Jeromy van Riel is a teacher of Te Reo Maori in Wanaka at both secondary and tertiary levels. His ancestry is Dutch but he has lived as Maori with Maori for 22 of his 34 years. Jeromy’s story is about relationships and connections which extend beyond our daily perception of society and community to include ancestors and landscapes which have no place in genealogy but rather of every day life. His walk is that of a foreigner who has embraced the totality of where he was born acknowledging his cultural background whilst living the culture of his birth country’s first people.
Jeromy’s observations are that regardless of which country we consider, the indigenous people represent the poorest, sickest and most socially disadvantaged sectors. When the statement is made; “we are one people” Jeromy asks “which people are we? What makes people great? Why do we still fight for a system which has destroyed so much of our planet and people?”
What Jeromy hoped to get out of TEDxQueenstown
To make people reflect on their prejudice towards minority groups by sharing my personal stories. I want to present a reflection of what it feels like to be one of “them” and say it’s ok to be to be a minority especially when the majority of us always feel like something’s missing even though (in the west at least) we have more than we need.
Jeromy van Riel: Wearing Our Skin, TEDxQueenstown 2013
Contact Jeromy van Riel