National | Carmen Parahi

Māori Futures Symposium aims to harness ancestral wisdom

Symposium co-convenor Dr Eruera Tarena.  Photo / File

A Māori Futures Symposium exploring how knowledge from the past can be harnessed to transform the future for Māori is underway at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch this weekend.

The conference which aims to share knowledge and models of Māori social transformation to inspire current generations to create an ambitious road map for the future started Saturday and runs through until Sunday afternoon.

“Across the motu, Māori are pioneering transformative work, using innovative kaupapa Māori methods. We want to celebrate, promote and build our collective understanding of how to build the future, by Māori, for Māori, as Māori," Symposium co-convenor Sacha McMeeking (Ngāi Tahu) said in a statement.

“We believe ancestral knowledge contains the map for creating stronger collective futures. We aim to share insights from pūkenga (experts), practitioners, grassroots activists and leaders,” said McMeeking, who is UC Head of School Aotahi: Māori and Indigenous Studies.

Guest speakers include Tā Tipene O’Regan, Māori Futures Collective executive director Dr Eruera Tarena, Stuff Pou Tiaki editor Carmen Parahi, actor and mental health advocate Rob Mokaraka, Māori Party president Che Wilson and Māori research expert Professor Angus Macfarlane.

The symposium has more than 100 registered delegates.