This 4 day conference brought together scholars from a range of disciplinary fields and nations to develop discipline-based responses to the real-world struggles of Māori and indigenous peoples.
The purpose of Indigenous Knowledges Conference is to promote discussion and interaction between academics and indigenous communities focused in different disciplines as well as different nations. We are particularly interested in generating new thinking about academia and its role in indigenous communities and societies. We are providing a forum for established and emerging Māori and indigenous academics to map disciplinary and intellectual discourses from an indigenous perspective.
The Conference proceedings highlight the work of indigenous experts in a range of academic disciplines and offer a forum for the development of indigenous research priorities. The spirit of the confrence is encaplsulated by the proverb: Ahakoa iti, he pounamu
Literally translated, this Māori proverb says "Although small, it is greenstone". For Māori greenstone or nephrite jade is a precious taonga, a limited resource over which tribal wars were fought. Laboriously fashioned into ornamental jewellery and weapons, pounamu can be a symbol of excellence, diligence, endeavour and prestige.
We believe 'Ahakoa iti, he pounamu' is a fitting conference proverb, as pounamu defines us as a people. Throughout the world, indigenous peoples are small in number and often have to rise against superior numbers in order to safeguard customs and traditions. Although we are small in number, our indigeneity is precious.