Learn from the best

Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith
Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou

Known as the Mother of Indigenous Studies, Prof Tuhiwai-Smith’s book “Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples” is considered one of the most influential texts on Indigenous research.

Her books, articles and youtube lectures are prescribed texts in Universities around the world.

Prof Tuhiwai-Smith is one of the first Māori women to become a Fellow of the Royal Society, she has received an Honorary Doctorate in Canada and her Prime Minister’s Award is the highest national award for lifetime achievement in education.

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Considered one of the world's leading scholars and founding thought leaders of Indigenous Studies, Indigenous Education and Kaupapa Māori research, Prof Tuhiwai-Smith’s work demonstrates her commitment to the well-being and intellectual and political self-determination of Indigenous peoples.  Her latest research has drawn together more than 120 Indigenous scholars for the first ever Handbook of Indigenous Education and in the last six years she has been awarded more than $4m in research grants.

Quirky Fact

Linda was once a member of the radical group Ngā Tamatoa in the 1970s.  Now, she feels she's a teacher of radical students instead.


Prof Smith’s numerous awards recognise the national and international significance of her research, her contribution to knowledge and the impact of her expertise on the global Indigenous society.

  • Recognised by the Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga - NZ Māori Centre of Research Excellence for the “eminent and distinctive contribution she has made to Te Ao Māori, and to Māori and Indigenous knowledge”, Prof Tuhiwai Smith was awarded the inaugural Te Puāwaitangi Award

Companion to the NZ Order of Merit for contributions to Māori Education

    • Joan Metge Medal, Royal Society NZ for contributions to mentoring, capacity building in the social sciences and contribution to knowledge
    • Māori Educator of the Year

    • Fellow of the American Educational Research Association
    • McKenzie Award (New Zealand Association of Research in Education) for sustained contributions to educational research

    • Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand
    • Māori Television Matariki Award for Excellence in Education
    • Prime Minister's Lifetime Achievement Award in Education

Appointments and Positions

Professor Smith has influenced policy, practices and outcomes through her many and varied roles.  These contributions include:

  • Waitangi Tribunal Committee member
  • Chair of International Research Advisory Board (IRAB) for Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga
  • Chair of Te Arataki Wānanga, Ministry of Culture and Heritage
  • Independent Science Panel - Deep South National Science Challenge and Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge
  • Māori Economic Development Advisory Committee
  • Chair of Norwegian Centre of Excellence Assessment Panel, Research Council of Norway
  • Royal Society of NZ Council
  • Marsden Fund Council and Chair of the Social Sciences Panel

Featured Publications

Prof Tuhiwai-Smith's research publications focus on Indigenous knowledge and methodologies and are the go-to reference for Indigenous scholarship.

  • Pihama, L., Smith, L. T., Evans-Campbell, T., Kohu-Morgan, H., Cameron, N., Mataki, T., . . . Southey, K. (2017). Investigating Māori approaches to trauma informed care. Journal of Indigenous Wellbeing, 2(3), 18-31
  • McKinley, E. A., & Smith, L. T. (Eds.) (2017). Handbook on Indigenous Education. Springer (Singapore)
  • Smith, L. T. (2017). Indigenous peoples and education in the Pacific region. In State of the World's Indigenous Peoples: Education (Vol. 3rd, pp. 163-184). OECD iLibrary. Retrieved from

Find more research publications by Linda Smith

Take the opportunity to learn from the best.  Professor Smith teaches the following papers within the Faculty of Māori & Indigenous Studies:

MAORI150 - Te Tiriti o Waitangi: An Introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi

This paper seeks to provide a sound understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It reviews historical and contemporary interpretations and takes into account the interplay of contextual issues of the time.

MAORI203 - Decolonising Methodologies

Look at the detrimental effects that research has historically had on Indigenous peoples and the relatively recent creation of research methodologies by Indigenous peoples to counteract Imperial research, and to empower and decolonise.

MAORI571 (Online) - Decolonising Theory and Indigenous Studies

A seminar programme on Indigenous consciousness, knowledge, values and ethics and their applications to contemporary issues such as research ethics, environmental values and cultural practices.

Contact details & media tools

Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao
Professor Linda Tuhiwai-Smith
+64 7 8384977

For all media enquiries please contact:
Ngāwai Smith
+64 22 427 5433

Photos and videos available for download:

Prof Tuhiwai-Smith's keynotes are watched all over the world.  Take a look at one below:

Prof Smith speaking at the University of Regina in Canada