Last week was Maori Language week, a campaign to raise awareness that New Zealand has its very own language and encouraging the use of it, with simple & supportive phrases to use every day, week and month of the year.
Maori language, people and culture are an essential part of NZ’s tech future. Another group of Maori rangatahi are off to Silicon Valley this week, as part of their digital education.
Callaghan Innovation have been part of the team supporting Maori tech & innovation through these trips. Last year, Atawhai Tibble joined the trip, and shared his story here:
Our people have a history of exploration, inquiry, disruption, and innovation. It is part of our DNA. It underpins our legends and traditional narratives. Like when we traversed the Pacific, from Hawaaiki Nui, to Aotearoa we took huge risks, we plunged into the unknown, and all we had was our belief and desire.
Maori language, culture and people will form a huge part of NZ’s tech future, it’s worth remembering we can keep the fires burning beyond Maori language week.
Long-time SoT supporter Nick Parfene identified TWO THINGS everyone can do to keep the Maori language alive for the other 51 weeks of the year: Switch the language settings on your phone or tablet to Maori, and Spread the word! This is a small but subtle change, you’ll start to learn a few words, and see which websites cater to Maori language preferences.
PS: for some reason, this WordPress blog theme is not happy with macrons 🙁 That’s another example of the barriers we have to use Maori in a day-to-day way. I’m working on an update to get this fixed, asap!