Many shoppers are aware of social issues and want to know where their products are made, and who by. I have been asked a few times in the past if I whakapapa Māori.
I do not whakapapa Māori - I am Pākehā. In my work I want to be as inclusive and respectful as possible. I try to integrate tikanga and te reo where I can and where I feel appropriate. If I am not sure, I seek advice.
I discussed with a cultural advisor before making our recycled plastic Huia feather earrings. I am aware of the significance and importance of Huia as taonga. I was advised that if the earrings are not made from a natural material (wood, or actual feathers) then they act as a tribute to the Huia. For me the Huia were not only beautiful native birds, but are also such an interesting vehicle for discussions including the unintended consequences of fast fashion, sustainable/ethical consumption, and women in the public eye.
Another example of this is our te reo reusable name tags. I made sure I checked with a Māori language advisor before making them to ensure it was appropriate and correct. I make these nametags to reduce waste and provide a tangible, reusable option for events. But they are also a great way to be inclusive. Why not also have pronouns and te reo to show your event attendees that your organisation can be environmentally AND socially aware?!
Also check out blog post: Social Change, One Name Tag at a Time
Tūrangawaewae is often translated as 'a place to stand' . It refers to the place we feel empowered and connected.