The Treaty of Waitangi

Indigenous consultation: nice to do or important?

Cultural competency takes work.
Knowing this is half of the process.

There is a fine line between appreciating a culture, and appropriating it for your enjoyment.

Not consulting indigenous people around use of their culture, is a recipe for discontent.

People often talk about colonisation in a past sense, as in "this is what happened when settlers arrived and we can't change history so lets move on". But colonisation is also the process of ongoing dispossession. And every instance of this, every repetition, adds to historic pain.

When you understand this, it becomes easier to understand what cultural appropriation is and why we need to take care not to cross that line.

Keeping an indigenous language alive by committing to learn and using it, is a beautiful thing to do.
Taking that language for your own use, to profit by, is another act of dispossession.

 The likely hurt caused by this, can be avoided by taking the steps of consulting with indigenous people at the beginning of the thought process.

Unsure where to start?

The best place is with those in your rohe - mana whenua. The people of the land that speak on behalf of others in their region.

If you can't locate details for who Mana Whenua are (pro tip - use an online search engine), then your next steps can be Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori - Māori Language Commission, or Te Mātāwai