iCommunity Osmosis

The iCommunity Osmosis increases the capacity of Indigenous leaders in the spheres of Indigenous governance, conflict resolution and Indigenous justice, community development planning, and engagement with mainstream institutions.

iCommunity Osmosis participants will map out community governance structures, identify sources of positive leadership and authority in Indigenous communities, and discover sources of Indigenous conflict resolution and peacemaking processes. They will also have an articulated understanding of how mainstream social structures work and how these affect their communities as well as have the capacity to collaborate with mainstream structures, utilizing both Indigenous and mainstream best practices. After the Osmosis experience, participants will organize consultations with their respective communities and create a community development plan with clear implementation strategies.
Osmosis New Zealand
January - March, 2011

From January to early March, six individuals from different backgrounds traveled together across New Zealand (NZ) for iEmergence’s first full Osmosis run. The Osmosis program seeks to rebuild pathways of learning where learners become aware of various ways of developing a community and at the same time discover dreams for their respective communities through living in community with culture bearers of a particular land. Osmosis uses the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process in the discovery and design of community development projects.

Participants from the Philippines, USA, and South Africa visited different communities in NZ and listened to Maori elders talk about Maori theology, working with gangs in the city, doing culturally appropriate missions work, and initiating community development projects in a small town. The team was given the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of the places it visited through the hospitality of hosts in Auckland, Te Puke, Rotorua, Pangaru, Moerewa, Waitangi, and Christchurch.

Other activities during the Osmosis included being part of community life in the Kokiri papakainga—the team’s home in Auckland. The team visited Awhi Whanau Early Childhood Center and set up a miniature tipi for the kids, sharing with them some of the uniqueness of the various countries of the participants. The team also got to interact with the teenagers under Te Ora Hou’s alternative education program for the week that it was in Christchurch. During the last week of Osmosis the team along with our family from Kokiri were invited to Hillside Community Church in Auckland to share about the members’ cultures, learning gleaned from the whole Osmosis process, and the impact of being part of the Osmosis program.

During the whole program the members of the Osmosis team engaged in regular team devotions as well as group discussions using the AI process as a tool. Discovery times involved sharing about experiences of worshipping in creation and sharing about past involvements in community projects. The team also looked at components that made an ideal community and practical ways to pursue dreams for their respective communities. The last two weeks of Osmosis was devoted to designing strategies and making concrete plans on how to go about implementing each participant’s community development project.

Plans and projects that emerged from the participants during the AI process included actively learning about their community’s history, culture, and needs in order to initiate projects that will be culturally affirming. Plans to sit with local community elders and youth to share the vision of culturally appropriate ways to develop the community were also made. Lastly, strategies for building and maintaining global networks were also discussed. iEmergence is excited to walk alongside our Osmosis participants as they implement these projects this year.
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cultural affirmation and exchange

sustainable living

building pathways

About Us

iEmergence, a division of Indigenous Pathways, is a non-profit/non-stock organization focusing on holistic community and leadership development in indigenous and tribal communities.
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