He Reo Tuku Iho: Tangata Whenua and Te Reo Māori
Reclaiming a language is a slow-burning process, both deeply personal and intricately connected to the socio-economic, historical and political conditions in which we live. In He Reo Tuku Iho: Tangata Whenua and Te Reo Māori, Awanui Te Huia focuses on the lived experiences of tangata whenua and explores ways in which they can reclaim te reo.
Drawing upon findings from the national research project Manawa ū ki te reo Māori, which surveyed motivations and barriers for Māori language acquisition and use, Te Huia encourages readers to explore how they can journey back towards te reo Māori in daily life. We hear from tangata whenua learning te reo, and from those who are fluent, while considering challenges to language reclamation – such as experiences with racism, whakamā, historical trauma and resourcing – and ways to overcome these.
At the heart of He Reo Tuku Iho is the knowledge that it is possible for Māori to return te reo to minds, hearts and mouths. As Te Huia writes: ‘The aroha connection that we all have with our tūpuna, our living relations, and those yet to come, are tied together in our collective desire for te reo Māori to thrive now and in the future.’
Awanui Te Huia (Ngāti Maniapoto) is a researcher and lecturer at the School of Māori Studies Te Kawa a Māui. She has a PhD in psychology that focuses on factors that support heritage language development for Māori learners of te reo Māori. As well as focusing on Māori language learning, she also researches the ways in which Māori and Pākehā learn about colonial history, and how such knowledge contributes to our concepts of biculturalism in Aotearoa. In 2019, for Te Mātāwai, she led the project Manawa ū ki te reo Māori.
Cover design: Tane Morris