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“Indigenous Philosophies of Wellbeing: Allin Kawsay/Buen Vivir in Peru and Mauri Ora in Aotearoa New Zealand”

November 17 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Mariaelena Huambachano

Presented by: Mariaelena Huambachano, is an Indigenous scholar and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies at the School of Human Ecology, and Director of Biodiversity Protection and Indigeneity at UW-Madison. Her research focuses on the intersection of food sovereignty, agrobiodiversity, sustainability, and climate justice. She works using the ‘Khipu Model,’ which is an Indigenous research-based and community-based participatory framework that she developed to give voice to and recognize the unique knowledge of Indigenous peoples globally. She is also an active member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and the lead author in the global report on the ‘values’ assessment of nature of the Intergovernmental Panel of Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES). She is currently working on a book project entitled “Global Indigeneity, Food Sovereignty: We want food with a story’, and also she is leading an international community-based project entitled “Our Right to Food Sovereignty” with community partners in Aotearoa New Zealand, Peru and the USA.

Description of the presentation: Indigenous knowledge has been recognized within development since, at least the 1980s, for example, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) highlights the significance of local solutions — not least, those embedded in traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) — for global sustainable development. Yet Indigenous philosophies have had little uptake within mainstream food and environmental policy in charting development grounded in Indigenous knowledge and self-determination. This study explored how Indigenous philosophies of wellbeing in Aotearoa, New Zealand, referred to as Mauri Ora and Allin Kawsay or Buen Vivir in Peru conceptualize nourishment and food security in the face of contemporary global challenges such as climate change. This study demonstrates how Indigenous philosophies of Mauri Ora and Allin Kawsay are heralding a sustainable and equitable wellbeing model grounded on a holistic rights-based approach of Mother Earth for Living well. In particular, this study elicits teachings from Māori and Quechua peoples’ traditions about sustainable use of the natural resources available on the Land – Mother Earth and managed according to sustainability principles. For example, principles of reciprocity, hospitality, community and family solidarity, and the application and transmission of ancestral TEK to promote human and non-human flourishing. In doing so, Quechua and Māori people are restoring Indigenous food sovereignty, cultural knowledge, and environmental health today. This study concludes that food can play a fundamental role in asserting collective self-determination, for moving beyond colonial approaches to food, and ultimately for pursuing environmental justice.


November 17
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm