By David Boyd.
The Maori possess a distinctive worldview in which people are deeply intertwined with nature, rather than separate from it.
According to Maori cosmology, humans are not only related to their ancestors, but also the animals, plants, mountains, rivers, and forests where they live. Many Aboriginal people in Canada share a similar outlook, concisely summarized in the phrase “all my relations,” which goes beyond aunts and cousins to include ravens, killer whales, water, rocks, and more.This radical understanding of our place in the cosmos is reflected in two recent New Zealand laws.
Te Urewera National Park was created in the 1950s on land that had been illegally taken from the Maori over the course of the previous century. The Maori had consistently pressed for recognition of their relationship to this region, expressed as rangatiratanga (authority), whanaungatanga (kinship), and kaitiakitanga (stewardship).