Contributed by the Hokotehi Moriori Trust
This session drew together projects and people working in indigenous contexts to record, protect and manage heritage landscapes, elder collective memories and customary resources, with a particular emphasis on intergenerational learning. The session was opened and interactive on the manner of traditional fora (elders first). It focused on the importance of the preservation and transmission of intergenerational knowledge of “living in country” and the maintenance and promotion of retention of the local language(s) and cultural practices of the communities that sustain this knowledge.
At its heart was an understanding of the importance of the sacred/spiritual/wairua traditions, as an expression of the thread that binds people together with their natural worlds, and that provides the basis for living in a mutually respectful and mutually enhancing relationship of humans, plants and animals. In addition to providing a collective forum for learning about traditional knowledge and the importance of being able to practice cultural continuity, the session also examined ways in which the modern world may come to a better understanding of how this sacred knowledge or knowledge of the sacred is critical to humankind (re)learning how to live “in connection with” rather than increasingly “disconnected from” our planet and planetary systems. It also looked at ways that modern science can incorporate these ways of thinking for preserving and maintaining biological and cultural diversity on our planet.