India’s roots anchor deep to te Matau a Māui through her Kahungunu ki Heretaunga and Pākehā whakapapa. She works in many different areas across the multiple communities she is a part of. With a background in archaeology and anthropology, India has worked in museum spaces focussing on pre-colonial history, cultural sovereignty and taonga care. More recently, India has been conducting her activism in the climate justice space, incorporating kōrero on tino rangatiratanga and indigenous solidarity.
India has the joy and privilege of being the tuakana for this year’s rōpū after engaging with the UN Climate Talks process since attending the negotiations in Paris in 2015. Since then she has attended as a part of the Pacific team in the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, and as a team member of Te Ara Whatu’s inaugural delegation to COP in 2017.
Knowing that her whare and whenua will be underwater in her lifetime and witnessing the stress of this on her whanau, particularly her younger siblings, means that India sees this kaupapa as deeply connected to the survival of her community and culture. For her this gives a whole new lens to Māori land and water theft, asking once again,” How do we connect to a land that is no longer there?”
It is opportunities like supporting this rōpū that gives India hope for the future. “It is the mātauranga of our tīpuna, our rich legacy of activism and the passion of our rangatahi that will ensure the wellbeing of our communities for future generations.”
In her spare time, she is either making good food for her friends, rockclimbing, or at home in Waipatu with her grandma, two dogs and a cat, eating as many Luisa plums as she can pick. Seriously, they are like mini mangoes!