Kaitiakitanga Program and Network
3.2.3a Report on Sustainable Resources, Colorado - 1 Oct 2004
We congratulate the organisers for puttting on such a magnificent conference. See some of the outcomes that came from it at http://www.sustainableresources.org/sr2004/Results2004.htm. and the feedback from other participants at http://www.sustainableresources.org/sr2004/Feedback.htm
Our two 20 minute presentations were accepted for the www.sustainableresources.org conference in Boulder Colorado USA.29/9 - 2/10-2004, held at the impressive University of Boulder Campus. One was on Kaitiakitanga (see details) coordinated by Andree Mathieu which will flow into another on Tipu Ake (see details) coordinated by Peter Goldsbury. The presentation focused on the positive actions that the Maori practice of Kaitiakitanga drives us to employ today on behalf of our future grand childrens. The presentations were fronted by two participants from our NZ Kaitiakitanga network. Malibu Hamilton from Whaingaroa (Raglan) and Will Stensness from Hokianga who describe what their communities are doing, participated fully in all conference activities, made important connections with with both indigenous and other peoples from around the world and return to share what they learnt with others at home. Malibu was asked to speak in the closing ceremony. This format builds on the very successful formula used when a Te Whaiti group presented at the Sharing Indigenous Wisdom conference in June. .
Regrettably we were not able to send any Te Whaiti people this time, in part due to workloads at the Kura and other high intensity work going on in the community, and our inability to obtain government or other funding to send the six people we wanted to capitalise on this unique opportunity and to showcase the NZ / Maori contribution to sustainability thinking
Report and reflections by Malibu Hamilton:
No Kawhia ahau
Ko Malibu Hamilton tooku ingoa.
Report on visit to the Sustainable Resources Conference at Boulder Colorado U.S.A October 2004.
This trip would not have been possible without the excellent work of the Mana Whenua people of Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi, the assistance of Peter Goldsbury and support of Andree Mathieu. To all those people that made it possible including the mana whenua of Whaingaroa Tainui Awhiro, Whaingaroa Environment Centre, Kaiwhenua Organics and my tupuna I can only say in words “thank you.” Each and every one whom knows me will realise that my heart song of thanks goes much deeper than words for this experience. Thanks also to Steve Troy, Karen Worminghaus and the rest of the conference organising team for helping us with accommodation and registration cost and putting together such an inspiring programme.(click on links in Travel / Programme section below for details)
As a first time traveller to the U.S.A. it was pretty exciting to be on the trip and as an environmentalist it was like locking a child up in the candy store for a week. There was so much to choose from that it was impossible to see and hear every thing that was on offer.
Peter, Will and I arrived at the conference at Boulder during the night and met up with Andree at the motel. That was exciting and it was really good to see her again as she had made a wonderful impression on me when she was here in our country.
The very next day we attended the conference and met with the people that were running it. That then turned into an exciting whirlwind of talking and laughing and listening and learning that lasted for the whole time we were there. Laughter has a nice way of avoiding shyness and it allowed many of us and the others that we talked to, communicate better between the different groups of people
Together we had a rough plan of dividing our group and going and listening to the key note speakers and different speakers till our turn to address the people in our track or stream but it just did not turn out that way. As a group we attended several things together and watched and learned many things. As we met people we shared our experiences and spoke of many issues and made friends with many.
Andree and Peter went to many of the key note speakers and the main speakers, and Will and I met with the people and were drawn without protest towards the Indigenous Native Americans and the many stall holders that was a feature of the conference. We had the good fortune to meet up with Eagle Man Ed McGaa and share some of his experiences and follow his pathway for parts of the conference and I shall say more of this later.
The conference had fourteen tracks as the main theme and approximately 240 speakers during the whole conference.
As it was an international conference it was attended by people from many parts of the world, which allowed me to get to hear many stories that echoed hope, motivation, and joy at the different types of kaitiakitanga that is going on globally.
The key note speakers had so much to offer, many are authors and it is worthy to recognise the contributions that they are making towards all our goals.
John Todd ( ecological design and planetary healing ) living machines www.enviroeducation.com/interviews/john-todd/
William McDonough ( all sustainability is local) industrial green building architect www.mcdonough.com/
William Reed ( green building and whole –systems approach) Collaborative Architecture www.natlogic.com
Paul Stamets (mushrooms and fungi as allies for people and planet) an ex forester turned scientist www.fungi.com
Janine Benyus ( biomimicry) sustainable solutions by mimicking nature www.biomimicry.org
Riane Eisler ( the power of partnership) the partnership and the dominant model http://www.partnershipway.org/html/subpages/articles/Partedencounter.htm
Hunter Lovins ( Natural Capitalism) linking energy, environment, development and Security www.natcapinc.com
Others we met who have web sites of interest include:
Robert McCormick, The Global Plan Initiative (looking at Tipu Ake as their leadership model) www.thegpi.org
Andrea Coen, Aspen Centre for Environmental Education www.aspennature.org
It is not possible in this short report to name all of them or to give a widely informative view but again it is worthy to acknowledge that gains are being made and that we are moving albeit slowly, towards recognition that nature has the answers and that all we have do is stop, look and listen.
For me it was comforting to see and hear that Industrial Ecology is a system of not only environmental outcomes but addressing a whole range of issues. Green building programs are being undertaken by some large transnationals, and I would say they should, but it is only by the hard work and dedication of environmentalists, engineers and architects and native cultures that is creating this change.
The people whom are connected through Permiculture has got answers and allies and the creation of living machines and recognising and studying and using natural fungi brings hope that there would be more beneficial layman and scientists undertaking work that values ecology and indigenous cultures and natural systems.
Again it was really nice to see that by linking energy, development and security while changing our paradigms on partnerships and the dominants it can still happen while applying the precautionary rule. If governments and scientists and others adopted the precautionary rule more often, we may not have found the out of control pest resistant weeds that are a consequence of genetic engineering and many other experiments that have taken place that puts at risk our global environment and its peoples.
Biomimicry and mimicking nature has a lot to offer, and the retention of resources for future benefits for both humans and the natural world are an exciting evolution of human behaviour. This conscience behaviour is growing and we can be proud that we are all doing our share towards this global change while in this dominant global society
For me it was exciting to meet tangata whenua from America. As a very small child, learning of the peoples of the colonised states of America I never ever thought I would be traveling there or getting a chance to meet my childhood hero’s peoples from Chief Sitting Bull, Chief Red Cloud and Chief Crazy Horse and several others. It was opportunity to experience first hand the Indigenous American or Native American peoples first hand. We also thank Alexia parks for inviting us to meet many more at an evening party at here place. She gave us a copy of her book "Rapid Evolution" to bring home for the Tipu Alke collection at the AUT library
We had the good fortune to meet with a man named Eagle Man Ed McGaa whom was presenting at the conference. Eagle Man adopted us and made us feel really comfortable. We even went to a local bar with him and listened to his tales and experiences. As a kaumatua or elder of the Oglala Sioux nation his stories of being a warrior as a pilot in the Vietnam war, his account of why the Sioux nation moved to were they are now were simplistic and riveting.
The track that we were in Learning from Native Cultures gave us the opportunity to meet and interact with many of the Indigenous Native Americans and others.
Giindajin Haawasti Guujaaw Guujaaw is the elected chief and president of the Haida nation. Canada (policies and the sustainable use of Haida Gwaii resources).
Edna Brillon, Haida/Cree, mentor/trainer to the First Nation peoples
Fernando Tibechrani Salgado (Sal) and Flo Yepa, Jemez Pueblo Elders www.attitude.srv.br
Loya C Arrum, Northern Ute Traditions
Marie Foxbelly, Lakota Tradition
Woody Vaspa, Catie Johnson, World Council of Elders / global spiritual unity www.worldcouncilofelders.org
Duncan Campbell, Supreme intellectual / indigenous cultures/ dialogue with Duncan Campbell t.v. show
These are but a few and are worth noting as they as well as many others are to the forefront of creating change globally.
(The Haida nation have recently won a Canadian Supreme Court decision on their forests. The Court confirmed the Crown’s duty, stating that “The Crown, acting honourably, cannot cavalierly run roughshod over Aboriginal interests... it must respect these potential, but yet unproven, interests... To unilaterally exploit a claimed resource during the process of proving and resolving the Aboriginal claim to that resource, may be to deprive the Aboriginal claimants of some or all of the benefit of the resource. That is not honourable.” The Court also clarified that consultation is not mere process -- the Crown may have to change its proposed actions as a result of consultation. - see report http://www.eaglelaw.org/supremecourt.html . The full judgment is contained at http://www.lexum.umontreal.ca/csc-scc/en/rec/html/2004scc073.wpd.html) and it is interesting to see that in it they cite New Zealand. Ministry of Justice. A Guide for Consultation with Mäori. Wellington: The Ministry, 1998.)
To many of those in the Learning from Native Cultures track environmentalism is not a word that needs to be spoken of as it is natural to think in terms like papatuanuku,(earth mother) ranginui( sky father kotahitanga (oneness, collective unity) ) katiakitanga ( responsibility, caring, nurturing ) as it is inherently deeply imbedded in their intellectual memory banks.
The World Council of Elders that works tirelessly towards world peace and spiritual unity also have inherent within them the sense of mauri. They understand the life essence that provides the unity between the natural order and the spirituality of the gods and are ensuring the physical and spiritual integrity of the environment for future generations.
Certainly one of the highlights of the trip for me was the track Gen 7 the rangatahi or youth whom impressed me for their leadership qualities. The global contact that they have established and created through innovative and exhilarating programs just has to be noticed and emulated. Again I should not have been surprised but right here in Nelson in Aotearoa they have created current programs in this country that I eagerly wish to be part of this coming year and touch base with Ben and Jay and their group. They are the shape-changers of the future
It is extremely encouraging to see that others have environmental ethics and ethos that resonate with our experiences in Aotearoa and that collectively we can all achieve an open and organic change for the re-enhancement and reinvigoration of papatuanuku our earth mother.
To describe the experience as huge, and life changing, does go some way towards the real feelings that I have, but joy, happiness and validation that many nations and many peoples are practising with their form of kaitiakitanga to reinvigorate papatuanuku and Te Ao our world makes me proud to have participated at this event.
Report and reflections shared by Will Stensness:
I thought it time to sit down and let you know what I got from our trip to Boulder. Apart from all the wonderful people I met over there, I came home with my kete full of all the wisdom these wonderful people gave me. As you know I have been working with the state of the Hokianga harbour, where I have the great pleasure of being blessed by the tupuna that have gone before me to be able to call this place my home. As most people are aware, the Hokianga harbour is extremely polluted by sewerage, farm runoff, and cowshed effluent runnning into our waterways.
I found people like Bunker Roy from Barefoot College in India, a very good contact for the young ones we have in our area. We have 13 and 14 year olds expelled from school with little education because in this system, in this country, they are total dropouts. Speaking with Bunker he informed me there are provisions for us to send some of these young people for a six month stint in India to learn about solar energies and how to install solar panels to houses and marae here. This would take pressure off the main grid power, and, as poverty is rampant in our area, would also significantly help the financial situation for our people by taking hot water and electrical lighting off the main grid. This would also take the pressure off our
On the whole I found the korero (talk) of the many people I met to have a strong foundation of common sense, borne out by their lifestyle choices - and that the hold ups we all experience relate to our governments and the laws they put in place. It amazed me to discover the struggles the environmental people are having all around the world are so similar, and
The important learning of the whole thing for me, is networking around the world with those working for our environment. We are stronger together, and it is heartening to now know how many of us are out there. Kia ora to my international whanau. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this experience, and the gift of now knowing you my friends.
Report and reflections shared by Andree Mathieu:
Twice this year I’ve had the privilege to welcome some Maori friends to North America. The first time, it was in Wisconsin for the Sharing Indigenous Wisdom Conference organized by the Menominee Nation. The community of Te Whaiti was represented by James Goldsmith, Earl Rewi and Claude August. Through the Tipu Ake ki te Ora leadership model they shared the amazing achievements of Te Kura Toitu o Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi, and the philosophy behind the transformation of the school and the new Kaitiakitanga project, with people from all around the world. The second event, the Sustainable Resources Conference, was held in Boulder, Colorado. I’ve been covering many seminars on sustainability during the last ten years but the latter was by far the most important one, because of the high-level speakers as well as the diversity of participants and the variety of questions being addressed. This time New Zealand was represented by Malibu Hamilton from Raglan, Will Stensness from Hokianga and Peter Goldsbury from Auckland. They spoke about the Tipu Ake model and the Maori concept of Kaitiakitanga.
In both occasions New Zealand couldn't’t have had a better representation. I can’t get tired of admiring the amazing communicator talents of the Maori people. They cast a spell on the audience by their intelligent comments and their delightful sense of humour. I never heard a negative word from them. Their positive attitude is inspiring and triggers the will to forge ahead that people are looking for in that kind of gathering. Besides, I can bear witness to the remarkable ability Maori have to make friends. They attract people like magnets!
I also can’t help but emphasise the incredible attention span of my Maori team mates. They take the most from every conversation they have and every lecture they attend. Their participation in any international conference will be more than profitable for New Zealand, witness Malibu’s account of the Sustainable Resources Conference. Since his extensive report opens up a whole range of possible further research, I will merely share my overall impression.
In my journey to New Zealand I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many Maori from different iwi and also to visit peerless places like the Whaingaroa and Hokianga harbours and the wonderful Whirinaki rainforest. I learned a lot. In the sustainability circles I’ve mixed with lately there is a growing will to learn from nature and from the native people who never moved away from it. I’ve picked a book representative of this trend. Let me “cut and paste” some lines from it to help myself better formulate my thought.
New Zealand has a unique opportunity to lead the sustainability movement. As a North American I don’t have any advice to give on how to negotiate with native people, though Quebec has made some laudable efforts in this regard. But you have the opportunity to start a dialogue in order to blend your highly innovative technological skills with the mature knowledge of the land that Maori have gathered as the tangata whenua and kaitiaki of Aotearoa. My intense fascination with your country is greatly due to this unique potential to become a laboratory for sustainability. Being an island, New Zealand is what the MIT famous systems thinker Peter Senge calls a “microworld”.
In his speech of thanks at the closing ceremony Malibu said “We are beyond sustainability. We are into restoration mode”. I went to Whaingaroa Harbour and saw their great achievements. Therefore I was a little worried when I read in the New Zealand Herald that “Funding fears cloud Raglan’s harbour revival project” though “Harbour Care’s success was one of the few bright lights in a damning report on the state of New Zealand’s soil and water”. I hope that the funding "hasn’t been cut off", but that “it is just being reviewed”. I also went to Hokianga Harbour and saw for myself the effects of using some products of the Western science in agriculture. Pesticides and herbicides have nearly sterilised the estuary. What a pity for the landing site of the ancestor Kupe! Fortunately it’s still reversible and Kupe can count on the zeal of his descendants Will and Randall Stensness and their community to restore what they like to call their “supermarket” of kaimoana and to warn people of other potential environmental disasters like the algae-contaminated water of Lake Omapere. In Te Whaiti, people are working on the restoration of the Whirinaki area too. They are about to set up a nursery and they plan to involve the children in the protection of the flora and the fauna of their beautiful rainforest. The children are very confident with computers and plan to use ICT and web technology to share their treasure with the world in a sustainable way.
I also met many well-educated and good-hearted pakehas sincerely concerned about the environment and keen to help create a sustainable society. I know of different groups of people spending much of their spare time reflecting on ways to build a sustainable future for “tomorrow’s children”. During my stay in New Zealand I was very pleased to make a presentation to the ICANZ Sustainability group in company with another speaker, Mr. Dick Hubbard, whom I learned is the new mayor of Auckland. He may provide golden opportunities since he seemed to me a strong advocate of sustainability.
Creating a sustainable New Zealand requires that Maori and Pakeha start to work together. Because, according to Kiuchi and Shireman, “sustainability can only be achieved through the both restoration of the old and the emergence of the new”. I wish the great country that led the world by first giving women the right to vote, the country that has the highest rate of university diploma among the OECD members, will now choose to led the world towards peace and sustainability. New Zealand could then be more than an eco tourist destination, it could become the role model of sustainable country that everyone wants to visit.
Report and reflections shared by Peter Goldsbury:
It was indeed a privilege to accompany this group to the conference and share their wonder and interest. I was fortunate to continue traveling in the US and Canada meeting many more interesting people so I share their websites here.
I met Claude Ouimet..Vice President of Interface Inc who took us over their carpet tile production plant in Atlanta Georgia. We shared Tipu Ake ki te Ora as a tool that may help them in their quest. They are world leaders in industrial sustainability and are looking for natural fibres that they could replace nylon as a carpet material.(harakeke maybe?).
Andree introduced me to Jacques and Helene Dufresne of the L'Agora on line encyclopedia in which Andree has written about Tipu Ake and Kaitiaktanga in French. I was surprised to find that in their latest magazine she had written in French an article "le Kaitaki" on Bruce Stewart and his work in Wellington. These are very special people who respect, value and help share the concept of Kaitiakitanga.
We also visited the place on the St Lawrence River where the snow geese gather before migrating to the arctic The had a great information centre there with some good display ideas to bring home and consider for the planned Whirinaki Centre in Minginui.
Canada is a fantastic place in the fall. In Victoria, Canada we stayed with Donna Morton from the Centre for Integral Economics, an organisation promoting a shift in taxation onto non sustainable activities. She donated a book called "Tax Shift" to the Tipu Ake Collection at the AUT library). She also arranged a dinner party with many friends who were interested in finding out more about Tipu Ake and Kaitiakitanga. These included Ron George a Native Canadian Leader who is currently working with the Early Childhood Intercultural Partnership at the University of Victoria, Canada and in other youth development programmes. Also present was Erik Kaye who is the Communications Manager of the Canadian Government Forest Practices Board , who may be a handy contact.
We visited Rhea and Sandy on Lopez Island, north of Seattle who visited NZ to attend a Tipu Ake retreat in March and also hosted Te Whaiti people in June. They are involved in many community and environmental groups on their island. They have built their own stawbale house complete with natural blackwater treatment and composting toilet systems
One person we were very privileged to meet was Henning Sehmsdorf who is Adjunct professor at the Centre for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resource at Washington State University, and runs a fully bio dynamic Centre for Sustainable Agriculture on the Island with his wife Elizabeth Simpson. (www.navigatingourfuture.org/resourcesandnews/ss_homestead.html)
Anyone interested in permaculture must look over the fantastic resources he shares about farm economics and techniques by searching for S&S on http://csanr.wsu.edu/
My trip ended with me presenting Tipu Ake in a paper titled "Vision Verbs and Viagra - Potent tools for program management in a world of complexity" at the Project Management Institute Global Forum in LA an event attended by around 2500 Project Managers. see separate report
Kia Ora, Peter
Post Script March 2007
As a result of the networks established here Randal Stensness from Hokianga Harbourcare was able to piggyback visits to many of them onto a Learning journey he made with four other Youth Voice people in March 2007 to San Francisco in connection with the Digital Earth Conference see report
Travel / Programme:
Outcomes expected: (see position paper by Andree Mathieu)
Start Date: Conference runs 30 Sept - 3 October
Budget: Require around $3000 each person - This was paid by koha sourced by Strategic Expertise Ltd, our Kaitiakitanga co-funder
Nominal Project Leader: Peter Goldsbury and Andree Mathieu coordinating this external activity.
Project Team: Wanted to send 3 presenters from Te Whaiti and 3 others from our Maori Kaitiakitanga network
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