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Ko au te awa ko awa te au – I am the river and the river is me 


Reviewed By: Open Floor Blog Editor

My Review:

Open Floor teachers are bringing the climate and diversity crisis into their classes and workshops in many ways. Kaia Hawkins from Paekākāriki, near Wellington in Aotearoa/New Zealand says:

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Author: Kaia Hawkins

Language availability: English

Description:

Open Floor teachers are bringing the climate and diversity crisis into their classes and workshops in many ways. Kaia Hawkins from Paekākāriki, near Wellington in Aotearoa/New Zealand says:

“As Maori, being an indigenous person is always present in my classes and workshops. So although I’m not naming climate change explicitly, it’s always there in the background as an embodied exploration of what it means to be in connected to our land. I start and end each class with a karakia/meditation prayer that acknowledges our connection to the land we are on, our ancestors, Papatuanuku/earth and Ranginui/Sky. We go in and down…up and out.

Last April I ran a workshop called Awhi mai, awhi atu (Affection to you, affection to me). We danced the dance of our Pepeha: the connection we have to our specific land, mountain and river we were born to or under. 

We danced our stories, appreciation and connection to our land…dancing first with our Maunga – the mountain we are born to and then danced with Awa, the river.

For some moving with this gratitude and appreciation was a beautiful experience and for other dancers it was distressing: embodying this connection to nature emphasised how polluted our rivers are, how industrialisation has scarred our whenua/land. It became clear how difficult it is to make a difference and give back when we are disconnected from the land we live on, the trees we sit under, the water we wash with. It was powerful and moving workshop and I am looking forward to doing more like this.

Indigenous sovereignty is climate action > Tino rangatiratanga > Maori sovereignty.

Dance with Kaia

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