Ngā Ūpoko Tukutuku: Persistence for the survival of indigenous responsibilities

PAEWAI, Raewyn (2017) Ngā Ūpoko Tukutuku: Persistence for the survival of indigenous responsibilities. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 169 - Indigenous Matters.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1657
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Ngā Ūpoko Tukutuku: Persistence for the survival of indigenous responsibilities

When an indigenous language ceases to survive, how great a loss is it, and what are the impacts on our people? On the 1st August 1987 through the Māori Language Act, te reo Māori became an official language of New Zealand. The Act established the Māori Language Commission to promote the use of Māori as a “living language” and “an ordinary means of communication”. The vision of the strategy states: “He reo e kōrerotia ana. He reo ka ora. A spoken language is a living language. By 2028, the Māori language will be widely spoken by Māori. In particular, the Māori language will be in common use within Māori whānau, homes and communities. All New Zealanders will appreciate the value of the Māori language to New Zealand society. (Te Puni Kōkiri & Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori, 2003:5) Many Government institutions have adopted te reo Māori strategies and come up with initiatives to support home and community language development. However, the survival of a language takes much more than this. In my opinion the language can’t survive if we rely solely on Government or organisations to revitalise it. The responsibility is an indigenous one. We must persist in the endeavour to keep our language alive. We have a vested interest to do so for the wellbeing of our mokopuna (grandchildren) and for our people. This paper takes a look at how one initiative, Ngā Ūpoko Tukutuku – Māori Subject Headings, created from an indigenous world view, benefits the wellbeing of Māori.

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