By Indigenous, For Indigenous


AOTEAROA | ONLINE | 27 – 29 APRIL 2022

Aotearoa is very honored to be hosting the next conference, which is themed Rangatiratanga: Indigenous Excellence.

Play our MIHI


Indigenous well-being is achieved when Indigenous peoples determine and lead their own responses from within indigenous worldviews and identity. 

Te kai a te rangatira, he kōrero

Te tohu a te rangatira, he manaaki

Te mahi a te rangatira, he whakatira i te iwi

The food of the leader is talk

The sign of a Leader is generosity

The work of a Leader is to unite the people

Indigenous leadership and self-determination in practice exemplified in the above whakatauki/proverb for this conference will be explored in the different pathways under which the presentations will be arranged: Mauri Oho, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora, Mauri Tau.

Mauri is often translated as life force; it is the essence of who we are and therefore, the translations of the different pathways might be:

  • Mauri Oho: To awaken the life force;
  • Mauri Tū: The life force that stands erect, reinvigorated;
  • Mauri ora: The life force that is embedded in wellbeing, flourishing;
  • Mauri Tau: The life force that is deliberate, normalised.

It is recognized that with COVID-19 and now the mutations of Delta and Omicrom, indigenous peoples are very vulnerable to the consequences and therefore, it is very appropriate that we exercise our rangatiratanga (chiefly authority) to strengthen and harness the mauri of us all.

 Apache Blessing

May the sun bring you new energy by day
May the moon softly restore you by night
May the rain wash away your worries
May the breeze blow new strength into your being
May you walk gently through the world and know it’s beauty all the days of your life.

MOEMOEA (Vision):

Hapaitia te ara tika pūmau ai te rangatiratanga mo ngā uri whakatipu
Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations.

The 6th International Indigenous Voices in Social Work Conference to be held online from Aotearoa in 2022, is a culmination of collective and individual efforts, to persist in raising indigenous voices globally, to enhance the collaboration of indigenous peoples and more importantly, to lay a forum for future generations to continue to celebrate their indigeneity and to walk confidently in the footsteps of their ancestors.


A’ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia
No task is too big when done together by all
Hawaiian saying

The whakapapa to the conferences began in 2004 at the General Assembly of the International Federation of Social Workers in Adelaide, when the IFSW Policy on Indigenous Peoples was born.

The indigenous peoples who gathered in Adelaide wanted to harness the indigenous voice so that policies were no longer just rhetoric but as well, contained action to ensure indigenous peoples globally were listened to, their issues understood and their Mana Motuhake (self-determination) exercised.

ARA TAUMATA (The summit pathway):

“Traveler, there are no paths. Paths are made by walking.”
Australian Aboriginal Proverb.

An international committee was formed: Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata and Robyn Corrigan from Aotearoa, Christine Fejo-King, an Aboriginal representative from Australia; Peter Mataira as the liaison person with indigenous Hawai’ians in Hawai’i; Michael Hart, a First Nations person from Canada and Jan Erik Henriksen, a Sámi from Norway.

The international committee then started the pathway that led to conferences in Hawai’i; Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada; Darwin in Australia; Alta in Norway and Hualien in Taiwan. 

The ara taumata is indeed to preserve and progress, by indigenous peoples, for indigenous peoples

Each host exercises their Mana Motuhake in choosing their own theme for the conference.

TIKANGA (Process):

‘We adapt… but is it good or bad?’
Sámi reindeer herder

The initial intention was to alternate between the northern and southern hemispheres as well as recognize the uniqueness of each indigenous group.

The tono or call to host a future conference is delivered at the conference preceding the next, by the group of indigenous peoples who would like to host the next conference. It is an opportunity for each group to talk about the theme of the conference and the associated activities.