Engagement of Indigenous and Western Science Knowledge Systems

Kia ora #D2C2015

Since 2009, Jeji Varghese (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph, Canada) and Steve Crawford (Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph) have worked with Ojibway and Māori colleagues in a First Nation-sponsored research program aimed at improving the practical engagement between Indigenous and Western Science knowledge systems in natural resource management and environmental assessments. Our research program is in its final year of funding by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, with an explicit objective to effectively transfer our research products to the communities directly involved in these issues. Due to the major similarities - but also important differences - between the New Zealand and Canadian Crown’s cultural and legal relationship with their respective Indigenous populations, we decided that it would be most effective to organize parallel symposia in Aotearoa/New Zealand (6 May 2015) and Canada (9 June 2015): http://www.uoguelph.ca/~ks2015ca/

Implementing the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi via Meaningful Consultation with Māori on Natural Resource Management

Engagement of Indigenous and Western Science Knowledge Systems

6 May 2015 Public Symposium - Te Papa National Museum, Wellington, New Zealand (free registration, capacity 300; morning and afternoon tea/coffee provided, no lunch)

The goal of the public symposium at Te Papa (6 May 2015) is to bring together a variety of knowledgeable people to share their understanding of the Crown's responsibility for reciprocal and meaningful consultation between Māori-Western Science knowledge systems in natural resource management and environmental assessments. The symposium will be devoted to a series of selected presentations by informed speakers on critical issues related to implementation of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi to meaningfully consult Māori knowledge systems in natural resource management:


  • 9:00 Opening Prayer, Introductions - Host Elder, Steve Crawford & Jeji Varghese
  • 9:05 Welcome by Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor - Sir Peter Gluckman
  • 9:20 Symposium Background, Goal & Objectives - Steve Crawford & Jeji Varghese
  • 9:40 New Governance Arrangements for Māori - Paul Beverley
  • 10:00 Legal Parameters of a Duty to Consult in Aotearoa NZ - Catherine Iorns Magallanes

  • 10:20 Morning Tea

  • 10:40 Rocking the Mātauranga, Science and Technology Interface - Ocean Mercier
  • 11:00 Tirohia he Huarahi: Beyond Consultation - Janet Stephenson
  • 11:20 Authority and Authenticity: Mātauranga in Policy/Practice - Maui Hudson
  • 11:40 Mechanics of Knowledge System Engagement - Jeji Varghese & Steve Crawford

  • 12:00 Lunch

  • 13:00 Pathways to Effective Decision Making – An Evolving Process - Rawiri Faulkner
  • 13:20 ARC Māori Responsiveness Framework - Johnnie Freeland
  • 13:40 Iwi, Hapū, and Whānau Partnerships: Tuna Research/Management - Erica Williams
  • 14:00 Mātauranga Māori and Environmental Impact Assessments - Dan Hikuroa
  • 14:20 Science and Mātauranga Innovation in Natural Resource Management - Jamie Ataria & Shaun Ogilvie

  • 14:40 Afternoon Tea

Moderated Discussion: "What Conditions Are Required To Fulfill The Crown’s Responsibility to Meaningfully Consult Māori Knowledge Systems On Natural Resource Management Issues?”

  • 15:00 Moderator Steve Crawford - Panel (Provisional): Paul Beverley, Johnnie Freeland, Janet Stephenson, Maui Hudson
  • 16:30 Wrap-up, Closing Prayer - Jeji Varghese & Steve Crawford, Host Elder

Speaker Biographies

Symposium Resources

In this way, the symposium agenda leads toward consideration practical actions that should be taken to ensure effective engagement between Māori and Western Science knowledge systems in the management of Aotearoa/New Zealand's natural resources.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Sincerely, Steve Crawford & Jeji Varghese
University of Guelph, Canada