Samoa Language Week presents the opportunity for individuals to revalue, reclaim and reconnect with their heritage, while ensuring their cultural identity is secure as Samoans living in Aotearoa New Zealand.
For Sosaiete A’oga Amata Samoa I Aotearoa (SAASIA) Inc National President and Samoa Language Week co-organiser Salā Pafitimai Dr Faasaulala Tagoilelagi-Leota, the goals Samoa Language Week is trying to achieve aligns closely with her organisation’s aims.
“Established for over 30 years, the organisation has a national executive board that operates under four strategic goals including Samoan culture, Samoan language and Christianity; Early Childhood Education; Research; and Resources,” Salā says.
The organisation has provided professional development and advice and counsel for Aoga Amata teachers and communities in these four goals, she adds.
With a long-term goal of seeing Samoa Language Week embedded in the lives of Samoans across the board, and seeing money invested in innovative ways to revitalise and maintain the Samoan language – such as a Samoan TV channel – Salā and the SAASIA team are heavily involved in the planning of Samoa Language Week, which was launched on Sunday and continues until May 30.
“Following the launch, we have a programme running until Friday of which aoga amata from Christchurch to Auckland are participating in.
“Each day features a different region which targets a particular part of the ECE curriculum and connecting it to the overarching theme of Samoa Language week - Tapena sou ōso mo lau malaga, or in English, Prepare yourself a gift for your travels.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Samoa Language Week activities are being driven from a digital platform.
The highlight for Salā will be seeing how the Samoan language can endure the impact of COVID-19, she says.
We encourage you to join in the celebration of Gagana Samoa as it begins its second decade with the Pacific Language Weeks programme, supported by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.
Stay tuned to what is happening on the Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa Facebook page – each of the three community groups have a fantastic programme of events planned.
Visit MPP for more information and resources you can use during Samoa Language Week.