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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Personhood is complex and characterized by what Avery Gordon describes as an abundant contradictory subjectivity, apportioned by power, race, class, and gender and suspended in temporal and spatial dimensions of the forgotten past, fragmented present, and possible and impossible imagination of the future. Drawing on Gordon’s interpretation, we explore how personhood for young Māori from the nation of Rongomaiwāhine of Aotearoa New Zealand is shaped by a subjectivity informed by a Māori ontological relationality. This discussion is based on research conducted in the Māori community by Māori researchers. They used cultural ontology to engage with the sociohistorical realities of Māori cultural providence and poverty, and colonial oppression and Indigenous resilience. From these complex and multiple realities this essay will explore how young Māori render meaning from their ancestral landscape, community, and the wider world in ways that shape their particular personhood.

Keywords: Aotearoa New Zealand, Indigenous, Māori youth, rangatahi, Māori identity, decolonization, Māori ontology, Māori epistemology

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