Te Ipukarea team member awarded prestigious internship at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC
Tērā te wakatere kua wehe i ngā tai o Waitemata, me he waka hourua i takea mai i Sava’i, i Upolu. He aha rā ia tēnei waka e whakaripiripi atu nei ki tua o taharangi? He pitomata, he māramatanga, he mōhiotanga.
Kei te ihu pākiki, tērā tētahi wānanga hei ūnga mō tō wakatere.
Kimihia, rapua te puiaki o te kura huna.
A Sāmoan in Washington DC
This week Uia (John) Patolo, our dear friend and colleague, began his time as a 'short-term visiting scholar' at the prestigious Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. John is a statistical data analyst and researcher in Te Ipukarea. He has worked on several research projects over the last few years including the Dictionary of Cook Islands Languages and the report on the Te Aka English- Māori, Māori – English Online dictionary pop-up survey.
John is a role model for mature students, particularly parents, returning to university. Having completed his Bachelor of Arts in 2008 and his Master of Arts in 2014, John is currently a doctoral candidate in Te Whare o Rongomaurikura - The International Centre for Language Revitalisation, within Te Ipukarea.
John's thesis, ‘O a mai oe? Samoa language in diaspora Aotearoa/New Zealand’, will contribute enormously to understanding the health of Pacific languages in Aotearoa/New Zealand. His research will examine the data from the New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2013 with a focus on 2013. In addition to the secondary data, John will collect primary data from a language attitudinal survey administered to a sample of 3,000 Pacific peoples. The research will compare Pacific peoples but will drill down into the Samoan ethnic group.
John's experience at the Smithsonian will help inform his doctoral research and his work within Te Ipukarea and the Centre.
John was awarded the position at the Smithsonian through AUT InterNZ in October 2016. He is the first person to take up this particular internship and is one of two Te Ipukarea team members to be awarded AUT interNZ internships in 2016 (for 2017) - we farewelled Toiroa Williams last month, who is on the opposite coast to John, at the Sundance Institute in LA.
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is home to the world's largest museum, education, and research complex. John's position will be with Recovering Voices, a collaborative initiative of the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Recovering Voices responds to the problem of language and knowledge endangerment by capitalizing on the Institution’s research and collections assets to support communities around the world working towards language, culture and knowledge revitalisation.
Global Survey on Language Revitalisation Efforts
John is tasked with working on the analysis of the Global Survey of Language Revitalisation Efforts, the first of its kind in the world. The information provided by the respondents will allow a comparative analysis of the factors that may improve the outcomes of revitalisation efforts. The results are expected to yield insights of value to revitalisation practitioners around the world.
John will be working under the guidance of Dr Gabriela Pérez Báez, Curator of Linguistics, Co-Director of the National Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages and Director of the Global Survey of Language Revitalisation Efforts at the Smithsonian. Dr Gabriela Pérez Báez is also a Fellow of Te Whare o Rongomaurikura – The International Centre of Language Revitalisation, within Te Ipukarea.
He won't come back empty handed...
John will be away for three months and will return to us mid-year. It is an amazing opportunity for John and, without a doubt, he will make the most of this experience. Te Ipukarea and the Centre will also benefit through the knowledge, skills, and experience John gains during his time at the Smithsonian, particularly the insight regarding surveys as a tool to gather information from communities globally, working to save their endangered languages. This knowledge will help to inform future research projects and initiatives within Te Ipukarea and Te Whare o Rongomaurikura - The International Centre for Language Revitalisation.
Nō reira, kei te hoa, Uia, tēnei te tuku i ō mātou mihi ki a koe kua peka atu ki whenua kē atu, ko mātou kua mahue ake nei tēnei e tatari mai ana kia hoki ora mai koe. Ka mutu, kia haere tū atu nōu e takahi nei i ngā huarahi mātauranga kei mua i tō aroaro, ā, hoki Hāmoa mai rā koe e hoa, e Uia, ki te wā kāinga. Noho mārie atu i raro i ngā tauwhirotanga a tō Matua-nui-i-te-rangi, te ariki o ngā ariki, nāna nei ngā mea katoa.
Te Ipukarea, the National Māori Language Institute, invites expressions of interest from potential participants in a research project, Te Reo o te Pā Harakeke, that seeks to understand the factors that contribute to the successful intergenerational transmission of te reo Māori in the home.
A new online survey by Te Ipukarea, The National Māori Language Institute at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), confirms that attitudes towards Te Reo Māori are changing.
“Both Māori and Pākehā think that Te Reo Māori is an important part of New Zealand’s national identity and should be compulsory in primary schools. This is what people want for their children and grandchildren,” says Professor Tania Ka’ai, Director of Te Ipukarea.
The vast majority of survey respondents agree or strongly agree that the Māori language should be compulsory in New Zealand primary schools, including 83 per cent of Māori, 80 per cent of New Zealand European/Pākehā and 78 per cent of other ethnicities.
An even larger proportion – 95 per cent of Māori, 94 per cent of New Zealand European/Pākehā and 90 per cent of other ethnicities – agree or strongly agree that the Māori language is an important part of New Zealand’s national identity.
The pop-up survey was completed by 5,391 visitors to the Te Aka Māori-English Dictionary online. Conducted in partnership with the Māori Language Commission, the survey sought to gather data on how the online dictionary is used, the language proficiency of users and their attitudes towards Te Reo Māori.
Those surveyed identified as Māori (58 per cent), New Zealand European/Pākehā (35 per cent) and other ethnicities (7 per cent). They were evenly distributed by age. And, the largest groups by occupation were professionals (37 per cent) and students (20 per cent).
Professor Ka’ai says the rest of the world looks to New Zealand for inspiration and guidance on how to keep indigenous language alive.
Scandinavian countries like Finland, Norway and Sweden are exploring Māori language immersion models such as Kura Kaupapa and Kohanga Reo – the latter of which was the archetype for Hawaii’s Pūnana Leo.
“We are world leaders in language revitalisation. The next step is for Government to make Te Reo Māori compulsory in primary schools. Now, let’s lead the world in this,” says Professor Ka’ai.
According to Statistics New Zealand, 377,073 students were enrolled in New Zealand primary schools in 2016 – 72 per cent received no Māori language education, 25 per cent studied Māori as a subject or equivalent and 3 per cent were involved in Māori language immersion.
For the full report on the findings of the survey please download from the Te Aka project page.
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