Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Will the real Maoris please stand up...

Having seen Avatar with 4 mischievious Tamafreekis, I'm bemused at claims of
Maori reo being a component of the Navi's lingo. Maybe, but again the question is begged: so what?! At least Hana O'regan showed an intelligent magnanimity over this appropriation. Not like Doc Taonui and his media releases on cultural insensitivity and disrespect.

Hmmm...now Maori academics have, of course, based their careers on an 'insider-status' for commentating and utilising Maori concepts and imagery. Doc Taonui is thus only one in a lengthening line of Brown nomenklatura making the most of and reinforcing gradations of Maoriness.

Excellent promotion for Taonui's struggling department, now advertising for not one, not two but five positions! Hey, at least the lucky new employees will have the benefit of a senior Maori academic for mentaling, sorry I meant mentoring...

As an update, love this putdown ...by David Rankin of Nga Puhi pointing out Rawiri's isolation.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics is being held on stolen land

British Colombia (BC) is unique in Canada in that most of the province is unceded, non-surrendered Indigenous territories. According to British & Canadian laws, sovereign Indigenous territories were to be legally surrendered to the Crown prior to any trade or settlement. This was set out in the 1763 Royal Proclamation. In accordance with this, the British, and later Canada, carried out a series of treaties in its westward expansion across the prairies, and the northwest territory...

Of course that doesn't mean much when you 'win' the (questionable) right to hold an Olympics (mostly they lose money, loadsa money!). I found this interesting info on the upcoming Winter Olympics. Various protests accompanied the now perverse ritual of the olympic torch (remember the Beijing Olympics?!). Follow it here... and broader BC issues here...

In this phot (by Adrian Dorst), a member of Hesquiat First Nation looks over the clearcut wasteland of his ancestral territory on Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island. In the distance can be seen the deep cuts of logging roads and erosion that scar the mountain, evidence of the brutal approach of corporate running dog, Interfor.

I admit there's not a lot we can do, other than inform ourselves and drop it into conversation during the undoubted hours of coverage we can look forward to. (The Romans sussed this two millenia ago: bread and Circuses...). And yes our liberal Pakeha friends will go, 'Jeez, that's a shame...'.

Bear witness e hoa ma!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Aboriginal land: Maralinga

I remember the name Maralinga - the Place of Thunder - from teenage wanna-be activist days, maybe literature provided through Greenpeace or the Canterbury Environment Centre...first British atomic test there was 1952 so two, going on three, generations asking for justice.

Anyways, the tangata whenua now have that land back, in many ways just the start of another battle 'cos it ain't half-life toxic mum...

Maori farming and corporationalisation...is it even a word?!

Corporate farming is here to stay...

Of course this would only be a surprise to those who think Maori farming is stuck back in the day off hand-milking (by the tamriki's before they walked ten miles to the one-room school...oh, jumping cow-pat to steaming cow-pat on frost-bitten days!).

No, she's big business now. Hard to figure out which Trust is involved in these discussions...probably one of the bigger boys in the North Island...

Covered by a few news orgs:
TV3 (love the trenchant racist comments - how dare Maori look to enagge in global capitalism!)


Interesting pick-up from Landgrab who raise some good issues, and within a wider context of concerns about "contains mainly news reports about the global rush to buy up or lease farmlands abroad as a strategy to secure basic food supplies or simply for profit." Its purpose is to serve as "a resource for those monitoring or researching the issue, particularly social activists, non-government organisations and journalists."

Maori land occupation

Ngati Kahu's land dispute continues with privately held land at Taipa being 'blockaded'. href="

View Larger Map">Taipa.

Private land is excluded from Treaty negotiations. An 'Agreement in Principle' has been signed with the Crown. The iwi has a very good website for those wanting to delve in a little more (note that some documents and data are held for iwi members only).

A very good book on the iwi and their history was published recently: Mutu, Margaret and McCully Matiu, 2003. Te Whänau Moana - Ngä kaupapa me ngä tikanga - Customs and protocols. (Auckland, Reed Publishing).

Prof. Margaret Mutu is one of the authors and key negotiator in her peoples land claim.

Professor Mutu was a peer reviewer for the infamous Maori theme of the Bioprotection Research Centre (then called the National Centre for Advanced Bioprotection Technologies) on which I blogged back in 2004 I think. Funny days...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

‘Sons’ of the Soil’: A history of social and cultural capital through Māori farming

Nga mihi o te tau hou!

Here's an abstract for a paper accepted for the upcoming Native American and Indigenous Studies Association conference in Tucson, May 20-22. I'll be presenting in the Indigenous Agriculture session, chaired by Robert Innes (Assistant Professor, Department of Native Studies, University of Saskatchewan).

Abstract: As the Indigenous people of Aotearoa/New Zealand, Māori have a long and intimate relationship with the land. Since 1932, this relationship has been recognized through the annual competition for the Te Ahuwhenua Trophy, awarded to the Māori Farmer of the Year. The competition has two distinct phases, beginning with explicit and implicit government modernization strategies for small farmers and their families on tribal land. Judged on social as well as farm management criteria, farmers in this first phase struggled to maintain profitability in the face of severe and sometimes insurmountable challenges. The competition went into abeyance in the 1990s and was resurrected in 2003. This second phase is dominated by large Māori incorporations who employ few Māori and dispense profit to tribal ‘beneficiaries’. This corporatization of Māori land into agribusiness ventures represents the success of modernization strategies of both Māori and Pākeha (the non-Indigenous descendents of European settlers).

In this paper I present an analysis of Māori farming through the history of the entrants and winners of Te Ahuwehnua. In particular I identify changes in the social and cultural capital by which Māori farmers, their families and tribes seek to govern their land for their own benefit. These networks of trust, distrust, and cultural identity remain evident and influential in contemporary land development and point to how aspects of the future economy of Aotearoa/New Zealand will operate.


There are some interesting topics, including the 'Impact of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease) on First Nation Cattle Producers in Saskatchewan' by 'Found Harvests: First Nations Reserve Agriculture in the Early Twentieth Century' from David Natcher; and Creating a Sustainable Forestry Plantation in Saskatchewan by Jennifer Campeau. So interesting stuff...

And some pics from New Years Eve, Rakaia River (Southside)...

Simon Lambert

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