Background Māori regard stories as a preferred method for imparting knowledge through waiata (song), moteatea (poetry), kauwhau (moralistic tale), pakiwaitara (story) and purakau (myths). Storytelling is also an expression of tinorangatiratanga (self-determination); Māori have the right to manage their knowledge, which includes embodiment in forms transcending typical western formulations.
Digital storytelling is a process by which ‘ordinary people’ create short autobiographical videos. It has found application in numerous disciplines including public health and has been used to articulatethe experiences of those often excluded from knowledge production.
Aim To explore the use of digital storytelling as a research method for learning about whānau (family) experiences providing end of life care for kaumātua (older people).
Methods Eight Māori and their nominated co-creators attended a three-day digital story telling workshop led by co-researchers Shuchi Kothari and Sarina Pearson. They were guided in the creation of first-person digital stories about caring for kaumātua. The videos were shared at a group screening, and participants completed questionnaires about the workshop and their videos. A Kaupapa Māori narrative analysis was applied to their stories to gain new perspectives on Māori end of life caregiving practices. (Kaupapa Maori research privileges Maori worldviews and indigenous knowledge systems.)
Results Digital storytelling is an appropriate method as Māori is an oral/aural society. It allows Māori to share their stories with others, thus promoting community support at the end of life, befitting a public health approach.
Conclusion Digital storytelling can be a useful method for Māori to express their experiences providing end of life caregiving.
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