This article is intended as a provocation for Indigenous researchers to reflect on their cultures and life stories, and consider how sharing their intergenerational experiences can engender cultural empathy with Indigenous peoples that originate from a different community and are at the heart of their study. I explore how an Indigenous researcher’s life story, from a childhood in the African continent to adulthood and parenthood in Aotearoa, influenced his research direction and design toward Indigenous entrepreneurship as an emancipatory and empowering endeavour.
Recent years have been extraordinary for race issues in Aotearoa. The Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019 shattered long-held illusions of New Zealand exceptionalism; Islamophobia increased following the attacks; an increase in racialised abuse of Asian people followed the outbreak of COVID-19; the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States provided a platform for discussing anti-Black racism and white supremacy in Aotearoa; and in last year’s general election, many political parties campaigned on border security or restricting immigration.
This paper explores the cultural interplay between Indigenous women from one geographic locality being on and within the locality of the women of another locality—in this case, Whakatāne, Aotearoa. The authors consider identity, gender and place within the processes of transformation and decolonisation. They argue that women need to be involved in ways that restore their power as women and ensure their rightful place. The authors draw on the female ancestor Wairaka and her courage to argue that Indigenous women need to respond, change and adapt to the places in which they live.