Indigenous | Youth Voice

Ngā Rangatahi ā Iwi visit Hawaii before healing conference in Canada

Ngā Rangatahi ā Iwi (NRAI), a group of 41 youths from all corners of Aotearoa is on the way to The Healing Our Spirit Worldwide conference in Vancouver Canada.

First the group touched down in Hawaii for a cultural exchange with Kānaka Māoli to share culture, connection and language.

“We have arrived safely and are about to reacquaint ourselves with our ancestral connection to this land and meet our indigenous families of Hawaii,” NRAI lead Te Mauri Kingi said.

Ngā Rangatahi ā Iwi is a group that brings together youth aged 18 – 35 to lead strategies for youth and implement them within their iwi. Its main objective is to empower youth in a way that is youth-led and youth developed.

“The question was raised, ‘What does staying connected to your tribe mean?’ We recognised in order to develop a tribe we must start with our youth,” Kingi said.

Over the next few days, Ngā Rangatahi ā Iwi will visit the Polynesian Culture Centre, and Hookuaaina Taro Farms to learn about their operations, exchange ideas, and share cultures.

‘Hidden treasures of life’

This is a short stopover before the team flies out to Vancouver Canada for the Healing Our Spirit Worldwide conference, an event that promotes the health of indigenous peoples.

“The hidden treasures of life are found in the traditions of the indigenous people. A starting place to harness this empowerment starts in the community, like this conference we are attending,” Kingi said.

Tainui Paratene Witaka Te Whare from Waikato- Tainui, and Ngāti Kahungunu is here with his partner and children and he is excited to learn more about other indigenous whānau and himself as being Māori.

“I was brought up in Auckland and never knew much about being Māori but now, with these rangatahi, I can achieve that dream and along the way meet other Indigenous brothers and sisters from around the world,” he said.

Te Ata Tuhimata, (Rangitāne, Ngāti Kuia,d Nāti Apa ki te Rā Tō) was captivated by Hawaii’s beauty in the whenua and oceans and was looking forward to the big event to happen in Vancouver.

“It is a real honour and privilege to be here with Ngā Rangatahi ā Iwi, ā, kua tae mai pai tātou (we have arrived well) and I am really looking forward to heading over to Vancouver for our conference next week,”Tuhimata said.

The Healing Our Spirits Worldwide conference will start next Monday in Vancouver (BC) Canada.