Kawerau on the world stage
24 July 2017
KAWERAU’S story will be shared on the world stage later this month, particularly how a tutor keeps Maori culture alive through basketball.
Te Whare Wananga o Aotearoa tutor Jordaan Tuitama will speak at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WPICE) in Toronto, Canada.
The five-day conference, beginning on Monday, July 24 draws indigenous representatives from across the globe to share successes and strategies for culturally grounded indigenous education.
Mr Tuitama will share the story of “Basketballtanga”, an indigenous approach to basketball and youth development.
Basketballtanga, born from youth nights Mr Tuitama ran in Kawerau, focuses on teaching fundamental skills through nga atua (Maori gods).
“I use the creation story of Tanemahuta and how he separated Papatuanuku and Ranginui as a concept of defence,” he said.
“Tanemahuta separating the attacking player and the basketball hoop.”
Mr Tuitama said using the gods for different basketball fundamentals was revitalising Maori culture.
“Youth are technology focused and the marae is boring. Some kids don’t find the marae fun, so without boring them to death, I use our atua to develop skills.”
Mr Tuitama said sports skills were transferrable and the same concepts could be used in other sports.
“I’m looking forward to sharing that information and knowledge with our indigenous brothers and sisters from around the world and hearing and seeing what other cultures are getting up to, keeping their cultures alive and how we can implement something similar as Maori.”
Mr Tuitama said Te Whare Wananga o Aotearoa had the leading contingency heading to the conference with around 30 people attending.
He said the opportunity arose when a notice was sent around the office asking for interest in being part of the conference representing the wananga.
“It sounded like what I was already doing and a good opportunity to share what we have in the Kawerau community and expose people to our story.”
Te Whare Wananga o Aotearoa communications manager James Ihaka said institution representatives had enjoyed a long association with WIPCE and were delighted that a number of staff would contribute further to the kaupapa later this year by sharing successes and strategies.
“Our vision at Te Wananga o Aotearoa is to be recognised not only nationally, but internationally for educational excellence so we place great importance on participating at an event that attracts the most highly-regarded indigenous education experts.”
Source: The Beacon