Kia ora, Wacheye
My name is Chelsie Parayko, I am a grad student in the master’s in Development Practice in Indigenous Development from the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. As a part of my program I am participating in an international field placement, which is how I found myself being welcomed into the Waipareira whānau.
I am a guest here in Aotearoa, my ancestors come from the treaty 9 area in Canada, in the traditional territory of the Missanabie Cree First Nation. We are a Cree Nation that has re-established our presence in July 2018, on our traditional territory, after a 112-year battle with the government. Reconnecting and resurging our culture, customs, land and language is something that I am passionate about and I believe why I was drawn to Aotearoa.
During my three-month placement I will be working with the research team on the ageing well project, te reo evaluation project, working on an article around Indigenous advocacy and anything else that comes my way. I’m incredibly excited to participate in ceremonies, activities, learn everything I can and to share the gifts I have.
My favourite role in life is being an Aunty to my niece Neila, being in her life is a great privilege. I cohabitate with a 11-year-old beagle named Rambo, who is a total prince, contrary to his name. I sit on the governing body for my Nation as a councillor, which has been a very eye-opening experience. I look forward to meeting everyone in the whānau and participating in all of the events throughout my time here.