Heoi anō tāku he tuku mana, Kia parahia te huanui ki te mana taurite
Lifting others is the path to equity
This phrase from my email signature was written for me by a collegue Karuna Thurlow from Ngāi Tahu in 2021 and encapsulates a value that is central to me personally, and to our organisation Leadership Lab... mana ōrite. We ask ourselves constantly... “How do we address bias and racism to ensure equity and inclusion for ākonga Māori and all ākonga in our Aotearoa kura?”. In this session we will explore the process involved in developing our critical consciousness as educators in Aotearoa, and the resulting actions that might make a result. I will share some on my own experience as a Pakeha who has been committed to my identity as Tangata Tiriti for many years and wrestled with the hesitancy, vulnerability and joy that this involves. We will share some of our learning in Leadership Lab through developing strategic thinking with school Boards, and developing ‘cultural capability’ with tumuaki (principals) and kaiako (teachers) around Aotearoa. This mahi is involving exploring ways to develop individual and collective competence and confidence in culturally sustaining teaching and leading. The journey towards the knowledge and skills to become a Treaty partner in practice comes through creating open spaces for dialogue that allow for safe and courageous conversations, from applying the principles of the powhiri process to core practices in kura so that tikanga is normalised and results in developing confidence to design and lead educational initiatives in a culturally sustaining way.