Breadcrumbs

Waikato researchers tapped for US$30m Centre for braiding Indigenous knowledge and science

14 September 2023

Dr Haki Tuaupiki and Associate Professor Maui Hudson
Dr Haki Tuaupiki and Associate Professor Maui Hudson

Two University of Waikato researchers have been shoulder-tapped as investigators within the newly launched NSF Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledges and Science (CBIKS) based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) in the United States.

The CBIKS centre is about connecting Indigenous knowledge with mainstream Western sciences to create new ways to address some of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change, including impacts on ecosystems; the threat to irreplaceable archaeological sites, sacred places, and cultural heritage; and the issues around changing food systems, all of which disproportionately affect Indigenous communities. The research team brings together the world’s leading Indigenous natural, environmental, and social scientists, representing Native American, First Nations, Métis, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, Māori and Aboriginal Australian peoples.

Community-based research and place-based studies will be done in partnership with Indigenous communities in eight international “hubs.” Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute Associate Professor Maui Hudson (Te Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine, and Te Māhurehure) and Senior Lecturer Dr Haki Tuaupiki (Waikato, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) at Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao - Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies will work as part of the Aotearoa New Zealand contingent based at the Pacific Hub.

“Combining Indigenous and mainstream Western sciences to address complex global problems is an important step towards more equitable partnerships with Indigenous communities, the co-production of knowledge, and the development of place-based, community-centred solutions,” Associate Professor Hudson says.

Dr Tuaupiki adds: “Indigenous ancestral knowledge, with thousands of years of articulation and practice, has always been important and extremely valuable, never more so than now. This international collaboration of Indigenous leaders and experts will see us utilise Indigenous ancestral wisdom in an ethical and culturally grounded way with the best of Western science to find solutions to climate change for our communities and the world.”

Dr Tuaupiki is Co-Director of the Pacific Hub alongside Kelley Uyeoka from the cultural resource management non-profit Huliauapa’a in Hawai’i. Dr Tuaupiki says, “Our work will focus on   food sovereignty, traditional food restoration, wāhi kupuna (ancestral spaces) stewardship, and voyaging and navigation responses to climate change.”

Associate Professor Hudson will co-lead the Indigenous Data Sovereignty Working Group. He says that “this work is primarily about developing approaches and processes that enable the hubs and different studies to share traditional knowledge in the context of the different research activities while protecting that knowledge and ensuring it is not misappropriated.”

Alongside research, CBIKS has an important educational mission. The centre will train postdoctoral researchers and graduate research assistants. Workshops and camps for young people and government agencies will share knowledge and processes for ‘braiding’ Indigenous knowledge. Associate Professor Hudson says that as part of the CBIKS Indigenous Science Study Abroad Program, the University of Waikato will also host students travelling from U.S.-based CBIKS Hub institutions.

The United States National Science Foundation has invested over US $ 30 million (NZ $50 million) into CBIKS for five years, after which it will be eligible for further funding.


Latest stories

Related stories

New research puts Pacific climate crisis on the agenda for tangata whenua

New research by the University of Waikato has started important conversations with tangata whenua around…

Designing an inclusive citizenship model guided by Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Rapidly growing ethnic communities are projected to be about 30% of the population of Aotearoa…

Behind 200-year old Te Rā: the last Māori sail

After 200 years in residence in a British Museum storeroom, Te Rā has arrived home…

Research leader and Antarctica expert to join Waikato as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research

The University of Waikato has announced the appointment of Professor Gary Wilson to the role…

Walking into the future with eyes fixed on the past

Professor Tangiwai Rewi, newly appointed Te Amokapua (Dean), Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, is…

University of Waikato researchers receive record-level Marsden funding to explore bold ideas for the future

The University of Waikato is celebrating its most successful Marsden funding round yet.

Dr Rebecca Lawton Rutherford Discovery Fellow

Prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship awarded to Dr Rebecca Lawton for marine kelp research

Dr Rebecca Lawton, Senior Lecturer in Marine Science and Aquaculture at the University of Waikato…

Dr Tangiwai Rewi

Waikato alumna to lead Māori & Indigenous Studies

The University of Waikato’s Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, Faculty of Māori and Indigenous…

Dr Jason Mika

Significant funding boost for University of Waikato research

The University of Waikato has achieved significant results in the latest funding round from the…

3MT group photo 2023

Captive kiwi management researcher takes out tight competition

Te Aka Mātuatua School of Science animal behaviour researcher Rebecca Connor won the University's 3…

IDI Lab sign

Newly refurbished Waikato IDI Lab a catalyst for fostering academic-industry collaboration

The University of Waikato re-opened its newly refurbished Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) Lab; a catalyst…

Professor Chris Battershill

Renowned scientist honoured for dedication to marine conservation

World-renowned marine scientist Professor Chris Battershill has been honoured for his significant contributions to marine…