When you read someone’s credentials – their bio, their e-mail signature, their signoff, their profile; what do you think? What’s your first instinct? “Oh yes.. he must know so and so.. “, or “Hmmm graduated in 2010, just a newbie..”
I’m shooting myself in the foot here because I know many many fantastic individuals, great inspiring people and I could care less where they work and what they have to their name.
Maybe I exercise a Māori world view, one similar to how Sally Pewhairangi describes it. When I meet someone, I do ask them where they’re from and where they work.
In a Pākeha world view, those two questions may result in the same answer. I am open to interpretation.
When someone asks me where I’m from, I evaluate the question based on who I’m talking to. Pākeha – Answer: Wellington. Māori: East Coast. In a lot of cases with Māori, all I have to do is say my surname.
I’ll go back to the leaving statement in Sally’s post,
People are more than just a job title or a box in an organisational chart. The Māori world view recognises this. People matter.
I remember one of the first proper professional talks I gave with Kathryn and Con to an audience of 20 or so library and information professionals back in late 2008. In my first talk, I felt it necessary and vitally important to articulate myself as indigenous, or Māori to this audience. I remember one of my colleagues at the time, when testing my talk out on my mates at work, asking me why I was talking in Māori and whether I was doing that to show off. I told him to listen to what I was saying and then he might understand.
I identify as Māori and a New Zealander.
I need you to see me as an individual regardless of my name.
I need you to see me as an individual, regardless of the fact I have three children clinging to me and I’m not working because I choose to be home for my family in these early years.