A critical analysis of indigenous Māori language revitalisation and the development of an ontological data base

Anaru, Norman Albert
Ka'ai, Tania
Kaʽai-Mahuta, Racheal
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis examines the integration of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and political theories as a basis from which to understand Indigenous language revitalisation and in particular, Māori language revitalisation in order to develop effective strategies for the survival of the Māori language for future generations. It asks the question, are Māori language revitalisation strategies and initiatives informed by theory[ies] and mātauranga Māori? Or, are Māori language revitalisation strategies ad hoc and reactionary to an environment where native speakers are becoming fewer and the quality of the language very limited? Kaupapa Māori research ethics and principles inform the research methodology and Indigenous methodologies provide a framework from which to locate and interpret the research ensuring that the research is managed through a culturally appropriate lens.

The development of an ontological data base is an outcome of this research, where relationships between the concepts and classifications in a subject area or domain pertaining to Indigenous Māori language revitalisation are examined. The aim of this is to develop a store of information to assist those in the revival, survival and or revitalisation of the Māori language. Through using the information contained within the data base, together with Indigenous Māori views and principles, resilient and culturally congruous approaches and strategies to Indigenous language revitalisation can be formed.

This study also highlights a range of other classifications and concepts juxtaposed with Indigenous language revitalisation and although some seem to have minimal connection to each other, the common threads between them all is the domain of Indigenous rights against a background of colonialism, imperialism, hegemony, equality, institutionalised racism, Māori poverty, injustice and health issues. Therefore, this study recommends that these facets must be considered in order to develop robust and enduring Indigenous language revitalisation strategies, methods, initiatives and approaches.

Māori language revitalisation , Te reo Māori , Political; Critical indigenous theories , Moko models , Ontological data base , Indigenous Methodologies
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