Te Tiriti-Based Futures, with Kairapu Hannah Betts

Te Tiriti-Based Futures, with Kairapu Hannah Betts

Mar 08, 2022 - Voices

Stop rushing, develop trust; accept nuance: just some of the ways we can work toward a Te Tiriti-based future. On International Womens Day - and all days - we are lucky to learn alongside people who are making big and small steps towards a reindigenised Aotearoa. Read on to think through the slower pace required for relational journeys toward a just society, and consider Hannah Betts' invitation to sign up for Te Tiriti-based Futures webinar sessions!

Hannah Betts is an Ako Mātātupu Kairapu: an alumna of Cohort 2016 on the Teach First NZ Programme, a trained science teacher and lifelong learner of te reo Māori. She has been serving on the organising group for the upcoming Tiriti-Based Futures event (March 19-28) and recently caught up with us to spread the word and share some behind-the-scenes thinking:

What was your impetus for joining the Tiriti-Based Futures kaupapa?

Last year I realised that I didn't know as much as I wanted about Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi, the Tribunal process, the mana whenua in my rohe, and the different ways that racism has shaped and is shaping our society. I started looking for a wide spread of voices on this and came across the Te Tiriti-based Futures + Anti-Racism event webpage. Inspired by the depth of perspectives, I reached out to the committee to see if I could support them to make more conversations happen. It has been a blast seeing the event come together by the work of a hundred hands.

Do you have any special encouragement for kaiako and educators working toward a Tiriti-based Aotearoa?

I'd love there to be some one-size-fits-all, wave-of-a-wand advice for teachers that want to work towards a Te Tiriti o Waitangi-based Aotearoa. I don't think it exists because the conversations that have changed by actions the most are the ones where there has been time to check understanding and re-explain, a desire to lean into the nuance, and high personal trust. They aren't formulaic or directed. These are the conversations that convince me to stop rushing to get something done (in the way I assume it should be done), and instead to value and work with the nuanced world that we collectively inhabit. So maybe my advice is to (continue to) find and accept nuance in meaningful discussions. This is how we change the future that we work towards.

Not rushing is a brilliant principle for this relational work! What does the event look like?

Please come along! We're running a free, ten-day online event spread over 19-28 March with presentations from over 70 New Zealand and international speakers on Te Tiriti-based initiatives, anti-racism and decolonisation. In addition, Monday 28 March will be a PechaKucha marathon of post-grads and recent graduates talking about their research on the kaupapa. We are still accepting speakers for the PechaKucha.


Thank you, Hannah! We'll be heading along on Sunday 20th to hear our friends Ann Milne and Keri Ihimaera-Milne speak on "Disrupting education: a whānau perspective". Ann and Keri, as mother and daughter, will share Pākehā and Māori perspectives of the intergenerational loss and trauma caused by our education system from their experience of whānau and community. Their extensive professional work has been about challenging and changing that situation. "How can Pākehā educators change their practice? What choices do Māori whānau have?"

See you there!

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