Decolonising Midwifery Education in Aotearoa: A Case Study Approach

The bicultural nature of Aotearoa (New Zealand) creates a strong foundation for the unique environment that supports the weaving of indigenous knowledge throughout midwifery education, and in turn creating a platform for decolonisation. Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ The Treaty of Waitangi serves to inform the direction that midwifery education and midwifery practice must take by underpinning these frameworks. The revised midwifery curriculum and reaccreditation that supported the immersion of Indigenous knowledge throughout the midwifery degree at Wintec is currently in its fifth year. It was identified that there needed to be a more explicit focus of cultural safety and responsiveness, therefore in support of this Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) was carefully embedded and linked to learning outcomes. This is in direct support of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and a move towards a Te Tiriti honouring programme. Topics that relate to tikanga Māori (customs), Te Ao Māori (Māori worldview) and Te Reo Māori (language) are respectfully taught, providing opportunities for understanding and growing competencies for midwifery tauira. Understanding colonisation in its global context alongside its role in the history of Aotearoa supported by Te Tiriti o Waitangi knowledge, is vital in the process of decolonisation. Tauira are encouraged to explore and reflect on these factors throughout their degree, supporting their growing cultural safety and awareness of relationships. An anti-racism workshop in the final year of the degree adds another layer to the work of decolonisation and equips tauira with tools to be active in their allyship. This personal and curricula journey empowers tauira to become culturally safe and responsive midwives, positively impacting the health of whānau Māori. Through a case study approach the effectiveness of the interweaving of indigenous knowledge, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Anti-Racism praxis will be explored, with the purpose of unpacking the learnings as a tool for social transformation within the process of decolonisation. These changes promote the professional development of educators and the empowerment of tauira to uphold Indigenous rights, while providing care in partnership that is respectful. Decolonising Midwifery Education in Aotearoa: A Case Study approach’ will be explored and unpacked.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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