Tāmaki Herenga Waka – Tāmaki the mooring place for indigenous canoes.  With this theme Te Rōpū Whakahau once again offered another tethering place for indigenous waka to converge and moor at Waipapa Marae, Auckland University from 5 – 9 February 2019 for the International Indigenous Librarians Forum (IILF)

The Te Rōpū Whakahau AGM was held on the first day. We ended Te Rōpū Whakahau business with a kai and prepared for the pōhiri for the international IILF participants.  

Our pōhiri was even more special with the return of the mauri stone to Waipapa Marae, where the IILF began in 1999.  The mauri stone has travelled to various location in North America, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Lapland, and has enjoyed Sami parliament, pow-wow’s, sweat lodges, smudges and ceremony.

For the past 20 years, the mauri stone and the forum have delved into the commonality of a shared indigenous experiences within a framework of colonisation and associated acculturation.  Despite the continuation of the forum, Te Rōpū Whakahau has decided to keep the mauri stone permanently in Aotearoa, with a Ngā Kaiwhakahau or Te Rōpū Whakahau representative taking the mauri stone with them, but only for the duration of the forum.

The theme of the 2019 IILF was Tāmaki Herenga Waka (Auckland, the mooring place for indigenous canoes) with each day broken into subthemes that corresponded with the waka metaphor.

One of the highlights for our international guests was the opportunity to attend the commemorations at Waitangi on 6 February, our national Waitangi Day.

IILF was well attended with approximately 95 participants from as far afield as Sweden, Norway, England, Canada, North America and Hawaii.  One of the many outcomes was the desire to continue with IILF, and to work with International Federation of Library Associations Indigenous Matters section (IFLA IM) to advance and support the outcomes in an international arena.

Outcomes and themes from the forum cover issues of indigenous worldviews, including indigenous sovereignty, indigenous information and knowledge collection, management and dissemination, indigenous leadership, culturally responsive and effective services, and recognising the language needs of communities that meets their intergenerational, community and cultural needs.

IILF indigenous participants. Outside Tāne nui a Rangi house, Waipapa Marae, Auckland University. Saturday 9 February 2019

Ngā Kaiwhakahau of Te Rōpū Whakahau are working to provide a place or tab on our website to host all the IILF information.  Watch this space.

Written by Tumuaki Te Ropu Whakahau