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by Margaret Peterson Haddix Jen Talbot is Luke's new (and only) BFF. Talk about making an entrance: Jen's dad bursts onto the scene more dramatically. Jen shares why she does research, talks about her work promoting . organisations working in Treaty relationships and documenting the. This year's Joan Cook Memorial Essay by Jen Margaret, Pākehā have a place in Aotearoa through the relationship forged in Te Tiriti o.
The challenge sometimes is around what we call research, and what we regard as research. So sometimes it is about having frameworks for that knowledge, ways of documenting and sharing that knowledge, so that it can be recognised, valued and utilized.
One of the great things about community research, and communities owning their own research and being engaged in it, is that it can give them power in their relationships with other bodies, like government departments, local government and funders. It can be a tool that really serves and empowers communities.
When working with communities or groups, on research, it needs to be a collaborative process that is either initiated by the community or that the community supports. I think that awareness is not just relevant to community research, but is part of working in communities, particularly when you are not part of that community. In Working as allies non-indigenous supporters of indigenous justice in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand discuss their practice.
Through in-depth interviews they share the challenges of this work and their responses to these.
About Groundwork – Groundwork
They reflect on what led them to become involved in indigenous justice issues, what informs their approach and how they know if their work is useful. The principles of working as an ally apply across all social justice contexts where there are people not directly affected by a particular justice issue are working to support those who are.
How did you do the research? After setting up relationships with the research participants and providing questions in advance, I interviewed people, mainly in person but in one instance by Skype.
The interviews generally took an hour and a half to two hours. All the interviews followed the same format, though there was scope for the participants to explore issues of particular interest to them.
It was important to me to have some structure to the interviews, to keep things focused. The people I interviewed have such a depth of wisdom and experience we could have spent hours talking about their work so the structure helped make it a manageable project. Afterwards I prepared full transcripts and provided that, with an edited version—the draft chapter—back to the participants. Then we collaboratively edited the chapters further. It took months for each one, sometimes longer.
Once the interviews were edited there was the process of compiling them into the book.
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Their shame comes too from having managed to get to adulthood without this foundational knowledge of our history. I wish everyone in the country could attend a Treaty workshop! Because of the lack of these learning opportunities to date, many people in senior government roles, and elsewhere, are missing a basic skill set to do their roles.
As well as extended and continued efforts to bring adults up to speed, we need effective teaching in our schools. Now it needs to be resourced. The British systems that were imported and plonked here were never made to fit, and continue to be alien to this whenua. Organisations sometimes ask me to review their conceptual frameworks to determine their Treaty fit.
When the models are imported it is often really hard to retrofit them. We need to do the foundational work of shifting the base to build ideas that respond from the outset to where we are. It is work that involves the smallest everyday gestures and exchanges and the changing of laws, beliefs, politics, and culture at the national and international scale; often the latter arises from the cumulative impact of the former. We speak out against racism — in our homes, our communities, our workplaces.
We make sure our children are being taught well in schools. We advocate for our politicians to act respectfully and to honour Te Tiriti.
What we do next will define us. Aligning her commitment to Te Tiriti with her qualities of compassion and her desire to do better, she can choose not to scream possession but rather to respond to the desire of many to call time on the competitive game.
Matike Mai Aotearoa have provided timely suggestions for the changed game. To engage in discussions about a different game we require courageous and visionary leadership. We need the government to act consistently and honourably and not, for example, saying it wants to honour the Treaty while continuing to permit exploitation of the whenua against the wishes of iwi.
I look forward to this government finding conciliatory ways to respond to some of the seemingly intractable issues in the Treaty settlement process, and seriously engaging with the implications of Te Paparahi o Te Raki report. In Action Station drew together many voices to articulate a vision to sit alongside the work of Matike Mai Aotearoa. It includes these words: We will honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the rights of indigenous people in our constitution, our institutions and in everything we do… Every person in Aotearoa New Zealand understands and respects Te Tiriti as our founding document, understands the harm done by colonisation in our country, and works to heal injustices and to see Te Tiriti honoured.
Their aspirations are to live well in this land and for this land to be well. Their skills are skills to work across worlds while being strong in their own. It is place of balance and health. It is an honourable nation within a diverse and flourishing country. It is a nation that I want to be part of and that my daughter does too. My thanks to Hannah Northover and Alexandra Keeble for their feedback on drafts of this essay.
Her ancestors arrived in Te Wai Pounamu in the s. Facilitating ChangeJen works with individuals and organisations to deepen understanding and application of the Treaty. A recipient of Winston Churchill and Loxley Fellowships, she has researched the work of non-indigenous allies locally and internationally.