Linda Tuhiwai Smith

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Linda Tuhiwai Smith

Linda Tuhiwai-Smith November 2020.jpg
Born1950 (age 71–72)
New Zealand
SpouseGraham Smith
RelativesSidney Moko Mead (father)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Auckland
InfluencesNgũgĩ wa Thiong'o,[1] Frantz Fanon,[1] Malcolm X,[1] Paulo Freire[1]
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Waikato
WebsiteUniversity of Waikato profile

Linda Tuhiwai Te Rina Smith CNZM (née Mead; born 1950) was a professor of indigenous education at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand[2][3][4] and is now at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. The daughter of Sidney Moko Mead, she affiliates to the Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou iwi.

Academic career[edit]

Smith earned her BA, MA (hons), and PhD degrees at the University of Auckland. Her 1996 thesis was titled Ngā aho o te kakahu matauranga: the multiple layers of struggle by Maori in education.[5][6] She was a member of the Māori political group Ngā Tamatoa while a university student.[7]

Smith is the author of Decolonizing Methodologies (Zed Books, 1999 and 2012), a critical analysis of the role of Western scholarly research played in the process of colonization of indigenous cultures. This work is considered a major contribution to research methods in social justice research.[8][9][10]

Smith is the Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori, Dean of the School of Māori and Pacific Development and Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato.[11]

In the 2013 New Year Honours, Smith was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and education.[12] In 2017, Smith was selected as one of the Royal Society Te Apārangi's "150 women in 150 words", celebrating the contributions of women to knowledge in New Zealand.[13]

In November 2016 she was appointed a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.[14] In the same year she retired Pro Vice Chancellor Māori and took a short-term contract as Professor of Māori and Indigenous Studies in the newly formed Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies.[15]

In September 2020 the hashtag #BecauseOfLindaTuhiwaiSmith went viral when Smith was one of a group of academics who wrote an open letter to the Ministry of Education on racism in education[16] and news that her contract would not be renewed. A report commissioned by the University of Waikato into claims in the letter found that the institution is structurally discriminatory against Māori[17] but did not support other claims in the letter.[17]

In 2021, Smith joined Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi as Distinguished Professor.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Smith was born in Whakatāne,[19] New Zealand. Her father is Sidney Moko Mead of Ngāti Awa, also a professor, and her mother is June Te Rina Mead, née Walker, of Ngāti Porou.[7] She was given the name Tuhiwai as an adult.[7]

When Smith was a teenager, she moved to the US while her father was completing his PhD. Her family lived in southern Illinois and she attended Carbondale Community High School. In her time in the U.S. education system, Smith gained a new found confidence as a learner.[19] Smith later moved to Salem, Massachusetts where she worked as an assistant at the Peabody Museum of Salem, typing labels in the basement.[20] Upon her return to New Zealand, she applied her value of the confidence of students to New Zealand students, especially Maori students.

In the 1970s, Smith was a founding member of the radical group Ngā Tamatoa.[21] She was radicalized by texts by Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon. Her role in Ngā Tamatoa was to communicate with Maori people about the Treaty of Waitangi. Smith saw education as the most important part the Maori struggle for freedom.[19]

Smith is married to fellow academic Graham Smith.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. Zed Books Ltd., 2013.
  • Denzin, Norman K., Yvonna S. Lincoln, and Linda Tuhiwai Smith, eds. Handbook of critical and indigenous methodologies. Sage, 2008.
  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. "On tricky ground: Researching the native in the age of uncertainty. N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.) The Landscape of Qualitative Research." (2008): 113–143.
  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. "Kaupapa maori research." Reclaiming indigenous voice and vision (2000): 225–247.
  • Cram, Fiona, Linda Smith, and Wayne Johnstone. "Mapping the themes of Maori talk about health." (2003).
  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. "Building a research agenda for indigenous epistemologies and education." Anthropology & education quarterly 36, no. 1 (2005): 93–95.


  1. ^ a b c d "Los Angeles Review of Books". Los Angeles Review of Books. 18 May 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith". University of Waikato. 4 May 2012. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  3. ^ Waikato Women Professors: Professor Linda Smith
  4. ^ a b Eminent Education Leader Appointed to Top Post at Waikato University, 9 March 2007
  5. ^ Smith, Linda Tuhiwai, 1950- (1996), Ngā aho o te kakahu matauranga: the multiple layers of struggle by Maori in education. (doctoral thesis), ResearchSpace@Auckland, hdl:2292/942, Wikidata Q111963744{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Smith, Linda Tuhiwai (1996). Ngā aho o te kakahu matauranga: The multiple layers of struggle by Maori in education (Thesis). ResearchSpace@Auckland.
  7. ^ a b c Husband, Dale (18 July 2015). "Linda Tuhiwai Smith: Transforming education". E-Tangata. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  8. ^ Review: Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Tuhiwai Smith, by Christine Malsbary
  9. ^ Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (review), by John Ortley
  10. ^ Methodologies of risky scholarship, by Susan Hawthorne
  11. ^ "Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Chair)". Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  12. ^ "New Year honours list 2013". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Linda Tuhiwai Smith". Royal Society Te Apārangi. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Two new Waitangi Tribunal appointments". New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Racism row professor distances job loss from racism claims". 10 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Thousands use Twitter hashtag to show impact of indigenous scholar".
  17. ^ a b "Waikato Uni racism claims 'incorrect', sparked by spending probe – report". 25 September 2020.
  18. ^ "New professorial appointments to grow Māori philosophy and indigenous research capabilities | te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi".
  19. ^ a b c Husband, Dale (18 July 2015). "Linda Tuhiwai Smith: Transforming education". E-Tangata. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  20. ^ Tuhiwai Smith, Linda (1999). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Zed Books Ltd. p. 11. ISBN 9781848139503.
  21. ^ "Linda Tuhiwai Smith – Māori @ Waikato: University of Waikato". Retrieved 10 December 2020.