Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"Whaiowhia te kete matauranga"
"Fill the basket with knowledge."

Tribal colleges in Aotearoa

Two Honoring Generations students and I recently attended the 7th World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE)in Hamilton, on the North Island of Aotearoa ("land of the long white cloud")=New Zealand. WIPCE was sponsored by Te Wananga o Aotearoa (house of learning/the University of Aotearoa). One of three tribal colleges in Aotearoa, Te Wananga of Aotearoa celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2005. The purpose of this institution of higher learning describes the vision and aspirations of many indigenous peoples:

"to provide an education that best fits the aspirations of this generation, enhances the dreams of future generations, prepares for understanding the essence of past generations;

to equip our people with knowlege of their heritage, their language, their culture so they can handle the world at large with confidence and self-determination;

to empower one's potential for learning as a base for progress in the modern world;

to make contributions of consequence;

to care;

to make our world a better place."

This wananga provides preparation in fields such as early education, graphic design, and Web site development and also in sustainable business management, fiber-weaving, wood-carving, and nautical studies.

Where is librarian education in this circle of indigenous knowledge? Later I'll introduce another wananga, Te Wananga-o-Raukawa, home of the only Maori-based library degree program.

Reading Circle:

The wananga recently published a 63-page pamphlet, documenting its history since 1983:

Scribe Limited, Susan Cullen, and Wiki Henskes, Tihei Wananga 1983-2005: Our History. [Hamilton, Aotearoa=New Zealand:] Te Wananga o Aotearoa, [2005]. ISBN: 0-473-10360-5.