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Indigenous research conference registrations open

Indigenous research conference registrations open

Following the success of its inaugural conference in 2013, The University of Waikato’s Te Kotahi Research Institute (TKRI) will again host He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference in Hamilton this year.

The conference runs from 29 June to 1 July at Claudelands Event Centre and registrations are now open. It is the second TKRI international indigenous conference and aims to highlight an international pool of indigenous knowledge and research.

The conference pōwhiri will be at the University of Waikato, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Sunday, 28 June from 10.30am-1pm, followed by a range of indigenous performances and a poetry slam. In the week before the conference, there will be pre-conference community workshops with the keynote speakers.
The keynote speakers at the conference include Professor Pou Temara, Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Professor Karina Walters, Moe Milne, Dr Jamee Māhealani Miller, Dr Ruakere Hond, Dr Bonnie Duran, Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith, Professor Bob Morgan, Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, Mereana Pitman and Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith.

Several hundred people are expected to attend the conference, with visitors from Hawaii, Australia, Canada and America mixing with a broad range of academics, researchers, students, iwi and community representatives from around New Zealand.

Dr Pihama says she is excited and honoured to be hosting such an amazing line up of Indigenous speakers who bring immense expertise to share.

“There is a strong emphasis on wellbeing and indigenous approaches, which aligns to a kaupapa Māori way of being.”

The conference title and theme, He Manawa Whenua, is the Māori term for a subterranean aquifer or an underground spring. It is from this source that the most pure, clear and refreshing water is obtained, being naturally filtered through the land before emerging at the surface. Water is life, and because a Manawa Whenua originates deep within the earth, Māori believe it is a most precious resource, vital for the well-being of the people.  The statement “he manawa whenua e kore e mimiti”, considers that the flow of the underground spring is everlasting, therefore its benefits are unlimited.

This conference views mātauranga Māori as a Manawa Whenua, or a pool of knowledge, that is situated within the heart of the people. Like the water, this knowledge has been filtered throughout time by the community as well as the environment to become central to the life and well-being of Māori.  This Māori centred knowledge also has the potential to deliver unlimited benefits for Māori, both now and into the future.


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