E Minaka Ana- the Talking Matters Maori strategy
Over recent months, we have started working with iwi and Maori organisations on early language.
We have been meeting with a number of iwi representatives througout the North Island, in particular the Whakatohea Trust Board in Opotiki who are interested in exploring ways to facilitate whanau engagement through early interaction and talk with babies/pepi. They have also expressed an interest in investigating how LENA technology and whanau to whanau coaching might facilitate the uptake and revitalisation of te reo (Maori language), especially the local dialect and tikanga/cultural protocols.
This aligns strongly to the E Minaka Ana strategic goal of ensuring Talking Matters is being responsive to iwi as a priority. Through talking with trust board members, local practitioners, whanau and tamariki we are learning more about iwi tribal history, along with their future hopes and aspirations for their people.
We are excited by the potential to co-design with iwi a LENA program that works for whanau raising their children in both bi-lingual and full immersion te reo Maori language environments.
“Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi” – “if you combine your food basket with my food basket, the people will be well”. Taking a collaborative approach is important to the success of the Maori strategy. An essential piece of work is to build the capability and capacity of the Talking Matters team so we can respond in culturally safe and appropriate ways to Maori. To this end, we are talking with Te Ipukarea – The National Maori Language Institute. It is hoped Te Ipukarea can provide the necessary guidance and research support, along with the required resource development to ensure LENA is contextualised for Maori purposes and compatible when using with te reo Maori.