IAIA Students Host Maori DelegationFeb 15th, 2003 | By tcj | Category: 14-3: Your Heroes Are Not Our Heroes, Tribal College News
A delegation of Maori from New Zealand came to the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM, last September to share their culture with students. The group represented Advancement of Maori Opportunities, a non-profit organization that includes indigenous people from various professions and students. Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) inspired their travel to the United States when a group of AIO “ambassadors” traveled to the South Pacific in spring 2002. The Maori used AIO as a model for their opportunity organization, which promotes the following: developing educational cultural exchanges; building leadership amongst the Maori people; providing export opportunities for Maori businesses; and acting as a forum for the advancement of culture, sports, education, health, technology, economic development, Maori language, customs, and traditions.
In September, the Maori visited AIO offices in Washington, DC, and Bernalillo, NM. Located near Bernalillo, IAIA has a close relationship with AIO. Several of the tribal arts college’s alumni have served as AIO ambassadors, including Ken Taylor (Muskogee-Creek-Cherokee). In his position as activities coordinator for student services, Taylor facilitated the meeting amongst IAIA, AIO, and the Maori.
The Institute of American Indian Arts Associated Student Government and Student Services hosted the indigenous visitors, presented them with IAIA polo shirts, and fed them buffalo stew and fry bread.