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Article 7 - Developing Indigenous Infrastructure in the University: Another Era or another Error?

Author(s): Te Tuhi Robust

Journal: MAI Review
ISSN 1177-5904

Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Indigenous education | kaupapa Māori | tertiary education | University of Auckland

This paper has two interwoven parts. One is provided by a set of life experiences that led this writer to academic study from a deep Māori setting. The story and its themes are shared and linked to the second part of the study which aims to identify critical features of wānanga or the traditional Māori learning institution, and how these might inform Māorieducation today in a University setting. This second theme, which is a part of the writer’s doctoral dissertation (Robust, 2006) also examines the responsiveness of the tertiary institution in creating an indigenous infrastructure aimed at Māori educational participation within a kaupapa Māori context. A number of ‘critical events’ regarding Māori educational development interventions in the 1980s are considered with the expectation that they can inform the development of better educational outcomes for access, participation, recruitment,retention and the advancement of Māori. This study of contemporary Māori academic sites,which include state-funded wānanga as well as other indigenous academic sites, includes the First Nations House of Learning at the University of British Columbia. Success markers for the University of Auckland include the arresting of declining Māori student enrolments alongside the growth of Māori participating in post-graduate study and research, therefore providing opportunity to contribute to the bank of knowledge in New Zealand society. While the regeneration of the language in New Zealand has been the driving force behind thewānanga development at the University of Auckland building further on the foundations of kohanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori, whare kura and wānanga, the development of Māori as with First Nations initiatives has been in the area of education. Tertiary institutions offer a context in which kaupapa Māori theory brings together common threads of communication for people.
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