Auckland

AUCKLAND, New Zealand

"He waka eke noa."

"We are all in this canoe together."

 

– Maori proverb

After learning how to both hongi and eating from our

hangi, we learned how to haka. I was very impressed

with the Maori youth and how passionate they

were when sharing their cultural traditions

with our students. We studied

colonization and the Treaty of

Waitangi with University of

Auckland Professor Paul Moon. 

Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud, was an amazing experience for my students and I at THINK Global School. Our adventure began with a 'powhiri,' or traditional Maori welcome ceremony.  

We studied cultural change with a focus on gender using class discussions linked to reading the novel, The Whale Rider. Author, Witi Ihimaera, joined us for a question and answer session. After learning about both Maori culture and colonization, students were assigned to research and problem-solve some other indigenous land rights conflict in the form of a situation report. One of my favorite assignments of this term was called 'Have I been true to my Tikanga?' Click on the image below to listen to the three minute mash-up of the student

submissions. 

 

On an expedition to the White Island, in the Bay of Plenty, students learned about the active volcano that has been smoking since its discovery by James Cook in 1769. Students met and spoke with local New Zealand celebrity Wildboy Brando, who successfully walked all of New Zealand. ​