advocating Indigenous knowledge and in contributing to transformation for their people, Dr Pihama says.

Keynote sessions in the conference also include Moana Jackson, Dayle Takitimu, Meihana Durie, Ani Mikaere and Pania Papa. Each presenter brings to the conference knowledge and challenges related to key issues that are currently facing Maori and Indigenous communities, including discussions related to wellbeing, Kaupapa Maori theory and research approaches, environmental issues, challenging research paradigms, the impact of colonisation and the revitalisation of te reo Maori.

The conference opens with a powhiri at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia on Sunday, June 30 and continues from Monday, July 1 to Wednesday, July 3 at the Claudelands Event Centre.

With the conference taking place at the same time as Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week) both the opening and closing presentations will be presented in te reo Maori, although there will be translators on hand.

Conference spaces are limited and registrations are now open.

For more details, including the full line-up presentations and workshops, visithttp://www.waikato.ac.nz/rangahau/hemanawawhenua

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