This unique and inspiring book brings together the insights of 18 Māori psychologists and shows how their cultural worldviews, whakapapa and experiences as Māori benefit whānau Māori therapeutic relationships.
The rich dialogue revolves around the central story of Ripeka, a wahine Māori and her whānau. Ripeka represents the lived experience of many whānau Māori that each of the 18 psychologists have worked alongside in their practice, as well as in their personal lives. As quoted within the introduction of the book “Ripeka’s story is our story – she is why many of us work as psychologists".
Each Māori psychologist also provides their own reflections on the relevance of Māori thinking and understanding to the application of contemporary psychology. The book weaves the realities of whānau Māori clients and the voice of Māori psychologists together to highlight the need for indigenous thinking, and to celebrate the diversity indigenous knowledge brings to psychology.
Overall, Te Manu Kai i Te Mātauranga: Indigenous Psychology in Aotearoa/New Zealand is an incredibly rich and thought-provoking read. Both Māori and non-Māori will benefit from reading the book to gain insights into Māori worldviews, confirm the legitimacy of indigenous approaches and to take a journey through the deconstructing of dominant discourses that impact on indigenous psychologists and the whānau they work with.
Reviewed by Zoe Hawke, (Ngāti Hako, me Ngāti Pāoa), Community Engagement & Health Promotion Manager, Mental Health Foundation