January 05, 2017
Massey to share matauranga Maori with Medellin
A Prime Minister’s Scholarship will help 12 Massey University students to travel to Colombia later this year to forge links with indigenous students there.
The group, which is still to be chosen, will include four students each from Spanish, Maori studies and Maori visual arts programmes.
The programme is led by Dr Leonel Alvarado, who heads Massey’s Spanish language programme, Hone Morris, the academic coordinator of Te Aho Paerewa, the postgraduate diploma of teaching and learning in Maori medium, and arts lecturer Israel Birch.
Dr Leonel Alvarado says after doing a special topic at Massey on cross-cultural links between Spanish, English and Maori languages and cultures as well indigenous languages and cultures of Latin America, the students will travel to the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin in October.
Dr Alvarado and Mr Morris will present to Colombian indigenous students and teachers the innovative language teaching methods in both Spanish and te reo Maori developed at Massey.
Dr Alvarado says the Colombians will be interested to learn about aspects of New Zealand’s indigenous cultural life, including the role of the Treaty of Waitangi, the revitalisation of te reo Maori, the existence of a Maori political party and television channel. “These things just don’t exist in Latin American indigenous cultures,” he says.
As part of the project, Maori visual arts students will design and create an artwork to be installed at the Colombian university’s campus.
It is hoped the project will become a biennial study tour with students and staff from Universidad de Antioquia coming to Massey in alternating years.
Colombia’s indigenous people, or pueblos indigenas, comprise 3.4 per cent of the country’s 46 million population and belong to more than 87 tribes.
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