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Accepted Paper:

Te Ao Māori: Supporting Life in the Anthropocene  
Siaan Mackie (Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland)

Paper short abstract:

Te Ao Māori is a world conceptualised by Māori within the colonised context of Aotearoa New Zealand. Guided by ancestral knowledge, Māori continue to maintain and practice an onto-epistemology that supports the earth’s life-giving forces enabling survival, a maturity lost from the developed world.

Paper long abstract:

Respecting, nurturing, and protecting the life-giving forces that enable all life to exist in the world are at the centre of Te Ao Māori, a world conceptualised by the Māori of Aotearoa New Zealand. Guided by mātauranga Māori, a body of living knowledge developed by ancestors and built upon by current generations, respectful relationships amongst people and regenerative relationships with our environment are supported (McAllister et al, 2020; Clapcott et al, 2018). Knowledge and relationships increasingly being drawn upon to return Papatuānuku (earth), at risk biodiversity, and people impacted by the destruction of colonisation to a state of well-being. Te Ao Māori is a spiritual consciousness, a praxis, a values-based ontological orientation supported by an epistemology guided by cultural ethics. It embodies a maturity lost from the developed world distracted with obtaining unlimited economic growth and excessive material comforts to demonstrate their success, power, happiness and development progress. This paper shares selected cultural understandings and examples that support an enduring Māori consciousness and praxis of protecting lands, natural resources, people and culture from destructive colonial thinking and practices. Understandings employed in Kaupapa Māori research and development used across disciplines by Māori practitioners in Aotearoa New Zealand (Tuhiwai Smith, 2021). An Indigenist approach finding support amongst Pākehā (non-Māori) allies committed to developing their own onto-epistemological maturity in support of a genuine reconciliation with Māori, and who understand future generations of all peoples and species within the earth’s biosphere will not survive and thrive under current dominating colonial systems, institutions and imaginary.

Panel P46
Coloniality and the Anthropocene thinking: voices of non-Eurocentric knowledges and beings.
  Session 1 Thursday 29 June, 2023, -