Educating rangatahi about their true Māori history

By Te Ao - Māori News

“Don't just use books as a base to teach children.”

That's according to Ha,ilton's Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Rima principal, Tony Walker.

He says the best teaching tool is leaving the classroom and connecting with the land, sea, and forest to grasp its infinite wisdom from a Māori perspective.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Rima made its way to the Waikato River today and took in history lessons from Kīngitanga elders. The childrens' minds and hearts were filled with stories of Te Rapa Pā, Kirikiriroa, Te Kourahi Pā and tūpuna of Wairere, Tamainupo, Mahanga as well as the Waikato River.  

This was an opportunity for kaumātua to correct stories in the community such as the place of Te Rapa, which is near the Waikato Hospital and not where the majority believe it to be, at The Base shopping centre, at the north end of Hamilton.

Manaia Clarke, a student at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Rima says, “This is an amazing day today because we are actually here, this is what we learnt in a chant”.

Te Maungarongo Akuhata, another student, said, “It was great listening to the stories. I learned about our ancestors' competitiveness for weapons and food.”

Iwi  input

Last Wednesday Minister Kelvin Davis went to Waihi marae in Ngāti Tuwharetoa to sign an kawenata or covenant, which provides an opportunity for Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Raukawa and Waikato iwi to have input into what history will be taught in their schools.

Tame Pokaia, of Kīngitanga lines and one of the speakers at todays event, supported the kawenata signing last week.

“We have our stories, other iwi have theirs for their areas. These are stories to share to our leaders of tomorrow, our next generation.”