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He Māori, He Turi, He Turi, He Māori. Advancing the aspirations of Māori Deaf with their indigenous Connections: A case study

Indigenous peoples consider their connection to whenua (land), whakapapa (genealogy), te reo (language) and tikanga (cultural values) to be an integral part of their worldview (Mead, 2003 & Barlow, 1991). The identity struggle for indigenous minorities living within a colonised environment has been well documented (Bishop, 1995; Smith G, 1997; Smith L, 1999, & Walker, 2004). The controversies over land, customs, culture and language are major issues to understanding and maintaining one’s own cultural identity and, when considering the Deaf indigenous minorities, the task seems colossal. When a Māori individual belongs to the hearing majority, the ability to find a place to stand, a connection to one’s turangawaewae (standing place), whakapapa, and marae (village) can be a personal struggle; however, this can often be overcome through a shared experience, through communication at a whānau (family), hapū (sub tribe) and iwi (tribe) level. However, when the individual is part of a double minority such as the Māori Deaf community, the ability to engage and establish a relationship to enhance their connection to their turangawaewae, can become difficult due to the need to communicate in three different languages: English, Māori and Sign Language. These language issues can create barriers for the Deaf, Māori and hearing communities at a whānau, hapū and iwi level. This thesis examines a series of workshops created to advance the indigenous connections and understanding within the Māori Deaf community and Te Ao Māori (Māori worldview). It explores how the integration of the Deaf and hearing, indigenous Māori language and New Zealand Sign Language along with practical workshops can assist the aspirations of Māori Deaf within the advancement of Te Ao Māori and Te Reo Māori. Within this thesis I will undertake a series of interviews with participants who are at the forefront of the Māori Deaf community. A suggestion of moving forward to address the needs of the Māori Deaf community within the desire to connect to their Māori language and customs is also offered within this thesis.  
Type of thesis
Dunn, K. M. (2012). He Māori, He Turi, He Turi, He Māori. Advancing the aspirations of Māori Deaf with their indigenous Connections: A case study (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6603
University of Waikato
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