Intercultural understanding is required for effective intercultural education. The education of Pasifika students (those with cultural and/or family ties to Pacific Islands) living in Aotearoa New Zealand is a negative case in point. Research has linked Pasifika educational achievement to the quality of relationships between teachers and Pasifika students, but has generally stopped short of framing the discussion through Pasifika concepts. This article explores the concept of va (relationship/relatedness) for its potential in telling a relational story in Pasifika conceptual language.
This paper presents my critical reflections on what it means to be a Taíno Indigenous person. It is part of an ongoing research project that started in 2013 and is based on oral histories, ancestral knowledges, collective memories of family, community narratives, and other historical accounts, including the voices of 10 people from two rural communities in Southern Jamaica. This research uses an Indigenous research methodology to honour ancestral knowledge systems.
Indigenous knowledge systems and spiritual traditions are intricately interwoven. They sustained First Nations peoples for centuries, are part of the everyday lives of Indigenous peoples and are at the core of Indigenous epistemologies. This paper argues that, despite the adverse impacts of Canada’s colonial policies on Indigenous peoples, their ancestral knowledge systems and spirituality guide and nourish them as they navigate their way through contemporary educational and everyday life contexts.