Please go to TheDailyBlog here for Marama Davidson’s post on inspiring more activism.
“We all have a responsibility to be politically active.
There – I said it. But the definition for being political is wide ranging. How people manifest their political action is up to them. For me it is simply making that conscious link between our personal lives to the political agenda of the day. From the breakfast we get to eat (or don’t), to the level of comfort (or not) that get we lay our heads on every night. As people have said, there is no longer the luxury of not being an activist of your own making. A new world is coming that will either suffocate us or revive us – it is up to us to make the new world a working one.”
Was asked recently why I advocate so strongly for Kaupapa Maori and for Maori control over Maori frameworks. The question has also been asked recently by a Pakeha academic around who gets to determine the boundaries for kaupapa Maori? It’s simple. We do. For the past 200 years the majority of our land has been stolen or taken through the use of foreign systems, structures & definitions, our language, culture, knowledge, practices and structures have been systematically subjucated, attacked and denied. Our voices and acts of struggle against oppression have, and continue to be actively targeted and suppressed in order to protect the interests of those who have benefited from such actions. All that we have now we have fought for. All that we have held within ourselves we have struggled for. For 200 years we have lived with other peoples definitions of who we are and what is our place on our own land. It is our time to take that space. It is our right to define ourselves, our struggles, our kaupapa, our frameworks. That does not mean we do not need or want allies, it means we do not want to be defined by others who do not know or feel what it means to live as Maori in Aotearoa. Those who work as allies in that struggle know that is the case and work to challenge the systems that continue to deny fundamental rights. It is no secret that many of those I am fortunate to work with advocate Kaupapa Maori is defined and controlled by Maori. That has been clearly articulated for many years. Until there is significant change in the power relationships in this country that way of being can not and should not change. 200 years of others theorising and researching ON us has brought little change in the colonial inequalities that exist. So why would we want that to continue? That’s a more critical question. The answer again is simple. We don’t.
Dr Leonie Pihama (Te Atiawa, Ngati Mahanga, Nga Mahanga a Tairi)
“Ideas this week talks to Marama Davidson, David Geary and Clayton Thomas-Muller about the Idle No More movement which deals with the rights and identity of First Nations people, starting in Canada with a predominantly female lead.”
Cree activist Clayton Thomas-Muller is first up in this interview with Chris Laidlaw.
David Geary playwright of Nga Mahanga descent is second up (around 22mins in) as a Vancouver based New Zealand playwright.
Marama Davidson of Te Wharepora Hou features as the final interviewee (around 40mins in).
Please go to the above link where Occupy Savvy interviews Marama Davidson around global movements and the role of women in them.
“In the Occupy Movement in Aotearoa, my small contribution was merely to speak up as a Māori woman and for our group Te Wharepora Hou (TWH). TWH is a group of wāhine Māori who support each other to use our voices collectively and individually as we feel the need to. The imperative to speak up recognises that for too long there has been a silencing of the diverse voices and opinions of Māori women, in spite of the incredible staunch wāhine that have been instrumental to positive change in our communities and our nation. Our purpose is to have a say on all issues that impact on the well-being of whānau (family), hapū (extended family) and iwi (tribes) and our natural living system. By this standard we could provide a critique on every issue under the sun and moon but we do what we can when we can. We do not claim to have any mandate to speak on behalf of all Māori but we surely claim our voices as Māori women, as mothers, as grandmothers and as members of our respective whānau, hapū and iwi.”