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Native American partnership spotlights Maori creatives – Tapuwae Roa

A delegation of Native American creatives is meeting with Māori artists, designers, and founders this week as part of the Toi Tukua tour; a trans-ocean partnership between Tapuwae Roa and leading U.S indigenous media platform, Native Max.

So far, the tour has met with Māori designers Nicola Te Kiri, Raymond Otene McKay Jeanine Clarkin, Mitchell Vincent, and Tyrone Ohia ahead of visits to other Māori creatives including Hohepa ‘The Hori’ Thompson, film producer Chelsea Winstanley ONZM, and indigenous filmmakers at Ōtaki-based film studio, Māoriland.

The inaugural tour hopes to establish unique opportunities for Māori and Native American creative entrepreneurs to collaborate through a cultural exchange of the arts.

Attending with the indigenous delegation are Native Max faculties and longstanding celebrators of indigenous identity through pop culture, Kelly Holmes (tribe: Mnicoujou Lakota) and Dr. Lee Francis (tribe: Laguna Pueblo) .

“I’m excited to join in a trans-ocean collaboration with our partners and Māori relatives that’ll help accelerate indigenous entrepreneurs and their businesses for success,” says Holmes.

“This is a unique opportunity for indigenous creative entrepreneurs of nearly opposite sides of the world to participate in an exchange of historical, cultural, economic, and social relations between one another.”

Hosting the delegation are Tapuwae Roa Chair, Kate Cherrington and Kaihautū (Chief Executive), Te Pūoho Kātene who will support the tour as it travels across Aotearoa.

“Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean) has been our superhighway connecting Māori to economies and cultures for thousands of years,” says Kātene.

“This collab reminds us that the bounds of our business aspirations are not limited to the edges of our shores, and cultural exchange and storytelling are hallmarks of indigenous entrepreneurship globally.”

The tour will conclude with a creative industries workshop held this Friday, 23 February at Tāiki Ē! in Gisborne and will be followed by a six-week creative indigenous accelerator program for Māori artists and creatives pursuing entrepreneurship.


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