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Noho Taiao: reclaiming Māori science with young people.

08:00 EDT 1st April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Noho Taiao: reclaiming Māori science with young people."

Connections and belonging to ancestral lands are strongly and consistently argued as fundamental to Māori education, health and wellbeing. When our connections with and access to health-promoting places of belonging are damaged, we lose more than component parts of wellbeing. An entire cultural infrastructure integral to identity, community, spirituality, sustainability and even material sustenance is eroded, compromising health, wellbeing and vitality. Young people in rural areas are often seen as missing out on the amenities and attractions available in cities, but are assumed to have compensatory access to and positive relationships with 'nature'. For multiple reasons, many arising from colonial legacies, this is often not so for young Māori and there are initiatives underway that seek to reconnect them with customary environments. Place-based learning approaches that use local environments and ecosystems as living laboratories, reimagining the way students engage with knowledge, science and understandings of the natural world can be valuable in this respect. Te Rārawa Noho Taiao projects in the Far North of Aotearoa have been operating for nearly a decade, using indigenous pedagogy that promotes Māori science, science leadership, and learning, applying them in ways that produce a range of health and wellbeing benefits. These include enhanced educational engagement, strengthened capabilities, increased participation/belonging, stronger connections, constructive peer processes and positive intergenerational interactions, all based in Māori values and praxis. Such elements are widely recognised in health-promoting frameworks as highly implicated in the creation and maintenance of health and wellbeing for individuals, communities and populations. In this paper, we use interviews with organisers and teachers of these Noho Taiao and a survey of student participants, to explore the educational and health promotion effects.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Global health promotion
ISSN: 1757-9767
Pages: 35-43

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