Māori students are still being made to teach cultural competency
It takes a village to raise a child. But when it comes to tikanga Māori in schools, a few Māori teachers and students are often expected to raise a village.
My experience of being Māori at school was impacted heavily by the death of our Māori teacher when I was in year 10. Before that, the Māori department was thriving. Our Te Reo teacher would have done anything to engage us. We were learning tikanga; things were getting done correctly. Māori wasn’t a mess-around free period. She never wanted us to be the token Māori kids. She wanted us to understand our culture that had been ripped from us. But that flipped on its head when she died.
Your emotion links back to what you believe in, and what you believe in is your tikanga, and your tikanga makes you who you are. We were proud to be Māori when Whaea was our teacher, but to have that stripped away from us, we not only lost our mum, we lost our identity.