Decolonisation starts in a name : moving on from the colonial pretence that 'Maori' or 'indigenous peoples' are explanatory frames
This article examines why and how scholars should acknowledge and name each of the diverse political actors and institutions that typically are objectified as 'indigenous peoples' on the global stage, or 'Maori' in New Zealand. For instance, rather than suggesting a political relationship or conflict exists between 'Maori and the Crown', political scientists and theorists should name the political actors and political institutions for which Maori is a shorthand, for example, 'Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (the corporate entity of the Ngai Tahu whanui) and the Committee of Tuahiwi Marae disagreed with the Crown'. A variety of reasons are discussed as to why this objectification of Maori (and any other indigenous population) as a single political actor has occurred, the problems are pointed out, and a range of examples are given. Not every use of the terms 'Maori', 'indigenous peoples' or similar descriptors in political science stands in for a specific political actor (e.g. sometimes, it is suggesting a cleavage or a group at whom a policy is directed), but where scholars are describing or suggesting political action, they should be careful in their use of ethnic labels. I suggest that it would be more productive to study the specific contexts, intentions and actions of individuals and institutions that might consider indigeneity as being part of their identity.
- Arts: Journal Articles