MAOR 317 - Special Topic: Science and Indigenous Knowledge

MAOR317 explores recent initiatives to bridge the philosophical gap between Western science and Indigenous Knowledge, and asks how these knowledge systems might work alongside each other.

Local knowledge projects

For their final assessment, students research and document "local knowledge" in a way that explores the tensions between 'capturing' local / Indigenous and/or oral knowledge with electronic media. Many students have chosen to use Google Earth to display their research.

In 2009, one student geo-referenced Google Earth to a 1917 map of Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington Harbour), then used Elsdon Best's "The Land of Tara" to map old Māori placenames, pā sites, and resources.

In 2011, a student mapped the Native schools of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Kura Kaupapa of the 20th and 21st centuries, in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty area. At each placemark, she incorporated narratives from the school. This illustrates the massive shift in the education of Māori children that has occurred since the introduction of Māori immersion schools.