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Mana Takatāpui: Self-determination for queer rangatahi Māori

Here is a Master’s thesis crafted with, by, and for Rangatahi Takatāpui. It represents a labour of love for the community to which I belong, and seeks to generate understanding about the factors that enable LGBTQI+ Māori youth to embody and enact Tino Rangatiratanga. Principles of Kaupapa Māori Theory provide a paradigm through which this research is conducted, with particular attention paid to the Indigenous Research Agenda. Importantly, this rangahau seeks to offer an alternative to the conventions of hegemonic empirical academia by centering the voices and lived experiences of those who have historically been subjected to the dehumanising objectification of western research practices. Through the methodological approach of wānanga, and within a Tikanga Māori framework of Āta, or cultural safety, twelve Rangatahi Takatāpui participated in a two day workshop at Te Kohinga Mārama Marae. Over the course of both days, co-researchers shared personal testimonies about their experiences navigating the world as Queer Indigenous peoples, as well as the dreams and aspirations they have for collective self-determination. These accounts ultimately inform the narrative storying employed to convey the key findings of this research, which are described as Mana Tuakiri (identity), Mana Hapori (belonging), Mana Moemoeā (vision), and Mana Wero (challenges). To make sense of the findings presented in this rangahau, a model is developed which takes inspiration from Te Takarangi, the double spiral motif common in both Toi Māori and Te Tai Ao. Utilising the cyclical and intersecting patterns of Te Takarangi, the four main themes of this research are explored through a progressive layering of personal, interpersonal, and societal relationships in order to provide insight into how best Rangatahi Takatāpui can be supported to enact Tino Rangatiratanga. Ultimately, this research present nine key factors to be addressed and implemented in order to achieve this aspiration, including a call for conscientisation (both the self and the collective), resourcing and support, the removal of barriers to access, community intersectional reflexivity, space for collective Indigenous dreaming, and an ongoing commitment to Te Tiriti justice.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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