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New Aotearoa Histories Resources available on Deaf People’s history in Aotearoa!

09 Feb 2023

[scroll down for NZSL]

Tangata Turi – I Konei Mātou.
Deaf People – We Were Here Too. (NZSL translation)

Last year we worked with the Ministry of Education to produce some fantastic new resources for Year 7-10 students which look at the place of Deaf People in Aotearoa’s history. They cover themes such as: Culture and Identity, Tino Rangatiratanga, laws and policies, inclusion and exclusion.

These resources include:

  • a poster packed with links to Deaf People’s history
  • a website resource with photos, videos and translations in NZSL, and
  • a Teacher’s Guidance to support teachers in navigating this resource.

Together, these resources explore key aspects of Deaf history in New Zealand, such as:

  • oral education and the banning of all signing in education for 100 years until the 1970s,
  • the passing of the 2006 New Zealand Sign Language Act
  • sculptures by deafblind and Deaf artists
  • Rūaumoko, the Marae for the Deaf, which enables Māori Deaf to access their Māori identity and practices, and
  • the World Games for the Deaf – held here in 1989.

All content is provided in New Zealand Sign Language, making it an accessible and inclusive resource particularly suited for teaching Deaf students. The teacher support material for this resource (also all in New Zealand Sign Language) provides guidance on key considerations for teaching Deaf histories.

The resources are targeted towards our Year 7-10 students, but they can easily be used with other year levels and with mainstream classes.

The Aotearoa Histories Curriculum has been introduced so that current and future generations are more aware of our colonial past. Having a shared, accurate knowledge of our nation’s history is an important step in growing our national identity.

The Ministry of Education recognises the importance of ensuring that Deaf and Mātauranga Māori knowledge is incorporated in the retelling and reteaching of our history.

“Tangata Turi: I Konei Mātou : Deaf People: We were here too!” is a powerful and practical way to help us make connections to the past while looking forward to the future.