Saturday, 10 May 2014

Tapu: Part Four

Four. Wha. My favourite number. Fitting.

- Being proud as Maori is achievable

Learning Intention:
- Why we should have te reo Maori taught alongside English and make it compulsory so that all NZers can be bi-lingual

Ignoring recent debacles... Te Kohanga Reo - the language nest - was created to help revitalise the Maori Language. An entire generation has gone through this programme and already I'm seeing a surge in te reo maori speakers. Students choosing kura kaupapa and bi-lingual units over mainstream schooling. Students taking te reo Maori classes. Students who have te reo Maori as their first language.

This is awesome.

However it's not the norm.

My Gran's Grandmother pretended she was italian. Why? Because it wasn't acceptable to be Maori back then. She even went to great lengths to avoid darkening her skin any further by wearing a wide brimmed hat.

This is sad. Because she was taught that she couldn't be who she was. Entrenched deep into her mindset so much that she didnt teach her own children te reo maori. Luckily my Gran learnt from her grandfather. But I think she was the only one who was lucky enough.

My Great Nana would tell us that she used to play with all the Maori kids. She would still use slightly racist terminolgy when describing or meeting new people... but she did know Maori people as she grew up. Love you nan xx :P

It's interesting because my Nana tells stories about not being allowed to play with the Maori kids down the road.

There is an entire generational gap that is entrenched in the thinking that either they're not good enough or worse, that we're not allowed to associate with them. And then there's another generation where just because you weren't 'full' maori you weren't to call yourself maori.

As an historian, I get this. I also understand the history behind it:

1814 First Sermon from Samuel Marsden  of the Christian Missionary Society
1814 Missionaries make first attempt to write the Maori Language
1816 Thomas Kendall opened first missionary  school in Rangihoua
1820 First maori vocab dictionary created
1827 Maori bibles and pamphlets begin to appear
1835 Declaration of Independance
1840 Treaty of Waitangi
1842 First Maori Newspaper printed
1844 First edition of the Williams dictionary published
1867 Native Schools Act - more info here
1868 -  First Maori Members in Govt -  Frederick Nene Russell, Mete Kingi Te Rangi Paetahi, Tareha Te Moananui and John Patterson
... Maori Land Wars
... Confiscation of Land
1894 Education Becomes Compulsory for Maori Children
1907 Tohunga Suppression Act
... Maori Land Court set up
1914-1918 World War One
1917 Anti-Conscription for Maori - Led by Te Puea Herangi
September 1983 Women got the Vote
1939-1945 World War Two
1949 First Maori woman elected to govt -Iriaka Ratana
1975 Land March with Whina Cooper
September 1951 Maori Womens Welfare League set up
10th May 1960 All - white All Blacks go to South Africa to play in racist tour
1975 First Maori Language Week Held
1977 Bastion Point Protest
1981 Springbok Tour
1982 Te Kohana Reo set up
1980 First Maori programme 'Koha' broadcast on  TV
1980 March during Maori Lang Week to have Maori and English have the same status
1981 Petition for Maori to be an offical language
1985 First Kura Kaupapa est.
1986 Waitangi Tribunal give Te Reo Maori a taonga status
1987 Maori declared official language.
1987  Te Taura Whiri o te Reo - Maori Language Commission created
1990 Te Mangai Paho - Maori TV broadcasting station est.
1994 Te Reo Maori used on inside cover of NZ passports
1996 Census forms released in Te Reo Maori
1997 NZ govt cabinet agrees that the crown and Maori agree to uphold and increase the maori language as part of Te Tiriti o Waitangi - Treaty of Waitangi
1999 First educational strategy published to improve Maori education
2003 Te Kotahitanga research in improving education for Maori students - Russell Bishop and Mere Berryman
2004 Seabed and Forshore Act
2005 Maori Lang Commission sets up Korero Maori website to help improve and increase language
2005 Microsoft Windows and Office launched in te reo maori
September 2008 Deadline for historical claims to Waitangi Tribunal
2008 Govt initiative Ka Hikitia created to improve Maori education
2009 Te Reo Maori used on cover of NZ passports
2009 Govt announces funding for all educational leadership to do professional learning development to improve Maori education  - 'He Kakano' programme

It's important to know the history before you can move on and live in the present and hopefully not repeat past mistakes in your future.

The point of this though... is that there was a point in time where it was unacceptable to speak and converse in te reo maori. Our ancestors were caned and given the belt if they didn't abide the rules. Sadly and unfortunately, they stopped speaking. Their parents told them they should learn English so that they could live in a Western world. Maori - always the entrepreneurial type - understood and respected what their kaumatua said and did as they were told.

We now have some fluent speakers. Of course not lots yet. But comparing this to an old mans view that Maori would eventually die out... I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.

Have a look here at the NZ History post on this exact topic.

The reo maori is the key to improving our students ability to move between both worlds successfully.
Allowing them to be able to be assessed in Te Reo Maori is also important. Though this is difficult as an English teacher.. it is possible in other subjects. Just need to check with someone who is fluent on staff to look over it and give them key areas you needed them to get right.

But I do tend to explain certain things from a Maori perspective to make the link clearer. Makes it easier for me to explain and for them to understand.

Most importantly - you don't have to be fluent yourself but you should know the basics as a NZ teacher teaching Maori students. 

I improved my own te reo maori by doing a course to get the basics from Te Wananga o Aotearoa mainly for myself and partly because my younger twin sisters were mocking me for my dialect and they knew more than me haha. That was back in 2009 when I did Te Ara Reo Maori Level 1.

I have now done Te Ara Reo Maori Levels 2 and 3 as well as completed my Te Ara Reo Maori Diploma last year.. I had my graduation for it yesterday but wasn't able to attend because I didn't check my mailbox in time to sort out relief for the day.

I have put my hand up to do the degree Te Aupikitanga as well... which is a fully immersed noho marae setting... classes one weekend a month. Thought about it yesterday that I might give myself some time this year to use what I have and improve my fluency more often.

Thankyou for coming on the Tapu journey this morning with me. It is now 8am. I woke up at 2.. was on Social Media until 4. Had a verbal haka and then calmed down and apologised and then got inspired again. Thanks mate. Sorry whanau! Was not offended at all but did feel the need to explain my stance.
Nga mihi nui ki a koe. A big thankyou to you. I te haere mai koe i au ki nga haerenga korero i tenei ata. You came with me on a spoken journey with me this morning.

Nga Whakatauki o Tenei Ra - Proverbs of the Day

Kaua e mate wheke mate ururoa
Don't die like a octopus, die like a hammerhead shark

Octopus are renown for their lack of resistance when being captured, however a hammerhead shark will fight bitterly to the end, to the point that when you fillet it fresh, its meat quivers. Commonly used to encourage someone not to give up, no matter how hard the struggle is.

Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria
My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul

This is a proverb closely associated with language revitalization, a struggle which is very important in maintaining culture.

Some links for your perusal: