'Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds' : 'Wetekia te mau here o te hinengāro, ma tātou anō e whakaora, e whakawātea te hinengāro' : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work at Massey University, Manawatū, Aotearoa New Zealand
Liberation and emancipation are two key concepts of a decolonisation process which contributes to a journey of self-discovery. Decolonisation is a process that connects the past, present and future allowing the participant time to learn about their own historical truths in a facilitated and safe environment. Knowing who you are and where you come -- ‘Ko wai au’- Who am I?’ -- is central to social work education. Therefore, the structures in place to work through this question, need to cater to all participants in a balanced and parallel way, from two cultural lens: Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti. This study explores the process of decolonisation and the experiences of the participants who are engaged in social work and social work education. The methodological underpinnings to this study incorporate three eternal realms of Mātauranga Māori, Mātauranga-ā-iwi and kaupapa Māori theory. The framework Te Pou Tarawāho o Pūrākau invites participants’ stories and narratives as a way of sharing their experiences of a decolonisation process as part of their social work education and professional development. This is done as a qualitative approach utilising individual’s time, space and hui as a collective voice. This study presents three kete of knowledge as part of the implementation and a proposed working decolonisation process. This thesis challenges tertiary providers, training providers and the regulatory authority to consider the unification of each kete and what role each play inside social work education and training. Each kete is intricately designed and contains important aspects that contribute to decolonising the current curriculum of social work education, policy and practice with the participant as the receiver. While this study ultimately focuses on Māori participants, it also supports decolonisation for all ethnicities in particular those who are studying and are currently in practice in social work and social work education.