Back to Search Results

An indigenous research narrative: rangatahi in the research space

Sarah T. Rewi, Georgia McLellan, Milly Heke

2022 Aotearoa New Zealand

An indigenous research narrative: rangatahi in the research space

Colonial institutions are notorious for using scientific research to claim ownership over Indigenous peoples and justify acts of colonisation (Smith, 2021). In response, Māori academics continue to advocate for culturally ethical practice; supported by a seemingly inexhaustible list of anecdotal evidence pertaining to the colonial violence experienced by Māori communities subjected to western research. Whilst recognising the historical and contemporary role of scientific research is vital to the safety and well-being of Māori communities, this generates a narrative that dissuades researchers from engaging with them. We question ‘who is the audience’ for this narrative and ‘does this generalised message unintentionally inhibit our rangatahi in these spaces?’ Messages of aroha and whānaungatanga are sorely missing from this research narrative leading to insinuations that can alienate rangatahi in the research space from working with their communities, whānau, hapū and iwi. Here we look to share our experiences as three rangatahi working alongside our people to diversify the narrative of researching with Māori communities. Through our narratives we hope to encourage other rangatahi to engage with their own people and foster the next generation of Indigenous scientists to actualise the aspiration of their communities.

Colonisation; Māori communities; Māori engagement; rangatahi (Māori youth); scientific research