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Indigenous knowledges in health policy in Aotearoa New Zealand and Saskatchewan Canada: A comparative study

For more than two decades, components of Māori knowledges in the form of Māori words and concepts have been part of health policy in Aotearoa New Zealand. Health policy that engages Māori words and concepts resonates with Māori community values and aspirations and is thought to contribute to the revitalisation of Māori knowledges. Absent from the literature is an examination of this phenomenon; specifically, the socio-political factors that facilitate and limit the engagement of Māori knowledges with health policy. Of the four settler states, only in Aotearoa New Zealand are the knowledges of the Indigenous peoples engaged with health policy. In Saskatchewan, Canada, the First Nations and Métis peoples have engaged their knowledges with federal and provincially funded health programmes and services but not health policy. This study adopts a two-country comparative policy framework to investigate and theorise the historical and contemporary socio-political factors associated with the engagement of Indigenous knowledges in health policy in Aotearoa New Zealand and Saskatchewan, Canada. An adaption is made to the Kaupapa Māori approach so that the complexities of a two-country case study approach are addressed and engagement in health policy as a strategy for knowledge revitalisation is theorised. The study also takes a path less travelled which is to investigate the impact that engagement with health policy has upon the intangible or the ontological aspects of Māori knowledges. Māori describe their knowledges as comprised of tangible and intangible elements, both of which are important. Another adaption is made to the Kaupapa Māori theoretical approach which is to add speculative inquiry. The study argues that speculative inquiry in the form of contemplative, analytical, relational and viscerally aware practices are commonplace in Māori communities. Adding speculative inquiry to an already rich theoretical body that is Kaupapa Māori research provides an opening for other Kaupapa Māori researchers to expand non-empirical inquiry. The study concludes that government policies have had a decimating effect upon Māori, First Nations and Métis knowledges. Moreover, recent reports from commissions and inquiries indicate these knowledges and associated languages continue to decline for a number of reasons, including the impact of contemporary government policies. Health policy, this study asserts, is an uncertain site from which to revitalise Māori, First Nations and Métis knowledges.  
Type of thesis
Green, J. A. (2018). Indigenous knowledges in health policy in Aotearoa New Zealand and Saskatchewan Canada: A comparative study (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12153
The University of Waikato
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