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Launch of Honouring our Ancestors

Audio from the launch of the book Honouring our Ancestors: Takatāpui, Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQI+ Well-being. The event took place at Unity Books in Wellington on 25 July 2023. The book is edited by Alison Green (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Ranginui) and Leonie Pihama (Te Ātiawa, Ngā Māhanga a Tairi, Waikato). More details about the book can be found here. Special thanks to the organisers and participants for allowing the event to be recorded and shared.

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  • 00:01 - Waiata, Tīwhanawhana
  • 02:40 - Marion Castree, Unity Books
  • 04:00 - Fergus Barrowman, Te Herenga Waka University Press
  • 06:25 - Kurt Komene (Te Atiawa, Taranaki Whānui)
  • 09:33 - Waiata, Tīwhanawhana
  • 13:00 - Manawaroa's whānau
  • 15:45 - Alison Green, co-editor of the book
  • 21:25 - Marion Castree
  • 21:55 - Waiata, Tīwhanawhana


The event captured in the recording took place at Unity Books in Wellington, where the book "Honouring Our Ancestors: Takatāpui, Two-Spirit, and Indigenous LGBTQI+ Well-being" was launched. This significant work, edited by Alison Green and Leonie Pihama, represents a collaboration of indigenous voices and scholarship. The occasion was marked by the presence of a number of individuals who played important roles in the book's creation and the community it represents, although co-editor Leonie Pihama could not be present.

The launch began with traditional greetings and acknowledgements, followed by speeches from participants who emphasized the importance of the book. One of the speakers was Fergus Barrowman from Te Herenga Waka University Press, who expressed gratitude to all contributors to the book, as well as the weaver and textile artist Kahutoi Te Kanawa for their cover design.

During the event, there was a poignant moment as tribute was paid to Manawaroa Te Wao, a contributor who had recently passed away. Manawaroa's work and legacy were honored, and their importance to the Takatāpui and wider communities was underscored. The presence of Manawaroa's sister at the event personified the human connection and bereavement felt by those left behind.

Alison Green, one of the editors, shared reflections and insights into the process and people behind the publication, highlighting the collective energies and aspirations of the 28 authors involved. Green pointed to the book as a compilation of varied experiences and perspectives from indigenous LGBTQI+ individuals who share their personal journeys and discuss broader social and cultural issues.

The book is described as a means of honoring ancestors by addressing contemporary challenges and preserving indigenous identities. It includes 18 chapters that detail a plethora of experiences and issues faced by the Takatāpui and Two-Spirit communities, such as discrimination, HIV, and asserting one's place within their culture.

Green further emphasized the societal struggles facing these communities, particularly in light of the upcoming elections in Aotearoa (New Zealand), where certain political figures might use anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric for their gain. The call to action was a reminder to look out for one another, echoing the book's themes of resilience, advocacy, and community support.

As the event came to a close, the speakers thanked those in attendance and those who had contributed to making this work possible. The launch served not only as a celebration of the book but also as a gathering that reinforced the community's unity and purpose.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:25th July 2023
Location:Unity Books, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (reference number to be confirmed).