Aroha Harris belongs to the Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi iwi (tribes/peoples) of the Far North of Aotearoa New Zealand. She is a senior lecturer in History, at the University of Auckland. She is also a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, the permanent commission of inquiry established in 1975 to inquire into Māori claims about breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. Her most recent book, Tangata Whenua: an illustrated history (2014) has won multiple awards, among them the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book of the Year Award (illustrated non-fiction), and the 2015 Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize. Her first book, Hīkoi: forty years of Māori protest (2004) has been reprinted three times. Aroha currently the President of the New Zealand Historical Association. She is a member of the New Zealand Archives Council, Te Rua Wānanga, and also the Kaitiaki Guardians of the Alexander Turnbull Library.
I have been attending NAISA’s annual meetings since the 2008 gathering at the University of Georgia at which the association was formalised. I am attracted to the opportunities to connect – socially, academically and politically – with Indigenous scholars in our various projects that help to power the Indigenous worlds to which we belong. In that respect, my participation in NAISA reflects and extends my local commitments to iwi. For example, I have been involved for some years in a range of Te Rarawa research and development projects, including research aligned to the negotiation and settlement of our historical Treaty claims. In my academic pursuits, I am keen to support graduate students in their studies, and to encourage emerging scholars in historical studies and the humanities more generally. I am a long-standing and dedicated participant in Te Pouhere Kōrero, the national collective of Māori historians, enthusiastic about developing the field of Māori history, both in the academy and among iwi Māori communities. These are a few of the interests and commitments that I bring with me to NAISA. Running for President-elect offers an opportunity for me to turn those interests to the service of the NAISA community. I acknowledge the growth and continuity so soundly established by NAISA councils and members to date. I hope to add to that good work, with a particular focus on the inter-Indigenous nature and practice of NAISA activities.