Greetings to all of the languages, the various peoples, the representatives of the indigenous peoples of the world. Welcome, welcome, welcome.
Bring us the cherished memories of those who have gone before into the spirit world. Bring the customs of your elders, the richness of your peoples' ways, your traditions relating to your ancestral lands, to this great Summit. We as Maori take great pleasure in hosting you, in extending the voice of welcome, in putting out the call to you, to navigate your canoes to our shores here in Aotearoa, to our much-anticipated gathering.
Tēnā koutou katoa, Greetings to you all
Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitu te whenua.
As people disappear from sight, the land remains.
This Māori proverb provides an apt theme for the World Indigenous Tourism Summit 2018 and one that will resonate with all Indigenous peoples.
For Indigenous peoples, whenua (land) sustains life and provides a tangible link with ancestors, with past events; and provides their turangawaewae (place to stand) and their identity. As kaitiaki (guardians) the maintenance of the spiritual and physical well-being of land and waters is the legacy that Indigenous peoples are charged with preserving and protecting for future generations.
The profound effects of global climate change on the environment and the strong demand for international tourism across world regions highlight the importance for Indigenous voices to be heard in the forward development of tourism. The current reality is that tourism presents Indigenous peoples with a dichotomy in that it currently impacts both adversely and beneficially on Indigenous peoples and their ancestral landscapes.
The 2018 Summit provides a forum for Indigenous peoples to discuss tourism, to share collective Indigenous wisdom, knowledge and traditions handed down through generations. The Indigenous voice and presence can guide the tourism industry in a manner that supports mutual respect and new relationships as guardians of our precious lands and waters.
This Summit will introduce a prestigious line up of speakers to provide unique insights into how they have integrated traditional knowledge into compelling experiences for visitors. Speakers will introduce opportunities Indigenous communities have taken to build and grow tourism, and the challenges ahead for Indigenous guardians of ancestral landscapes.
We welcome you to Waitangi, the location chosen carefully for the Summit. The place has special significance, an historical landmark where New Zealand's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was first signed by Māori Chiefs and the British Crown.
On behalf of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance and New Zealand Māori Tourism, we invite you to join us in New Zealand, Aotearoa (the land of the long white cloud) to experience Māori hospitality, to share traditions and experiences, to extend networks and to enjoy and benefit from each other's company.
Mitakuye Oyasin (we are all related)
Ben Sherman, Oglala Lakota
New Zealand Māori Tourism