New Zealand’s values-led approach to foreign affairs seeks to ignite connections between Indigenous and tribal peoples globally through the delivery of World Expo’s first-ever Festival of Indigenous and Tribal Ideas “Te Aratini,” during the Tolerance and Inclusivity Week at Expo 2020 Dubai from Nov. 17-19.
Expo 2020 will take place in the UAE, a place which, like New Zealand, is home to more than 200 nationalities. This shared diversity and respect for different cultures provides the ideal platform for Te Aratini to showcase the value of indigenous and tribal cultures.
Te Aratini will mark a culturally significant moment in the history of World Expos with New Zealand leading the collaboration of all participating countries to showcase the untapped potential indigenous and tribal peoples offer to solving global issues.
With the heralding in of Matariki, the Māori New Year, New Zealand is calling for international participants to join Te Aratini and be a part of the movement toward greater inclusion and acceptance of indigenous and tribal peoples’ knowledge and know-how.
“For many indigenous and tribal peoples, including Māori, our beliefs are grounded in ‘whakapapa’ (or genealogical connections) that establish relationships between people, the environment and the spiritual world. In the wake of the global pandemic, these beliefs and values can help shape the world’s much needed commitment toward empathy, sustainability, and intergenerational solutions for well-being,” said Nanaia Mahuta, minister of foreign affairs for New Zealand.
“Relationships are the cornerstone of Aotearoa New Zealand’s international connections. It is timely that Te Aratini will create a movement toward enhancing global relationships and exploring how to more proactively empower the resurgence and regeneration of indigenous economies. Globally, we can collectively build back better, fairer, more inclusively and more indigenously,” she added.
Indigenous and tribal peoples’ economies provide the foundation upon which many modern societies are built and now flourish. Approximately, 370 million people worldwide identify as indigenous peoples, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals state that true sustainable development is not possible without “protecting the traditional knowledge and territories of indigenous people.”
Visitors to the New Zealand pavilion will be introduced to the story of the Whanganui River, one of the nation’s most precious natural resources and the first river in the world to gain legal rights under Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017.
The innovative legislation recognizes the river as a living and indivisible whole with indigenous values that guide and support its health and well-being.
The powerful, universal story is designed to encourage visitors to connect with and care for people and places and to create a paradigm shift from exploiting to valuing our relationship with natural resources.