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First Nations’ Futures

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in conjunction with the University of Canterbury’s Ngāi Tahu Centre and the University of Otago are pleased to announce the First Nations’ Futures Programme (FNFP) in New Zealand in February 2023.

The First Nations’ Futures Programme provides an unrivalled opportunity for aspiring Ngāi Tahu leaders to gain access to leading international research and thinking within a uniquely indigenous context. The programme has a strong theoretical basis with an emphasis on indigenous economies and rangatiratanga for First Nations’ peoples. The February programme will have an emphasis on tribal government and legislative processes.

There will be a focus on:

  • Creating tribal government and the tribal legislative process.
  • How to litigate the Crown and craft legislation that meets tribal government.
  • The movement of common law to the inclusion of custom.
  • How to make a political pitch.
  • Mahinga kai – cultural food gathering practices.

Ngāi Tahu Fellows 2017 at Stanford University, from left to right: Tania Wati, Kelly Barry, Simone Pitama, Meremoana Potiki, Rauhine Coakley, Madison Williams.

The course is designed to take our best scholars who have a record of Ngāi Tahu community participation and expose them to new development theories that they may to choose to implement within their communities and whānau.

The First Nations’ Futures Programme is an international alliance between Ngāi Tahu, the Kamehameha Schools in Hawai’i and Stanford University. Further participating institutions are Sea Alaska, the Ngāi Tahu Centre at the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago.

Key Information

The First Nations’ Futures Programme (NZ edition February 2023) will be held in Christchurch at the University of Canterbury for two weeks. The closing date for applications is 25 August 2022.

This programme is designed for ambitious Ngāi Tahu with established long term community relationships and a solid cultural background.

It is also open to Ngāi Tahu undergraduate students who intend further academic study in 2023 – 2024 and who intend a career that will build capacity within their communities and whānau.

Ngāi Tahu supports up to three community programme placements each year. These successful applicants will participate alongside two University of Canterbury students and one University of Otago student.

The Programme provided me with the opportunity to develop my ideas and reflect on how my work can benefit my people. It was a challenging and rewarding experience, which encouraged personal growth. It was a great privilege to participate and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Madison Williams
First Nations’ Futures Programme Scholarship Recipient, 2017 Cohort
PhD Graduate UC

To apply

Applicants will need to outline a tribal programme/kaupapa they wish to parent and lead within the tribe that relates to the tribal economy/development. We encourage you to provide relevant supporting documentation which may include letters from your whānau, rūnanga, academic institution, or current employer.