Keynote 4 – Partnerships Theme
Distinguished Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith
Vice-Chancellor/Chief Executive Officer, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, New Zealand.
This presentation examines the struggle to transform education and schooling in ways that move beyond assimilatory and colonizing outcomes. A critical understanding here is that ‘there cannot be a sustainable revolution of the wider social, cultural, and economic conditions that often disproportionately afflict our indigenous contexts without a prior or simultaneous education revolution’. I identify key success elements from a range of indigenous contexts that may potentially inform other indigenous communities more broadly; self-development, Critical awareness, re-building customary cultural principles and values, enhancing community connectedness and so on. A broader consideration taken up, is how Countries who have a history of colonizing might begin to move towards more genuine ‘citizenship settlement/ relationship’ with indigenous communities.
Distinguished Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith is an internationally renowned Māori educationalist who has been at the forefront of the alternative Māori initiatives in the education field and beyond. His academic background is within the disciplines of education, social anthropology and cultural and policy studies, with recent academic work centred on developing theoretically informed transformative strategies for intervening in Māori cultural, political, social, educational and economic crises. He is involved in the development of Tribal Universities and is a retired chairperson of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi Council. In his former position as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori), he was responsible for developing a Māori University structure within the University of Auckland.
Professor Smith’s earlier training is in Social Anthropology and he completed an MA (Hons) dissertation on ‘Māori Rituals of Encounter’. He was the first teacher of a Māori immersion Kura Kaupapa Māori school (Māori philosophy and principles-based School). His theoretical leadership has informed the emergence of Māori Education Studies as a distinct entity within the Tertiary Sector, in particular New Zealand Universities. This work has developed a wide-ranging academic discussion centred on Kaupapa Māori Theory, Critical Theory and Transformative Praxis.
Professor Smith has made significant contributions to the political, social, economic and cultural advancement of Māori communities. He has also worked extensively with other indigenous/ First Nations peoples across the world, including Canada, Hawaii, US mainland, Taiwan, Chile, Australia and the Pacific nations. He is a regular contributor to national forums on indigenous issues and has also been an authoritative voice to international forums on indigenous education issues.
Professor Smith has been an active contributor to the critical debate on ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ both in New Zealand and abroad and maintains a strong influence in the Māori language revitalisation movement. His other specialist interest is in institutional transformations in order to deliver more effectively to, and for the interests of, indigenous students, faculty and communities. He has published widely and is in demand as a commentator on national and international indigenous matters.