Thursday, 19 April 2018

NZEI National Pasifika Fono 2018 - Day one

NZEI Pasifika Fono 2018 - Wayfinders

During the first week of the school holidays I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Pasifika Fono which is held every two years. I went along with Sally and Andrea who are both teachers at our school and who are also of Pacific descent. It was held at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Auckland on Thursday 19th April and Friday 20th April. I felt very privileged and grateful for the opportunity to attend this event. 

Karl Vasau (Principal of Rowandale School) was our MC for Thursday. 

Here are some of my notes and key ideas from the day. 

Speaker: Linda Stuart 
Principal of May Rd Primary School and National President of NZEI Te Riu Roa
* Schools are not businesses and shouldn’t be treated as such. 
* Genuine collaboration across the system can make such a difference for our students.
* Diversity should be at the heart of education system - language, culture and identity needs to be acknowledged.
* Crisis in education - The new government needs to fix it. There are less teachers getting trained and many don’t stay beyond 5 years. 
* The common message across NZ is that principals/teachers are not doing their job properly due to the lack of time and resources. 

Keynote Speaker: Lilomaiava Ema Sinope - Wayfinding

* Hokulea and Hikianalia - Wayfinding in the Pacific
* Talks about a man called Papa Mo who became a master navigator, a way finder
* Responsibility to Serve with Love
* At the core of way finding is culture - foundational values of love, respect and humility, and at the centre is light
* "Don’t pray for good weather, pray for courage"
* Talked about the Pacific Voyaging society and Hokule'a 
* Papa Mo successfully navigated the Hokule'a to Tahiti without the use of instruments
* One Ocean, One People
* 1985 - Hokule'a voyage of discovery - sparked a reawakening of genealogical connections. Proved that pacific people were best mariners in world. 
* Voyaging was intentional, not by accident.
* We come together because we are duty bound to ensure that our children are given the best possible chance of life in this changing world.
* It's our children’s right to have knowledge of our history of way finding.

Cultural Competency - Helen Varney - Workshop 1
Principal Target Road School
* Culture First
need to be able to understand culture - its soft wired into our brain -
it connects all of our experiences and helps to make sense of the world.

* Awareness
identity, culture and language are vital to the way we learn
it's a way of being - do our staff understand and have this way of being?

* Cultural Competence
  • ability to recognise cultural displays and meaning making
  • understand that students are culturally different
  • know yourself first before knowing others
* Influences that change who we are:
  • where we are born
  • who we are born with
  • what do you know about yourself? what do you value?
  • what do you tell your children?
  • schools
  • friends
  • those we love
cultural competency - Teachers: 
  • Mana
  • funds of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning and well being
  • a set of conceptual scripts that guide our comprehension of the world
* vital to know who you are
importance of knowing cultural background - gives mana to your culture
Tama itu - TedEx talk
mana - everyone has it, roots you to your past, present and future

* forming relationships with students, common ground, connections, share where you all come from, how to connect, create opportunities to share, give mana to the land - Te Reo
encourage kids to talk in their language, treaty - bi-cultural pathway through Maori side
need to encourage and value language

* what are your cultural roots?
value, unpack, share
lots of documents available as resources: TKI, Tapasa, Pacifica education plan, tataiako, ka hikitia, tu rangatira, hautu, 
look at culture like it’s an iceberg
surface features and deeper features
deep culture
if lots of cultures in classroom: focus on deep culture, roots of culture - world view, core beliefs, group values, some commonalities
4 Key Points:
  1. Value Culture, Language and Identity
  2. be a learner
  3. build intellectual capacity
  4. take action
need to listen closely to what kids say, dig deeper, get to know the kids background 

Keynote Speaker 2: Damon Salesa

NZ’s Pacific Futures - book published

Matalasi Pasefika
Youth, tech, digital natives

* 95% of Samoans use Facebook but use English not Samoan
* most pacific societies have not only retained the integrity of their cultures, language and societies, but have often used new tech to consolidate them.
* pacific digital - uses foreign platforms and tech eg. facebook, twitter etc
limited infrastructure, but with cell phones it doesn’t matter, prepay economy
* kids have access to anything online now - protected from certain types of information in the past
* communication - kids connect using cellphones, changed concept of time esp. island time
* generational difference - our kids are different from us, more likely to have English as first language, marry outside of ethnicity, no religion, born in NZ, less likely to own own home, more likely to be unemployed

* severe wealth inequalities, less than 18% of P.I. own homes

* Pacific Innovations e.g. 3 Wise Cousins  - 10th highest grossing movie in NZ
* PI parents decide that kids will be their retirement investment strategy, PI live in large families to save money, look after babies and old people
* home ownership is important
* now pacific people are moving more e.g. out of auckland coz rent is cheaper
* changing market e.g. working alongside Asian businesses/products

Mana Moana: Planting Your Feet 
Ailaoa Aoina and William Pua - Workshop 2


William Pua, Ailaoa Aoina and Evangelene have spent 4 years collectively developing their Mana Moana practice in their respective fields of psychology (Youth forensics, Private Practice, Mental health), social work, community development & education as well as collaborating on various conjoint projects. 
This workshop will demonstrate how they have used Mana Moana in education, leadership, and therapeutic settings, allowing for Pasefika ancestral knowledge and wisdom to inform and guide our practice. Whilst also giving access to young people to see, feel and experience the wise and healing ways of our tupuna and cultures, so that even in this urban contemporary context of Aotearoa, they may find their way ''home''. (Taken from NZEI Pasifika Fono programme/website)
When we entered the room to this workshop there was a large woven flax mat covering the floor. Labels with the different countries around the world and the pacific was placed on the mat. Participants were given paper cut outs of feet and were asked to write their name and key members of their family on each piece of paper. Then four participants were selected (including myself) to share where they came from and had to place the footprints (paper cut outs) on top of the names of the country they were from. 
I thought that this was a great idea/activity to share with others. It was an interesting way to find out where others came from and their backgrounds. It would be neat to carry out this activity with my students. 

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