New Segment-- Words from the Wise...

Every Monday I will begin the week by posting some wise words from someone in our Pacific Islander community.

This week I am quoting the words of Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Te Rina Smith (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou) who is an internationally renowned Professor of Education and researcher in Māori and indigenous education and is one of the leading
scholars on indigenous research methodologies. She currently serves as the Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Waikato.

Her critically acclaimed book Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (Zed, 1999) explores the intersections of imperialism, knowledge, and research and is one of the most cited text on indigenous research.

How do you mobilize people who fear change, who fear shifting the status quo, and how do you suggest to them that as a minority they can win? That they can win a political argument? That they can win a political struggle? There is this deep cynicism about change...what many of our activists have done is to move that great cynicism and that sheer passiveness around change and that sense of grim determination to stay as we are because to rock the boat is to make it activists we need to be able to take all of that and activate it, mobilize it and make it work in particular ways...what my generation has learned is that the next step in resistance to oppression and injustice is the step of mobilizing and activating in particular ways that move communities forward...The confidence of knowing that we have survived and can only go forward provides some impetus to a process of envisioning --(Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith)

We are at a time in our history where we can no longer stand idly by while our young Pacific people are dropping out of school in alarming numbers, the incarceration rates of young Pacific Islander men continue to triple, the brown-on-brown violence continue to be an every day phenonmenon, the numbers of native language speakers diminish daily, and the idea of learning about our own history in mainstream classrooms almost seem impossible. We continue to suffer from third world statistics when it comes to health care, poverty, and the list goes on and on...

If we want to create a different kind of future... the time is NOW!

Monday, November 3, 2008