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On Globalization

Click here to listen to conversations in English on Globalization with Maori and Gaelic speakers involved with indigenous language revitalization efforts.

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Makere Stewart-Harawira: Where does indigenous self determination sit in this mix and what is it that is the really critical thing about this revitalization of language and culture?  What is the really important…why is it so important? What is critical about that? Huge questions, too big, I know…

Sir Mason Durie: I will try and tackle the last one because it might lead on and just talking off the top of my head if that is all right?  I see that whole indigenous movement and I am putting in the movement the language cultural revitalization and the political independence or a variant of it to a greater or lesser extent.  Through the whole indigenous movement to me it’s done two things.  First of all I think it is potentially acting as a protector of the worst excesses of globalization.

So that I think that and If you just take New Zealand situation for example, New Zealands always short of money or we’ve got a surplus but we’re an economy that’s relatively vulnerable in size and natural resources, limited markets , competitive markets concerned with a whole lot of other players. And Therefore we are potentially open I think to take over from other companies and it would not be a huge step of the imagination. Some people say it is already happening.  That to make end meet we’ll simply sell the land and let foreign investors come in.  I think to a large extent the indigenous approach acts as a counter to that. It doesn’t entirely block it but I think steadies it and I think that’s quite important for the nation as a whole as the nation works out where it stands in the global development. How much we want to be a part of it and the terms of our participation in it.  And what I see as the Maori movement as saying “Well hold on let’s not rush that because who earns the resources is compromising our understanding of it” and I think that’s quite an important restraint. Maybe for two or three decades it’s going to be an important constraint  as New Zealand works out what is going to be the basis of its economy and what does it have to sell off in order to partner up with global enterprise. So I think that is one thing that is quite important but on the other hand I think that the indigenous rejuvenation and reassertion is in fact a global movement. It’s not,  It is certainly not unique to Maori, and so by getting involved in that there is already a move to be part of a global movement and global citizenship has got more than one meaning in the sense and that in enables Maori to be part of the indigenous world movement and that’s been quite important I think as, and not only important in terms of a sense of solidarity that economically is going to be important too  you can imagine business ventures and economic where you’ll get preferred providers who might happen to be Indigenous whether it is in fishing or some other arrangement. So I think that Maori-if there hadn’t been this rejuvenation and revitalization the sense of being Indigenous would not have escalated to the degree that it is at now so that we can participate as citizens in that sense. But then the other point is, that certainly from our end, we’ve had this slogan since 2001 which is now part of the education departments broad direction for Maori education is that it should be possible for Maori to live as Maori and be citizens of the world. And so we’ve got that joint, dual pathway, and the sense now in education, I don’t think they are doing a particularly great job at doing it, one should not be at the expense of the other, need not be at the expense of the other. Living as Maori and being citizens of the world are joint requirements in modern times and the education policy needs to be able to see that that is possible, that you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. And then because Maori mobility has just sort of escalated.  200,000 or so in Australia at present, all around the world so that Maori movement across the globe is pretty high and the other question that seems to come up now that while it’s been good I think, its taken people out. It hasn’t reduced the interest of the global travelers in being Maori and then some quite interesting developments as to how you can be a global traveller and be Maori and still retain links with networks provided you use the technology and so there is quite a lot of whânau [extended family groups or members] now who meet on the web and that never have an annual meeting, the meeting is on the web and that last year there was a tangi [funeral] done on the web that a group could not return from Australia. There were two or three whânau in Australia and the thing was there was an interactive telecast which enabled them to participate from Australia as if they were here and so there was [???] an opportunity for them to say what they wanted to say to come and close ups meet the people who were there. I think that was quite a good demonstration of how in the end distance won’t be a problem and being a global traveller. In fact it might actually be  much easier . Its just that one of the big problems getting whânau to agree on things. It’s actually easier on the web where you don’t get all the eye rolling and the body language, particularly if you are just doing email, you get straight to the point, do the business, and make clear decisions. Whereas quite often in a face to face meeting decisions are left unclear because you are responding all the time with body language and you prefer not to be too specific. So in terms of being Maori and being a global citizen there need not be a contradiction in that. and the other thing of course is that you have Maori groups around the world. In London and in Sydney in particular and now in Perth who really might become serious contenders for winning the national   kapahaka [cultural competition] in a year or twos time so that there is a diaspora occurring which may not be a bad thing. And you can imagine that if New Zealand did get sold out to foreigner investors the culture might actually be retained in London and in Sydney and in Perth as much as it is in New Zealand. In other words it might be a little bit like the Jewish situation; that the retention of the religion and the faith and the culture was the result of people going away from the troubled land until such times as they could come back.  And I think the same is happening in Ethiopia right now that when the political climate got really bad there parents who could afford it, sent the young people off to universities all around the world.  That was two or three decades ago. Only now are those peopling coming back home now that it is safe to come home. They come home and they also bring skills and knowledge that would not have been available to the nation. So I think there is a very useful opportunity here that we sometimes see it as a threat. I see it really as opportunities and a protective device, protection in two ways. Maori are protecting New Zealand from takeover by saying “hold on I don’t think you own it. Don’t sell it because I don’t think you own it or you have got to contend with other issues”. There is that sort of protection, that sort of constraint but also the constraint that by Maori being around the world they need not forfeit a Maori identity. In fact quite with the right use of technology which will get better and better I would think. It will be easier and easier to retain that. Certainly they won’t have a foot on the ground and that may be a bit of an obstacle.  Yes some of the whânau hopefully will retain their ahi ka [keeping the home fires burning, or place on the land] interest for them so they needn’t, they won’t be entirely displaced as would have happened a couple of decades or even one decade ago when people went abroad.

Patu Hohepa: The web does a lot of damage to our stories. When Manuka Henare and that one takes out from a well-liked Hokianga identity…who built a beautiful marae  at the back. Beautifully carved and had his own whanau’s but, he’s decided now to start putting things on the web. And then he gets quoted so I find it in here, which becomes pretty well the book of history of our traditional landscape and he’s quoted two things I said, wrong. KUPE live on the other side – that’s part of the tradition and he named a whole lot of other areas- that’s well known. He named PAKANAE for the place where the y built the PA or the fish pond to hold the fish in and this other place that is named -can’t find the source for that but it is fine because it does fit in. Didn’t know that actually the part that held the fish in was a reef called TABAKEROA TABAKA from TABAKEROA the long tailed f…git bird that give you long red feathers. Okay. The TAWAKEROA and that would have been part of the defence that they put there, rocks and that to stop. KANAE will go in but they can’t get out. Also he crossed, because the sand hills were not a good place for growing AKUMBAHI gardens that the Kumara brought across. The Kumara did not come into the country until the time of Toi. Eight generations further on.  Now it’s that kind.

MAKERE: So it’s about,  we don’t and it really isn’t and excuse,  and I’m guilty of it myself having said that. We don’t go to primary source. We rely on other people to tell us those traditions and there they are and they go on the web and use them as is.

PATU: And they go on the web and they give what their  version that is and then because I had written about OOAFAKI the woman calling down to the MOKOPunas  PAKATERA MAKA PHANO TE and that was TAHITIs first wife AHuHETI  leaving because she had been insulted by her husband and to hell with you I’m going back to MOM type of kind of thing.  Picks up and off she goes walks back to the center to POIWE . That’s where she was heading for to that area and on the way she gives birth to the child WEEPATI . And he then says well RAHITTI when he went on his voyages all over the place took his grandchildren including the granddaughter OOAFAKI. It wasn’t the granddaughter. OOFAKI was a male, married HEMATOBIA and that was the grandchild of RAHITI. It was the grandmother of AFWAKI  who was also called OOWAFAKI who was the woman living on top of the … so even gets those mixed up and then he adds it to the webstory of Hokianga and then appears here – becomes part of the treaty claims

MAKERE: Which does become the Bible. Absolutely.

Hemi Dale: I’m with you there, but in terms of, well we have a term [speaks Maori] which people trot out every now and then.  And I suppose there is some ways, it is a way of creating space in terms of discussion and various dialogues around the place.  For us here it is about creating a space for our language [Maori] and equipping our students with it.  We want to shape the world in which they live.  I think in terms of what we do and what others are doing, there’s a broad front that’s happening in terms of [aotearoa?] our work across education and with people who have multiple lives kind of thing.  And engaged in different ways.  And we are very much part of that so…Tani(?) wasn’t able to be here today, and myself as an example of the reworking of the Maori medium curriculum.  So in the 90’s we had our first go of that.  And it was a very controlled process, if you like.  It was an opportunity to embed within the curriculum a curriculum for Maori medium classrooms.  and the process of that I’ve indicated in the 90’s in terms of writing that curricula that being quite controlled again to create some space again within that process.  Our resistance and agency and all those type of things happened during the process.  And I was with the [???] so we went through a process there in the 90’s.  And we tried to run a very outward looking document there and tried to contact various indigenous contexts around the world before we started writing to try and ascertain if anyone had written their own. And did this curriculum at the time and the [???] came back and said, “No, but we are interested in what you are doing”.  And stuff.  So that was ok, but at that time there was a debate that was raging between sort of what was called [Maori versus?] Western knowledge versus Eastern knowledge.  It was a very polarizing sort of debate.  And thank goodness we came out of that at the time.  But you know, if you went for [?] then you must be against it kind of thing.  And some that stuff maybe, just thinking about it now, is maybe part of what the processes of developing your ideas and thinking through that kind of stuff.  So we kind of moved on but at the time we came across the Inuit cultural standards and they had some messages there about exercising Inuit knowledge and the knowledge of others.  And so what we included, with their permission, was some of those statements.  and principles and the [???] curriculum.  Kind of what was a social, critical literacy, how to speak at the time.  The 90’s have come and gone and we are on now to a second, the second wave or second round if you like.  We’ve written the Maori language curriculum and we have created an opportunity to collectively work together in writing out Maori curriculum.  We have kind of had that opportunity the second time around and we have just launched our curriculum two weeks ago.  Which was built on the basis of complete satakeholder engagement.  And we had people who resisted being involved in the 90’s for various reasons.  Some we pretty much had around the table in terms of all of those likely users of the Maori medium curriculum.  So that’s the launch stage.  When you are a writer.  You kind of look at things and you see all of the potholes and those kinds of things that others possibly don’t see. But I think in terms of a [???] become an inspiration.  But this is all again part of that.  And so we work within the confines and restraints sometimes of institutions and policy and those kind of things.  But we’re all within that looking to either re-shape those or create some space in order to maintain that forward momentum in terms of our aspirations.  You know I think our aspirations are global and that has been shown over and over again.  Coming back to the Maori curriculum.  We had to choose a  the first one and my approach was fairly basic and to pull together a whole lot of Maori educators who had been around for a wee while and at one point in the day say ok, “why do we do, what’s it for?”  In small groups of people who made up of from different iwi different teachers from different levels.  They come with a name which was [Maori words] so the state of Maori in the wider world. And it was just amazing that is what they came up with and so we took that up as a maiden[may?] name and upon reflection that is not really a new one because I think that is what our people have been aspiring to for years and years and years and that and so again it came out when- [mason durie?] it’s quite affirming actually (?) Maori.  access the wider world, global citizens, that sort of idea.  although you talked about citizenship class before and again that was we just sort of (iwi?) and that  Citizenship element there.  Thinking about that sort of in terms of active Maori citizenship.

Hemi Dale: We have to be really vigilant in ensuring that we are not disadvantaged by that.  It seems quite plain to me that there are some (???) officials living in the university who oppose in terms of recruitment of Maori for our program.

And again one important point that I need to make again.  We are not a Maori-only pathway.  Our students are predominantly Maori but also those who aren’t Maori who are committed to Maori and so we are (?) part of our students come through.  And you know work out, that relationship stuff in terms of not, what is ok, what is not ok in terms of taking particular roles.  (???) So we’ve got a group of students in the moment who came in through a foundation program, hadn’t done any formal training in secondary school but came into our pathway, speakers of (Samoan?) and they are on their way to becoming trilingual.  So that is amazing stuff that happens, and we have an open door like that.  And I think if we can attract more and more and build our- the core in terms of what we do here.

Because what happens here is kind of nation-building stuff, you know, we can talk about citizenship plus and all that kind of stuff but with this you sort of got some of the tolls(?) and some of the experience to be able to engage and make your contribution. then it Really just the rhetoric stage and the enactment stage that you are talking about, they happen, but they happen in ways which are kinda less than desirable and that.

So, just thinking, maybe just confine myself to our program here, what to think that we are contribution to the development of our New Zealand citizenship, but that we’ve got people who are going to be active participants in that.  With some of the requisite knowledge and tolls(?) in order to make the contribution at a variety of levels, at a variety of levels.  That’s stuff you’ve got to endure, and stuff, and just got to celebrate what we got, I think…

???- That difference too is even in Mahapoon(?) within Mahapoon, they use that difference in family affairs it is even different.  Different sort of opinion(?) and different sort of tastes and things like that.  So all that sort of thing comes up and it’s-I think it is trying to interpret those values that we can accept the things that maybe I don’t like to be able to accept, and ponder over it, rather than try and set up barriers and I think that every able bodied person has an input into the pot.  And yeah I think that over here it’s trying to, I suppose, well, what trade people call teach how to teach.

But within that too (we embed?) a whole lot of other things.  You know, putting the values in, when we have Maori (?), when we have our bridging class, they always come down to sort of support us (?) (maori words?)  And to me those are some far more worthwhile things. But we have to keep in mind that the institution needs to train people to be teachers.  But to me some of those experiences that we can really draw our young people in. And with the next step hopefully they can carry that through as while are training to be teachers.  And I think the opportunity is here for a lot to be drawn away from their culture, away from home.  And when they go back, even home has changed.  I know, for me, I was gone for four years and I went home and I saw a lot of things that, you know, I shouldn’t have been like that.  Except that those were the people holding things down at home, and here I am way over here.  (?) and not liking what I saw, the changes taking place, and it is forever changing.

The Maori has always been a global person.  Now that may seem- sound strange to a lot of people. Of course when we talk about globalization we are looking at the fiscal (physical?) aspects of that.  Our people are scattered all over the world.  But Maori in a sense have always spoken about the global world in their mind.  That is how they travel, they travel with- I know those are some of the things that we haven’t come to grips with in (???).  I always ask the question of even politicians, and none of them seem to be able to answer the question, is where is the real Maori and (???) in the constitution of the country.

Hemi Dale- optimism about our language or the place of our language here maybe we are luckier than some of our indigenous (???) in that, it is one language and it would be neat to hear (?) the Maori directly or wherever they are flying to, that would be great, ambitious, but we have a language that is understandable pretty much around the world, with a bit of variation here and there.

Maoilios  Caimbeul:An example of what you’re saying is we went to Glasgow and we thought we’d go and see a film.

MA- Uh huh.

Maoilios We went to the cinema, and we didn’t know which one to choose and we thought we’d go and see that one.  I can’t remember what the name of it was

Mar- It was more of a romantic nice peaceful film.

Maoilios Right, well we went in, this modern film, very recent film.  It started off with this woman in a building in New York and she was rushing home but she had to go back into the building and the night watchman or whatever let her in and she was locked in the building and so her nightmare began, you know?  Her nightmare began.  This was the start of the film and this man…was then locked in a chair or something.  This guy that let her in, he was a mad man?  There was something wrong with him.

Mar- He had fancied her.

Maoilios He had fancied her but somebody else got her or something.

Mar- And he had locked, he had tied her up … –

Maoilios Oh yes, the guy, that’s right, it showed in the beginning of the film the clip of this man in the building in the same office as the girl he had made suggestive remarks to her or something.

Ma- I see, right.

Maoilios So this man was going to pay him back and he put him in a chair.

Mar- and tied him in the basement and then he, and then he turned to him

Maoilios He turned to him and then he said he was going to kill him right there and then.

Mar- He took her down to the basement and she saw this man tied to the chair in the basement and he started … (grimaces)-

Maoilios …. hitting him with an iron bar or something and we walked out, we couldn’t stand it anymore .

Ma- Oh my god!

Maoilios but you know, that’s

Mar- You could see the blood splat!

Maoilios But you know that’s … we talk about values?

Ma- Well exactly.

Maoilios But what values does that represent, when you go to a film, you’re in a city, you don’t know what you’re going to see,  we could have sat through that, you know, but I couldn’t sit there and watch it, but somebody has made that film.  Somebody-what values does the person who made that film have? What respect for human life does that person got?

Ma- Right.

Maoilios What it doesn’t have the are values of the people of Staffin, for example in the film.  Or the people of the Free Church in Staffin, Staffin doesn’t have these kind of values, you know? In other words, in the global village you’re going to be subjected to all kinds of values or non-values.

Ma- Non-values-

Maoilios Non-values you know?

Ma- Non-values, yeah.

Maoilios And yet, you can switch the television on and you maybe see something, I mean how many people watch something and they don’t realize they’re being impregnated with other values.

Maoilios Um…there is a person in Edinburgh university, her name was Clauss as well (laughs)

Ma- Oh really (laughs)

Maoilios I first, she’s done a study of this, she’s doing a PhD on how things have translated from one language to the other.

Ma- Ahh

Maoilios It’s the political aspect of it which is

Maoilios sure

Ma- This neo-colonial literature and all the rest of it and different colonies, you know? But um…there’s the political aspect, but there is also the translation aspect. and when your translating from one language to another, you don’t, uh, necessarily, it’s very difficult tranl-, maybe translation is the wrong word, maybe transposition is another word, or a version, there’s a really good on, a Gaelic poet, and he uses the word version.  What you get when your translating another language is very different, you know, it’s not the same thing. It’s ah, totally different (laughs), ah, a artifact, uh…um, once you translate, and um there’s a Gaelic poem on one side, and English poem on the other, and it’s, and it’s, people are going to ask, well, which is the original poem? Which is the original? So that’s, that’s the political aspect of it.  What, the objection I have to it is that when it comes to Gaelic schools

Ma- Hmm, hmm

Maoilios And your giving books to the pupils

Ma-hmm hmm

Maoilios Ah, they want to read in the Gaelic language, you know?

Ma- Hmm, hmm

Maoilios And if you’ve got English as well they are going to be referring to the English all the time-

Ma- All the time.

Maoilios So, it’s not a good thing in my opinion, there’s got to be some way of getting round that

Ma- Yes

Maoilios And um, of course, it’s important as well to communicate with the wider world, and I don’t think, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with doing versions, or transpositions, it’s a good thing probably, you know, but there should also be a niche for the Gaelic only thing, you know, I think

Ma- I know that in our Maori, um  pre-school, ______? at home they found that uh, the children who…were completely immersed in Maori and who, you know, especially if they had Maori at home, become very fluent

Maoilios yes, yes

Ma- Once they’re exposed to the two-

Maoilios hmm, hmm

Ma- like, that’s no longer a version. uhhh, kind of a bi-lingualism, it’s um, it’s, it’s, pretty ineffective

Maoilios yeah

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