Exposing Diversity: Uncovering Common Scientific Values between Indigenous (Maori) Knowledge and Western Knowledge

Dr Fiona Te Momo
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Indigenous Maori knowledge is holistic. Uncovering the holistic nature Maori people apply to the development of technology is scientific and practical. It is this holistic nature that has been practiced over thousands of years that maintained the survival of the indigenous people in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Maori knowledge is diverse and complex. This makes Maori knowledge unique. It is this diversity and complexity that has challenged Western knowledge and Western science to understand the position of indigenous people. Without this understanding Aotearoa/New Zealand society fails to grow in strength to which it is capable and knowledge disseminated into communities would be limited.

Celebrating science, values, indigenous knowledge and western knowledge begins with dialogue. This paper provides a pathway to opening up dialogue between Māori and the wider communities by putting forward the different positions Māori people make in terms of research that involves biotechnology.

Keywords: Maori, Indigenous, Development, Biotechnology, Knowledge
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Exposing Diversity: Uncovering common scientific values between biotechnology, Indigenous Knowledge, and Western Knowledge

Dr Fiona Te Momo

Lecturer, School of Social Cultural Studies College of Humanities and Social Sciences Private Bag 102 904 North Shore Mail Centre AUCKLAND, Social Work, Social Policy, Maori Studies
New Zealand

Kia ora Koutou, Ko Fiona Te Momo tooku ingoa. I am of Maaori descent and affiliate to three tribes: Ngaati Raukawa, Ngaati Konohi, and Ngaati Porou. I hold a doctorate of philosophy, a Masters with Honours in Maaori and Pacific Development, Master Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management, Bachelor of Arts, and Certificate in Maori Studies. My discipline is in development studies. My area of expertise and passion is researching indigenous communities. This passion has provided me pathways to investigating a range of topics. Currently I am part of a team researching culturally and sustainable biotechnology in Aotearoa/NZ. Last year I completed two different researches from different fields: Māori marine indicators for marine management and Maaori student retention at university. The diverse fields I enter have allowed me a forum to observe and write about the transfer of knowledge from academics and government officials to community and lay people. The topics I have covered are broad such as Economics of Development, Environmental Management and Development, Human Resource Development, International Development Issues, Special Topic, and a Thesis (3 paper dissertation). Researching Special Topics introduced me to researching Government State Owned Enterprises and the affects on the Maaori tribes and strengthened my knowledge on Memorandum of Understanding, Crown Entities, and Resource Management Acts relevant to local communities. This year I have covered various fields of research for example researching unemployed beneficiaries to critiquing social, cultural, and critical theories of construction and the relevance to marae management. Fortunately, a strong community and indigenous base, and academic environment have allowed me the ability to walk in two worlds; Western and Indigenous.

Ref: T05P0029