Handpicked students from a group of high schools gathered at Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae in South Auckland today to hear from members of the UN Indigenous Youth delegation He Kuaka Mārangaranga.
Speaking on behalf of He Kuaka Marangaranga, Tauawhi Bonilla says the group is "bringing back and explaining what we learnt there to inspire and motivate youth to pursue this path“.
Founder of the Moko Foundation, Dr Lance O'Sullivan says it's about enabling youth to empower others.
“To support other youth around the country, that to me is the main benefit of today and of our trip to America,” says O'Sullivan.
He Kuaka Marangaranga representatives set up the meeting to relay what they'd learnt from their trip to the UN indigenous summit in New York.
Bonilla says the goal was to provide insights that the students may not be receiving elsewhere, in an attempt to inspire the youth.
“To share some of the challenges faced by other indigenous peoples and the benefits that we can learn from their methods of resistance, that's a key objective,” says Bonilla.
Kaipara College student Nellie Young says, “Knowing that are other diverse cultures that are struggling too, just learning heaps of things so that I can bring it back to the world instead of just Māori or just my friends”.
Students from five schools and youth group workers were invited to participate and learn.
Young says, “Being confident in who I am and my culture instead of shying away I think that was the biggest thing. For me it's just knowing who I am as a person and knowing my whānau and my whakapa”.
Another session will be held in Kaitāia before plans are put in place to take it further.