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Collective Indigenous approaches to centring Pacific voices of leadership for our futures

Education systems in western nations are often built on a long history of centralising the western canon of knowledge and colonial norms. These norms are perpetuated and reinforced via western research which amplifies the voices of the dominant, while working to silence the values, practices, and knowledges of minority groups. As a colonial nation, Aotearoa New Zealand continues to be impacted by its colonial histories, where colonial (read white) ways of being, knowing, and understanding dominate initial teacher education, schools, tertiary institutions, research, and our everyday lives. However, within education and research more generally, Indigenous and Pacific researchers and practitioners have been working hard to carve out space in institutions to challenge colonial hierarchies of knowledge and make space for Indigenous ways of being, knowing, seeing, doing, and feeling. This article contributes to the work being done by Indigenous and Pacific scholars in Aotearoa New Zealand by detailing our collective, relational approach to convening the special issue of Shifting the System for the Ethnographic Edge journal. Convening a special issue is not unique and groups of academics do it regularly across a range of academic journals and fields. However, our experiences of convening this special issue were quite different. Here we share the journey and reflect on how our focus on privileging the often-marginalised voices of Pacific school leaders was underpinned by an Indigenous, collective approach embedded in the pedagogical practice of Indigenous Storywork. Employing collaborative critical autoethnography, we articulate the ways in which our engagement with each other and the authors within this special issue disrupted western power relations often present in interactions between ‘researchers’ within the university and ‘practitioners’ at the coalface. Furthermore, we demonstrate how engaging in relational practices builds a space that encourages the principles of respect, responsibility, reverence, reciprocity, holism, interrelatedness, and synergy.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Library
© 2022. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.