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Maori tribal leader to explore Indigenous survival

Sir Tipene O’Regan will give the 14th annual Vincent Lingiari Lecture Sir Tipene O’Regan will give the 14th annual Vincent Lingiari Lecture

An academic and prominent Maori leader who guided his clan to successful land and fisheries claims will give the 14th annual Vincent Lingiari Lecture at Charles Darwin University.

Sir Tipene O’Regan, who is a kaumatua (noted elder) of New Zealand’s South Island Ngai Tahu tribe, will present the lecture in Darwin on August 21.
Sir Tipene said his address, entitled “The economics of Indigenous survival”, will focus on the challenges faced by Indigenous minorities in developing economic and governance models capable of sustaining the heritage and cultural identity of Indigenous people on an inter-generational basis.

“The survival of Indigenous culture requires that cultural knowledge and economic capacity are under Indigenous people’s own control,” Sir Tipene said.

“Resourcing a cultural knowledge base is key to owning your own cultural identity, but it requires a model for capital maintenance and intergenerational investment to secure those resources over the long term.

“The continued evolution of Indigenous cultures does not happen unless a sustained investment is made in the collective Indigenous economy.

“It is in finding the balance between serving the needs of the individual and the requirements of the collective where the challenge lies.”

Sir Tipene said that currently he was involved in the development of a tribally resourced search engine that would tap into Maori knowledge and cultural information held in libraries and museums across the world.

“Investment in the establishment of cultural knowledge centres and making Indigenous knowledge accessible to tribal communities through modern technology is nearly as important as the cultural heritage itself,” he said.

Over 2012-2013 Sir Tipene was co-Chair of New Zealand’s Constitutional Advisory Panel. He is Chair of the Centre for Maori Research Excellence at the University of Auckland and is a former Assistant Vice-Chancellor Maori at the University of Canterbury.

His academic interests lie in traditional Maori, treaty and wider Pacific history, and comparative culture contact experience. He has written and lectured on the evolution of the Maori intergenerational economy and on the development of Indigenous governance.

The Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture commemorates the Wave Hill Station walk-off in August 1966 led by Vincent Lingiari with his Gurindji people and other groups. This act was a catalyst for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and across Australia to have their rights to traditional lands recognised and returned to them.

The lecture will be held from 5pm – 7pm on Thursday 21 August in the Mal Nairn Auditorium, Building 7, Red Precinct, CDU Casuarina campus. The event is free, but RSVPs are essential. E: or P: 8946 6554.