Vavia expressed to the students the importance of exploring local wisdom, and “to learn from the indigenous knowledge that locals know… the traditional knowledge that has been passed down through generations.”
As a Pacific islander, he said “you need to have that twist and the reality that no, you can’t just have numbers. So when you marry the statistics, the data, with the traditional knowledge from what people have seen and observed, then you have a very comprehensive study.”
Student Hereiti File said the presentation which was held on Monday was inspiring.
“There are actions that we can take, things that can contribute to research and more that can address wider issues that go on in the world. We learnt how our ancestors had all this knowledge but how it was disregarded.”
File is pleased that Vavia is encouraging students and promoting the field of science as a Cook Islander.
“You can bring that knowledge to the table because you have connection to it and you can prove it and can back it up with the data that they want.
“You can bring your culture and your knowledge of your history into this vital research so that people are able to notice and not think that we don’t know; because we do know.”