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The first of our 2019 Kōtuitui (interweaving conversations), which we hold in partnership with Foundation North, focused on emerging research on the multigenerational legacies of traumas such as war, colonisation and famine – and the possibilities for healing. We were fortunate to be able to hold this Kōtuitui at Te Mahurehure Cultural Marae in Point Chevalier where our conversation was supported with generous manaakitanga.

This topic is relevant to many of the organisations Foundation North and CSI support, which work with intergenerational disadvantages. These lead to poor outcomes in areas such as education, physical and mental health - and disproportionate representation of some populations in the Justice and Corrections systems. The influences of this trauma range from Māori experience of colonisation through to the experiences many in our refugee communities have of war and famine.

The topic was explored through various lenses; the science of epigenetics; restorative justice; the practice of support and healing associated with imprisonment; and the personal expression of intergenerational trauma through poetry.

The following presentations at the kōtuitui are from: Dr Tatjana Buklijas (Senior Research Fellow, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland); Professor Chris Marshall (The Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice, Victoria University); Tui Ah Loo (Chief Executive, PARS); and Dr Karlo Mila (Pacific academic, poet and developer of the Mana Moana leadership programme).

We’re now reviewing with Foundation North options for future support for the wider community conversation on this topic.