Kia Ora, my name is Hemi and this is my sign name.
I am going to talk about Māori culture. Māori identity and culture.
So where did I learn about it? And where did I realise it was a part of me? It was at the National Hui for the Deaf. Lots of people went there in 1993. I was on the Marae, looking at all the Māori Deaf people who travelled there. They were all signing away. It really was something.
I was observing the culture and the language there. I asked questions ‘iwi - what do you mean?’ oh yes, I have an iwi. Ah right, I learnt so much about me.
After the hui finished I went home. I asked my family questions. Where is my iwi? Finally I was connected. Our land is where? Our history is what? I asked more and more questions and learnt more about where I come from. The more I learnt the more I wanted to do research and to keep learning more.
It all started at the Hui – that’s where I learnt that I had a Māori identity – that really impacted me.
Thank you for watching