The challenge of honouring both Māori and the Pākehā wisdoms, with so much in common and yet also much that is different, is not a task unique to Enviroschools, but one shared by our nation. One of the aspects of our Enviroschools National team mahi is to support regions through empowering their tāngata. Katie Higgins and Roimata Macfarlane spent time recently with Inspired Kindergartens (IK) ECE teachers and facilitators engaging with the Enviroschools kaupapa through the lens of ‘Aroha atu, aroha mai – love flowing outwards from us, love flowing towards us’. If we put energy into aroha, tiaki and manaaki te taiao, there is going to be a flow on effect to us as tāngata engaging with te taiao working together creating a healthy, peaceful, sustainable world through learning and taking action together.
The hui begun with a lovely pōhiri by the local mana whenua of Whakaue Marae, nestled on the beautiful shoreline of Maketū in the Bay of Plenty. This was followed by kapu tī and and delicious local cuisine.
The workshop covered two areas – Hono ki te taiao | Connect to nature and our natural resources through hauora, Ngā Atua Māori and kaitiakitanga and Tiaki te taiao | Look after and preserve nature and our natural resources through Climate Change Action. Our Enviroschools Theme Areas provide activities and support material that encourage connection with te taiao.
The IK kaiako had an opportunity to experience some of these activities as well as immerse themselves in the resource material. During the afternoon they got a glimpse of some of the mahi that Katie and Roimata have recently completed for the Ministry of Education, helping to create a resource for ECE services across Aotearoa, specifically around providing strategies to deliver and contribute to Climate Change Action in an ECE context.
When creating a love for te taiao with our tamariki, they learn to grow respect and admiration for the world in which they live in and how to best look after it to ensure a more sustainable, healthy future for us all.
“Facilitating on a marae is always such a privilege! There’s nothing like being wrapped with the korowai of your tīpuna, literally surrounded by whakapapa, sharing kōrero about empowering our kaiako to engage our tamariki in lifelong learning to contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable future. Aroha, tiaki, manaaki te taiao – Toitū te Ao! Tēnā rawa atu e ngā kaimahi o Ngā Kōhungahunga Manawanui, nōku te whiwhi” – Roimata Macfarlane (He uri ahau nō Te Arawa waka), Enviroschools National ECE Support