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May 28, 2018 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira |
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Nt: Te Ara Tauira

Kaitiaki: Indigenous Guardians

Indigenous peoples are making a call to action. The destruction of Papatūānuku, the undermining of protocol, and the incarceration of Indigenous peoples have each provided a unifying platform for tangata whenua (people of the land) to stand together.

Last year in America, ngā iwi taketake gathered with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the cultural and environmental impacts of that which threatened their tribal wellbeing, including the desecration of their sacred sites of significance, the pollution of their waterways, and the destruction of their ways of living. They continue in this fight today.
In Aotearoa, the age old imperial strategy to divide and conquer iwi well and truly continues to take place. Just the other week, Tauranga Moana uri descended upon the steps of Parliament to protest the government’s Treaty Settlement Process, undertaken with the neighbouring Hauraki collective. They claimed that the process did not legitimise tikanga Māori in its “Western framework”, and that it inevitably leads to inter-iwi conflict.
And just last month, a group of rangatahi Māori attended the UN Forum on Indigenous Peoples to highlight the institutional racism that persists in New Zealand’s justice system. The rōpū fought to oppose the government’s proposed expansion of the Waikeria prison — which would result in the further incarceration of Māori peoples. These few examples show that tangata whenua will continue to fight against issues — both local and global — that seek to undermine their peoples and their relations to the land. It’s important we stand in support alongside our Indigenous whānau against the great challenges they face as marginalised peoples in society today.
Tiaki ai te taiao, te tikanga, me ngā tangata; ka ora ngā iwi taketake katoa.
Protect our planet, our protocols and our peoples for the betterment of all.
Nā Ruben Toa Kearney-Parata
(Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira)

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