A Pūrākau Analysis of Institutional Barriers Facing Māori Occupational Therapy Students
Davis, G; Came, H
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Introduction Across Aotearoa (New Zealand), there are chronic shortages of qualified Māori (Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa) health practitioners and systemic ethnic health inequities. This study, focussing on the discipline of occupational therapy, explores Māori graduates' recollections of the institutional barriers that impacted on their study in this field over a 25-year period. Methods This qualitative study interviewed seven Māori occupational therapy graduates using pūrākau—an innovative Māori narrative inquiry method. Pūrākau (stories) were collected in 2018 via kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) semi-structured interviews. They were analysed using the kaupapa Māori (Māori philosophical) framework of Pū-Rā-Ka-Ū which draws on traditional Māori mātauranga (knowledge). Findings The institutional barriers identified were (1) cultural dissonance, (2) cultural (in)competency and (3) the limitations of (Western) pastoral care. Conclusion This study highlighted how racism is embedded within the Western tertiary education system. To create a safe learning environment for Māori students, tertiary education institutions require a planned approach to address racism within policy, procedures, the curriculum, teaching and professional staff.