(Picture caption: The launch of the Matauala Cultural Centre and Hub website coincided with Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau – Tokelau Language Week 2022 celebrations in Aotearoa.)
According to UNESCO, Gagana Tokelau is classified as severely endangered but the Matauala Cultural Centre and Hub website aims to promote, contribute and provide intergenerational access to resources and information that will preserve, maintain and revitalise Tokelau heritage language, culture and identity.
With support from the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Provider Languages Fund, the Atafu Tokelau Community Group in Wellington has been able to source web developers and writers to undertake the website development work recently.
Group spokesperson Zechariah Reuelu says the development of online resources has been a priority for the Atafu Tokelau Community Group, to help its community locally and nationally to improve knowledge and understanding of Tokelau culture, identity and language.
“The notion of an online educational hub that promotes the Tokelauan language and culture is a logical step from work we’ve already undertaken with the development of a language app,” Zechariah explains.
“Our aim is for the website to become the go-to site for anyone with an interest in Atafu and Tokelau.”
The website – or hub – has multiple benefits, Zechariah adds.
“Not only will it promote the revitilisation of Gagana Tokelau, but it will also improve knowledge and understanding of our Tokelau culture, identity and language, especially by our younger generation.
“As an example, the hub will be used for the students learning Gagana Tokelau at Porirua College.
“The hub will also expose the Tokelauan language and culture to a wider audience, including the Tokelau diaspora internationally, while also providing a platform to record the history of the Atafu Tokelau Porirua journey and stories.”
Currently, resources are scattered on various websites but this hub will collate all the content in one place for all to utilise.
Launched during Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau – Tokelau Language Week 2022, Zechariah says the Atafu Tokelau Community Group views the website as only the first stage in the development of its online resources.
“With the wonderful kick-start we’ve been given through the Ministry for Pacific Peoples funding, we’ll now be able to grow the tools and resources we can make available online to our various Tokelauan communities,” he says.
Visit the MPP website for current funding opportunities.