Presented by: Vanessa Eldridge
Mythology, mysteries and spirituality lay deep within the Maori culture. Oration, singing and storytelling remain a source of both of delight and solace. ‘Healing Through Storytelling’ is a grief support programme created with Maori and delivered alongside Maori authors. The programme has been running for four years and reminds us that ‘good grieving’ is within cultural practices for Maori, indeed enhancing cultural norms, and valuing our cultures can be good for everyone.
Vanessa Eldridge, Maori Liaison at Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand will share learning gained as the programme evolved. Important to Maori is the concept of ‘nga taonga tuku iho’ (treasures handed down, or, intergenerational knowledge transfer). Cultural knowledge is important for all of us, and this is especially so for colonized indigenous peoples.
Recent years has seen research emerging regarding Māori people’s experience of palliative care – from both Maori and Western lenses. Preserving the concept of ‘mana’, retaining purpose, and promotion of identity is highlighted in the work of Professor Sir Mason Durie and Dr Simon Bennett of Massey University. Cultural support of the older person helps the whole family with bereavement according to Professor Merryn Gott and the Te Arai Team at Auckland University. Death projections to 2068 shows Māori are living longer. Data shared by Professor Heather McLeod reveals that elders will experience rates of frailty and dementia never seen before within this indigenous group.
Mary Potter Hospice is committed to our cultural relevance, and development of best practice for those we serve.