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Working with Māori – effective engagement and intervention

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by

Michelle Bissenden

on 5 July 2014

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Transcript of Working with Māori – effective engagement and intervention

Brainstem
: survival brain,
Karanga
and
karakia
(welcome/safety)
Fact:
Māori were highly literate being prolific writers, historians, and political commentators in the late 1800's and early 1900's and were proportionately more literate than Pākehā with 47 Māori language newspapers in circulation.

Midbrain
: movement, rhythm patterns, biological rhythms -mimics heart beat i.e. swings, rocking horse, rocking motion, programmed into the environment i.e. daily routines, patterns of behaviour.
waiata
(rhythm)
How can we create an environment that promotes the best for our Māori learners?
• Pronunciation of child's name gives value and respect by honour their Māori name (powerful message that they are validated for their cultural self)
• Normalising (not highlighting i.e. Māori language week) Māori culture by integrating into many areas of our programme in many forms using all senses i.e. artefacts, music, dance, Māori resources, visual proverbs, celebrations, tikanga, te reo, (not just for the Māori whānau but for all whānau)

Limbic
: emotional response, attitudes, beliefs, values, dispositions
whakawhanaungatanga
(emotional validation)
Cortex/Cortical:
higher order, emotions
wananga
(learning)
Process of giving and having
kai
meets the need of the brain nurtured, rhythm of chewing, emotional validation.
Characteristics/emblems of Māori identity:
A mixture of very negative and stereotypical characteristics i.e. gangs, prison, dole bludgers, low educational achievers, negative health statistics, great sports people, musical, tribal.
Characteristics/emblems of New Zealand/kiwi identity:
All positive, ‘clean green’ etc
Working with Māori – effective engagement and intervention with Nathan Mikaere Wallis & Hana O’Regan
Testing Assumptions:
Characteristics/emblems of New Zealand / kiwi identity: all positive ‘clean green’ etc
Characteristics/emblems of Māori identity: a mixture of very negative and stereotypical characteristics i.e. gangs, prison, dole bludgers, low educational achievers, negative health statistics, great sports people, musical, tribal.
Being Māori a constant conflict between good aspects and bad statistics. How would you feel about your identity?
Society’s perceptions -risk of being pigeon holed – only good at these ‘skills’

Being Māori a constant conflict between good aspects and bad statistics.
How would you feel about your identity?

Society’s perceptions -risk of being pigeonholed – only good at these ‘skills’
Māori people are sure that we think that way about their culture regardless of whether we do or not.

Pressure for young adults to succeed – be twice as good, which is a constant battle to prove themselves being “Māori”
Impacts on cultural self esteem

Māori tamariki/whānau –
do our assumptions hinder how we view them when we first meet them?


Do they walk through our doors and we wonder if they are a gang member, abusive parent, dole bludger, low achiever, etc.?
How do Māori feel?

Defensive, destructive, lack of self worth, resentment …. “no child is immune to negative perceptions of having a ‘brown skin’ Stereotypical ignorance penetrates all areas of day to day living.
The right to be called Māori constantly challenged!
“How can you be Māori when you’re white?” “There are no full blooded Maori left.”
“But you don’t have a Māori name.”
“You guys aren’t real Māori.”

Prosocial

behaviours

How the process of
Marae
visits supports meeting the needs of the brain.
A
Marae
represents a cultural context that is positive, is their place in the world,
mana
, predictability and rules for safety.



Brain development in relation to the Marae
FACT: Pioneers in Government including First Māori lawyer, doctor, anthropologist, prominent member of parliament all from the same school : Te Aute College in Hawkes Bay where academic excellence included all students studying classics, Latin and French to get into university at the time (1890s). A change in legislation (1900s) stated no academic subjects for Māori students. Natives schools began that focused on hands on skills as Māori students expected to be labourers of the land. Māori students no longer eligible to enter university to pursue academic careers. Within 2 generations a huge increase in illiteracy.
Learners were increasingly exposed to racist stereotypes of Māori as less intelligent, backward, kinaesthetic learners as opposed to academics - hands on, at the expense of using their brain
Being kinaesthetic learners perpetuates low expectations of Māori achievement
Māori language considered non academic - sat alongside metal work and cooking at school certificate level
In every culture certain positions in society are safeguarded by labelling and disengaging other cultures i.e. indigenous people

Historical factors influencing Māori educational failure
Māori language banned in schools including banned in the playground
Māori tamariki & whānau see their heritage language not valued or supported by the education system

DECONSTRUCTING A
STEREOTYPE
• Positive images and language that normalises and validates the Māori culture i.e. proverbs – whakatokia - these can provide ‘mooring posts’ that provide hope and represent what it is to be Māori
• Be deliberate in reframing and reconstructing by replacing fears and stereotypes with positive information that contrast with negative information
• Give children ammunition and tools to reframe perceptions of Māori
• Speak out – be brave enough to contradict and challenge assumptions and stereotypical ideas

REMEMBER IT’S THE INDIVIDUAL, NOT THE CULTURE THAT COMMIT CRIME…
Where inequalities are, find strategies and initiatives to have ‘positive discrimination’ to support equality of opportunities.
MĀORI ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IS VITAL OR WE PERPETUATE MĀORI NOT HAVING ACADEMIC POTENTIAL - BEING ‘KINAESTHETIC LEARNERS’. - VOCATIONAL, SPORTING, KAPAHAKA TOO
(
IF STUDENTS NOT CONSIDERED ‘HIGH ACHIEVERS THROUGH LACK OF DISCIPLINE, MOTIVATION, PERSEVERANCE,… HOW DO THEY SUCCEED AS ACHIEVERS IN OTHER AREAS SUCH AS MUSIC AND SPORTING ARENAS?)
Normalising the Māori culture – rather than responding during Māori language week/Te wiki o te reo Māori!!

**Groups under threat tend to close ranks and become exclusive as a means of survival (a reaction to cultural loss) i.e. gangs

Intergenerational poverty in any culture, any country - being part of a group that is disadvantaged and disengaged, reframes a person’s perception of cultural self.
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