I recently came across this simple and moving video. It explores the concept and practice of Place-Based Education, which links people to place through learning about their present environment – it’s history of settlement, environmental change and how people can connect to the environment, and through this understand themselves.
In New Zealand we’re fortunate to have a resilient indigenous population, tāngata whenua, who have consistently linked their knowledge of self and identity to place and geography. Often this is known as ones tūrangawaewae. I really like this short clip of the late Wi Kuki Kaa exploring the concept of turangawaewae in contemporary Aotearoa. For me, as a Pākehā thinking about turangawaewae, the late Waikato leader Te Puea Herangi and the marae, Tūrangawaewae in Ngaruawahia spring to mind.
I am a 3rd generation Pākehā, and continue to learn about my family migration to Aotearoa from England, Ireland and France. I’m connected to this place in my own unique way – the challenge is understanding how to anchor myself through addressing our colonial history and present reality. The work of Paulo Freire and Henry Giroux have helped to shift my thinking about these deeply personal, social and cultural issues.
Our session on Culture and Identity will also look at similar issues: place, knowledge of self, and collective learning :) Should be GREAT!
Perspectives on Identity & Culture in Aotearoa New Zealand
Exploring how participants can contribute to Aotearoa becoming a nation that values Māori rangatiratanga, while creating positive understandings of our own identities, often leads to some discussion about the relevance of te Tiriti o Waitangi. In this interview long-time Pakeha Treaty educator Mitzi Nairn talks about how this work has meant coming to terms with “shifting goalposts”.
Like Mitzi, we’ve found that when addressing te Tiriti and culture and identity questions, the terrain can often change. With this in mind, how have your goalposts shifted recently?