Awanuiārangi celebrates international science accolade of distinguished professor
Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi Distinguished Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith has been elected as a lifetime international member of the United States National Academy of Sciences.
The accolade recognises Distinguished Professor Smith’s transformative contributions to education and Indigenous Science methodologies.
In awarding her the membership, the United States National Academy of Sciences said she developed “foundational ways to decolonize [sic] the process of science by developing a more critical understanding of the underlying assumptions, motivations and values that inform research practices”.
Distinguished Professor Smith said she was shocked at first, then amazed.
“It was a genuine ‘wow’ moment to be recognised by scientists outside New Zealand and my fields of Indigenous Studies, Māori education, social sciences and Kaupapa Māori.”
The National Academy was established in 1863 through an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Since then, approximately 500 current and deceased members have won Nobel Prizes.
Distinguished Professor Smith was co-nominated by members of the Human Environmental Sciences Section and the Environmental Sciences and Ecology Section of the National Academies. Her nomination was then voted on by the 2000 members of the US National Academy.
Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi Chief Executive, Professor Wiremu Doherty, says the wānanga is immensely proud of Distinguished Professor Smith.
“Linda has shared her time and her knowledge so generously, and we are so grateful for her contributions both to our wānanga and the world.
“To see her recognised with this international accolade is amazing, but it is so well deserved, and we are so pleased.”
The Academy also praised Distinguished Professor Smith’s work for influencing “generations of scholars who now take an entirely different approach to working with Indigenous (and other) communities, deeply aware of their position as scientists in relation to the communities they work with”.
Distinguished Professor Smith looks forward to what lies ahead with the National Academy of Sciences.
“I think it’s huge for our Māori research community for decolonising research methodologies, Kaupapa Māori and mātauranga Māori.”