Indigenous students from opposite sides of the world are drawing parallels between their experiences, at Te Puna Wanaka this week.
A small group of students from Camosun College in Canada were welcomed to Ara with a whakatau yesterday. The group will stay for two weeks, immersing themselves in Māori language, cultural activities and indigenous development theory. Ara and Camosun students will also share their learnings on principles common to indigenous cultures, which form the basis for much of the work, research and sharing happening around the world today.
“Language revitalisation and cultural renaissance are integral aspects of exploring being indigenous today and so it follows that two groups from different countries, Canada and New Zealand, can share their lived experience, aspirations and strategies for achieving progress,” Head of Humanities at Ara, Hemi Hoskins says. “While the histories differ, commonalities exist and these create a basis for understanding and looking forwards to solutions for First Nations communities to thrive.”
During their time at Ara, the group will stay with Māori and Pasifika hosts, as well as experiencing staying at TPW and visiting Koukourārata marae at Port Levy on Banks Peninsula. Activities focus on Te Reo immersion and performing arts. This visit is a pilot with a view to progress to collaborative research projects between students from the two institutes.
Camosun College’s two campuses are located on the traditional territories of the Lkwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples in British Colombia, Canada. The visit extends relationships between Ara and first nation communities worldwide.
Next week, a group from Japan will also join the programme at TPW.