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Dialogue as a method for evolving mātauranga Māori: Perspectives on the use of embryos in research

Maui Hudson, Mere Roberts, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Murray Hemi, Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai


This paper explores the epistemological divide between mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and science, and considers which cultural concepts have relevance when considering the use of embryos in research. We argue that empowerment is a necessary precursor for a dialogue process to be effective and to maintain the cultural dignity and confidence of the participants. Negotiating spaces to share ideas, concepts and values between different knowledge systems is an important exercise that creates opportunities for innovative thinking. The identification of cultural cues and indigenous reference points for considering how knowledge relating to embryo research might be located within a traditional knowledge schema is a necessary type of activity to ensure mātauranga Māori maintains its usefulness for Māori in a changing society while retaining its indigenous spirit and cultural tradition.

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740