Tanya Te Miringa Te Rorarangi Ruka is a Māori Indigenous artist and designer living in Te Whānganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa (Wellington, Capital City of New Zealand). The land of three tribal nations: Te Atiawa, Ngati Toa Rangatira, and Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika.
She is of Ngati Pakau, Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau, Te Mahurehure Ngapuhi, and Waitaha descent. She is a member of the Taheke Gazetted Māori Committee of the National Māori Council. She has a Master of Art and Design and works as an independent indigenous researcher. She is active in environmental issues from an Indigenous perspective in Aotearoa and globally. Working with the Waitaha Executive Grandmothers Council, she has been documenting and mapping the sacred stories of her Tupuna ancestors as evidence for tribal environmental issues involving land and water protection claims through the Treaty of Waitangi. As a Māori artist she is inspired by her ancestry and the creation stories that place the land as Ancestor and the Master Navigator voyagers of the Pacific who always kept their eyes on the horizon in hopeful anticipation, bringing the tribe safely to land. Tanya works with Mātauranga Māori (ancestral knowledge and navigational tools) to design pathways of transitional Indigenous Futures and Indigenous Speculative Design. She works in the digital realm, creating stories that firmly place Indigenous concepts, knowledge, perspectives and ways of being in the landless territories of new imagined futures. She is currently working with dedicated Indigenous and non-Indigenous textile researchers, academics, scientists, engineers, growers and local Iwi (tribes) documenting the journey to develop circular designed, native plant fibre materials and textiles that will help to connect people back to the land through Indigenous ways of knowing. She is developing a Community Rongoā (Māori native plant medicine) Forest initiative weaving together ancestral knowledge with integrated app-based technology.
Tanya hopes to continue the legacy of her late Uncle, who was sent by her Grandmother into the world to open up pathways of communication with other Indigenous tribal nations.
She is honoured to be a part of the team at Native Land Digital, the organization behind Native-Land.ca, in the role of Research Communications Lead. Tanya connects with members of Indigenous nations to listen, hear, and share ancestral stories, and dedicated to valuing and honouring tribal voices and their homelands in digital realms.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO HUMANSANDNATURE.ORG:
Origin stories: ‘I nga wā o mua’ ‘from times in front.’ The perpetual creation story and the emergence of the Fourth Realm (digital storytelling).
A response to "What stories does the land hold?"
- Native Land Digital
Learn more about Tanya Ruka's work with Native Land Digital