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Maori research centre conference focuses on future

Maori research centre conference focuses on future

Leading international and New Zealand researchers will address a traditional knowledge conference focusing on future indigenous wellbeing that opens in Wellington today.

Hosted by the Maori Centre of Research Excellence, Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, at Te Papa Tongarewa, the conference will draw on a wide range of experience in looking at ways of both defining and building wellbeing for indigenous peoples on their own terms, Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, the Centre’s Co-Director said.

“Our aim is to generate discussion by drawing on past and present experience to identify how things can be better for the future,” she said.

International speakers from Africa, North America, Australia and Mexico will address the conference, Matauranga Taketake, on a theme of, Indigenous Indicators of Well-being: Perspectives, Practices, Solutions.

Speakers include Dr Diery Seck, the Director of the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning, and a former economist with the World Bank, and Dr Holly Dublin, the Chair of the Species Survival Commission, which is the largest of the six Commissions of the World Conservation Union.

Dr Karina Walters, an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation and Associate Professor at the University of Washington in the School of Social Work, will outline studies on preventive strategies for HIV and other risk factors. Erykah Kyle, Mayor of the Palm Island Aboriginal Council in Queensland, will talk on initiatives to rebuild community strengths.

Local speakers include Professor Mason Durie and Dr Mere Kçpa.

“Nga Pae o te Maramatanga is a first for New Zealand, and long-term we are aiming to use the power of research to create gains for Maori, and for everyone in society,” Professor Michael Walker, the Centre’s Co-Director, said.
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“We are building excellent research, drawing on the skills of high quality people and passing the benefits of this back to the communities we work with. This conference helps us advance that process.”

Over 250 delegates are attending the conference.

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