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This week we were charged with making a start on Linda Tuwahi Smith’s book, Decolonizing Methodologies. Linda has become a superhero in the decolonizing conversation, and I enjoy reading the work she has completed. I hope that one day we will meet. I would love the opportunity to advance the conversation of decarceration with her. I guess the ultimate would be to have her agree to supervise a piece of my rangahau, a small goal I can set myself.
The first chapter of her book, I listened to as a podcast, as I drove to Mount Maunganui one wild morning, to spend the day with my two granddaughters. Incredibly, I had not stopped to think about my Imperial history, and all that I knew to be true. Undoubtedly, I have shown limited interest in the history of New Zealand and the world, and it was not until I came back into study, that any of this had meaning or relevance. I listened to the podcast, then read the first few chapters of Linda’s book, that identified with the obviously weighted perspective that has been brought through the Western framework of historical events, is sited in the colonial agenda to dispossess land and destroy language and culture. The chapter’s contents and discussion is further supported by my later reading of Marsden’s first speech on an Aotearoa beach, in Jones and Jenkins.
What I know about the history of New Zealand has become beyond uncomfortable, and in many cases simply incorrect. Years and years of Western historical documentation and dialogue weighted in the dominant perspective, generates a very biased historical account. The total disregard of the Indigenous counter narrative is alarming, and therefore makes my understanding and knowledge incomplete. I am now hungry to know more of the historical narrative of those that were being advanced into oblivion, through Western greed.

I have also elected to write on another reading link included this week:
Hundreds of Astronomers Denounce Arrest of Native Hawaiians Protest of a Thirty Metre

The impact of this July 2019 article, where scientists are wanting to place a giant telescope (1.4-billion-dollar project) on Hawaiian ancestral land, demonstrates once again the lack of change in the hegemonic colonial power play. The question here is not about the obstruction of science by Indigenous peoples, but the right to self-govern and make decisions on their own land, within their own cultural frameworks of care. Where the objection to a scientific proposal is listened to, respected and does not lead to their detainment, that in this case saw elders being arrested.
The action of the Police and the Military activated strong opinion and allies from over 200 astronomy students, signing an open letter, and who ironically stood to gain from the telescope’s placement.
The action of enforced placement, on Indigenous land (without consultation), justified through scientific exploration for the greater human good, implemented at any cost through conquest, is simply not okay anymore. To do so is simply a continuation of colonial violence against marginalised people, that fails to recognise the sovereignty and independence of Indigenous peoples.

“We have an ethical duty to put the rights of people ahead of our science. Otherwise, our science is unethical.” (Hilding Neilson, an assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Toronto).

Fumes, Y. (July , 2019). Hundreds of Astronomers Denounce Arrest of Native Hawaiians Protest of a Thirty Metre Telescope. Environmental Justice. Gizmodo.com

Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous People. (2nd ed.). Zed Books.