The implications of Indigenous Epistemology for oncology and work within a hospice setting was discussed by UH West Oʻahu’s Dr. Manu Aluli-Meyer during a keynote talk and other presentations for the 2018 Psychosocial Oncology New Zealand conference held earlier this month.
Aluli-Meyer gave the opening keynote to the conference in Rotorua, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and also spoke on a panel and served as a workshop facilitator during the three-day conference that attracted oncologists, health professionals, and others supporting provision of oncology and palliative care services in New Zealand.
According to organizers, the conference seeks to bring knowledge and perspective to the cancer-services workforce from international sources of excellence. The conference also seeks to embrace knowledge regarding Aotearoa’s tangata whenua (indigenous people of the land), and to support the development of responsive services that can meet a range of needs.
Organizers invited Aluli-Meyer, UH West Oʻahu’s Konohiki of Kūlana o Kapolei, to give the keynote address because they believed she would be able to offer a enlightened, inspirational and educational perspective not yet realized in the oncology community in Aotearoa.
Aluli-Meyer gave a keynote speech titled “”Indigenous Epistemology and implications for Oncology.” She said the talk was well-received and that attending the conference opened up avenues for UH West Oʻahu students or faculty interested in this field of medicine, social work, and psychology.
Aluli-Meyer, who lived in Aotearoa for five years, works in the field of indigenous epistemology (philosophy of knowledge) and has written about native intelligence and its synergistic linkages to post-quantum sciences, simultaneity, spirituality, whole thinking and to liberating evaluation and reflective pedagogy.
The keynote was one of three Aluli-Meyer has delivered in recent months calling attention to indigenous knowledge and its relevance to various modern-day issues. In September she spoke at the Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos Conference in Zhoushan, China, discussing how interest in indigenous knowledge is increasing and can play a role in responding to urban issues.
At the start of November, Aluli-Meyer attended the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto and gave a keynote talk on the efficacy of aloha and spoke on a panel regarding Indigenous Women and Spirituality.
Psychosocial Oncology New Zealand is a non-profit group formed about two decades ago to support professionals delivering integrated health care services adapted to the psychological, social, spiritual, and physical needs of people with cancer and their family.