The Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development has created a digital resource which enhances school students’ access to tribal knowledge.
The web-based resource was created in partnership with the Science Learning Hub and is a repository of Waikato-Tainui traditions, histories and practices pertaining to the Waikato River.
Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, the College’s Academic Director, says “The Waikato River is a part of our identity both as a tribe and a region so it’s important we get school students engaged in various aspects of the river, from tribal history and tikanga to science and environmental issues.”
Tooku Awa Koiora
The resource, titled Tooku Awa Koiora to reflect the tribe’s connection to the Waikato River and its surrounding environments features information about the history of raupatu (confiscation) and the Waikato-Tainui settlements, information on tikanga and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) as well as video interviews with tribal members and iwi scientists.
“This resource will further students’ knowledge and understanding of the river as it utilises multimedia to share Waikato-Tainui values, stories, research and experiences,” says Dr Tiakiwai.
Valuable education resource
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of the Science Learning Hub Professor Alister Jones says “Effective science learning occurs when students explore meaningful, relevant contexts. This partnership with Waikato-Tainui is an exciting development that has led to the production of a valuable education resource.”
The production of Tooku Awa Koiora was supported by the Waikato River Authority. Tooku Awa Koiora will be hosted by the Science Learning Hub website – www.sciencelearn.org. The Science Learning Hub promotes student interest and engagement in science by providing contemporary, contextualised resources for school teachers from Years 2–10. It is managed by the University of Waikato and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.