AlterNative Volume 12, Issue 4
The latest issue of AlterNative, Volume 12, Issue 4 is now available online and in print. This issue has five contributions on Indigenous peoples’ issues in Aotearoa New Zealand, two articles from Australia and one article from Norway. Three of the seven articles discuss issues pertaining to Indigenous research ethics in theory and practice. Other topics include young Māori mothers' experiences of institutional racism from government agencies, Māori nurses' balancing of work and cultural caregiving commitments, Indigenous Australian peer mentorship in a non-communicable disease prevention programme, and Sámi educational self-determination in Norway. The issue also includes a commentary on the Māori land reforms in te Ture Whenua Māori Bill (2016), currently before Parliament in New Zealand and two book reviews.
In the feature article “Research, ethics and Indigenous peoples: An Australian Indigenous perspective on three threshold considerations for respectful engagement,” Ambelin Kwaymullina examines three threshold considerations relevant to non-Indigenous scholars who seek to enter into respectful research relationships with Indigenous peoples or knowledges. The first is the question of whether the research should be conducted at all. The second is positionality and how this affects research. The third is the need for scholars to comprehensively inform themselves about ethical research principles, including in relation to free, prior and informed consent, and Indigenous cultural and intellectual property.
Another article concerned with Indigenous research ethics and methodologies is "Indigenous positioning in health research: The importance of Kaupapa Māori theory-informed practice," in which Elana Curtis summarises what an Indigenous positioning means to her as a health researcher, medical practitioner, academic and Māori community member, and explains why it is more than just a methodological approach.
The third article on this topic is "Te Mata Ira - faces of the gene: Developing a cultural foundation for biobanking and genomic research involving Māori," by Maui Hudson and co-authors who present Māori concepts relevant to biobanking and genomic research for the development of culturally appropriate guidelines. Key issues for Māori in relation to biobanking and genomic research, as identified through the Te Mata Ira project, include the protection of Māori rights and interests, a focus on Māori health priorities, the control of samples and data, expectations of consultation and consent, and a desire for greater feedback and communication.
In "Ngā Reanga o ngā Tapuhi: Generations of Māori nurses," Léonie Walker and co-authors present their findings from a project aiming specifically to give voice to the stories of Māori nurses balancing work commitments with cultural caregiving responsibilities. Māori nurses frequently combine considerable community service and duty with their work as nurses. These dual roles demonstrate considerable resilience and skills and impact negatively on their emotional and physical health, yet are often not understood or appreciated by their managers.
Anna Adcock, Fiona Cram and Beverley Lawton present findings from a discourse analysis based on interviews with 13 representatives from six government agencies who were asked how their agency catered to the needs of young Māori mothers in their article "E Hine: Talking about Māori teen pregnancy with government groups."
Anne Birgitte Fyhn and co-authors from Norway describe two Sámi mathematics teachers’ development of a culturally responsive mathematics exam that decolonizes the curriculum and works towards Indigenous educational self-determination.
In “Experiences of urban Australian Indigenous peer mentors in a non-communicable disease prevention program,” Karen Adams and co-authors describe urban Indigenous Australian experiences of a peer mentor program (PMP) aiming to reduce non-communicable disease (NCD) risks and discusses its implications for future policy and practice. Their article contributes to the body of knowledge about practical processes of enactment and incorporation of Indigenous people and culture in health-focused Peer Mentor Programmes.
Paerau Warbrick provides a critical stance on the Māori land reforms in te Ture Whenua Māori Bill (2016), currently before Parliament, in his commentary “A cause for nervousness: The proposed Māori land reforms in New Zealand.”
The issue also has two book reviews. Meegan Hall reviews Joan Metge's Tauira: Māori methods of learning and teaching and Ambelin Kwaymullina the book Yijarni: True stories from Gurindji country. Both book reviews are available open access.