KO WAI MĀTOU? WHO ARE WE?
In 2017, a group of young Māori and Pasifika came together to represent our communities at the 23rd Session of the UN Climate Talks. As the first indigenous youth delegation from Aotearoa, we were committed to bringing the wealth and learnings from this experience back to Aotearoa.
Together we formed Te Ara Whatu, a name that has meaning and relevance across the Pacific.
Māori and Pasifika communities are at the frontlines of climate change. Our tuakana across Te Moana Nui a Kiwa have been experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis for decades. As rangatahi we have to face these challenges head on and hold those responsible to account. We do this to ensure that our culture, grounded in our whenua, our whakapapa and our whānau is protected in global solutions to climate change.
We step up in solidarity with indigenous communities from around the world. We see our mahi as part of a bigger kaupapa of resistance and re-indigenisation.
The impacts of climate change will affect some areas of the world, including our indigenous communities sooner and harder than others.
Climate justice recognises the oppressive power structures that have contributed to the causes of climate change and their intersectional relationship with other challenges that our communities face: gender violence, food sovereignty, cultural integrity and land threats.
Solutions that express climate justice centre the needs of frontline communities and their continued resistance.
Te Ara Whatu
In Te Reo Māori, ‘ara’ translates to rise or wake up, or is the name given to a path or route, or the breaking of waters in the commencement of childbirth.
Whatu translates to the eye or pupil, or references a stone of initiation or rāhui, or to weave together.
Simply, Te Ara Whatu means The Woven Path, but its layers of meaning capture the broader kaupapa that the fight for climate justice connects to.