Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga 2010 Seminar Series

Late in 2009, Charles Royal was appointed Professor of Indigenous Development in the Faculty of Arts, the University of Auckland. In this seminar, Charles will explain why he chose the terms ‘indigenous development’ and by doing so, he will explain his view and vision of this field. For Charles, indigenous development contains three key themes:

• Decolonisation and Social Justice - addressing and overcoming difficulties, problems and issues arising from a history of colonisation and the inequities and inequalities that exist for ‘indigenous peoples’ today.

• Cultural Rediscovery, Revitalisation, Creativity - The rediscovery of identity, of culture, of language, of histories. This is where a community comes to be motivated by an internal quality of mana rather than being motivated by what has been lost. Communities become actively creative.

• The Gift of Indigenity – having rediscovered and recentred one’s culture back into one’s tradition, indigenous communities understand that they have something of value for all humankind. Indigenity emerges as a gift for all humankind.

Whilst indigenous development commences consciously with ‘indigenous communities’ – their many opportunities and needs – progressively, indigenous development moves to become relevant to all peoples concerned with their relationship with the natural world. Indigenity is concerned with a passionate, creative and storied participation with the natural world. As ‘progress’ continues and distant increases between humanity and the natural world, indigenity reminds us of the kinship relationship we might yet achieve with the natural world, with the universe.