A Kaupapa Māori Facebook Group for Māori and Indigenous Doctoral Scholars: Maryann Lee in Conversation With Dr. Mera Lee-Penehira, Dr. Hinekura Smith, and Dr. Jennifer Martin

A Kaupapa Māori Facebook Group for Māori and Indigenous Doctoral Scholars: Maryann Lee in Conversation With Dr. Mera Lee-Penehira, Dr. Hinekura Smith, and Dr. Jennifer Martin

Maryann Lee (Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5826-2.ch004

Abstract

This chapter examines the use of Facebook to support Māori and Indigenous doctoral scholars who are enrolled in the MAI ki Tāmaki Makaurau doctoral programme in Auckland, New Zealand. The programme is part of a National Māori and Indigenous (MAI) Network aimed to increase doctoral participation and completion rates of Māori scholars. Drawing on three Kaupapa Māori principles introduced in chapter three: tino rangatiratanga (self-determination principle), taonga tuku iho (cultural aspirations principle), whānau (extended family structure principle), the author explores some of the key considerations in creating a Kaupapa Māori digital learning space with the use of social media. Through conversations with three Māori academics who adminisiter the MAI ki Tāmaki Facebook group, this chapter captuers their unique perspectives and provide rich insights into the ways in which the Facebook group can provide a strong network of support for Māori and Indigenous scholars.
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A Kaupapa Māori Approach

This research is underpinned by a Kaupapa Māori methodological approach outlined in chapter 3. Here, it is importan for the purpose of analyzing discussions about the Māori online space to reiterate key features of the approach, particular with regard to the role of the Kaupapa Māori researcher.

A Kaupapa Māori approach enables Māori researchers to engage from a local theoretical position and that encompasses a Māori worldview at a spiritual, cultural and political level (Smith, 2003). Kaupapa Māori seeks to legitimize cultural aspirations and identity and create a space for Māori to be Māori. Linda Smith (2003) describes Kaupapa Māori methodology as, “centering our concepts and world-views and then coming to know and understand theory and research from our own perspectives and for our own purposes” (p. 39).

Whilst Kaupapa Māori is intimately connected to the sustainability of Māori cultural identity and Māori knowledge, it has come from a political and strategic move to provide a powerful space for Māori researchers, and aligns with a critical theory paradigm that asserts a transformative praxis (Smith, 2012). Kaupapa Māori is considered to be a living response to the historical events of colonisation, and a resistance to the dominant power relationships that exist today (Walker, 1996). The term ‘research’ for Indigenous peoples can be a reminder of the historical colonisation practices carried out that saw Indigenous groups as the ‘researched’ (Waziyatawin & Yellow Bird, 2012).

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