October 24-26, 2007
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Speakers: Biography

Speaker: Khyla Russell


Khyla Russell

Otago Polytechnic
Private Bag 1910
Dunedin Otago
9001 New Zealand

Khyla Russell is presently employed as the Kaitohutohu to Te Kura Matatini ki Otago, a senior management position, in charge of overseeing the embedding of the Treaty of Waitangi across the organisation. Within Otago Polytechnic, Dr Russell also sits on the Research and Development Committee. Prior to the Kaitohutohu role, Dr Russell had a part time private consultancy as well as being a Senior Lecturer for the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and related health areas at the Otago Polytechnic. She held a similar position at the University of Otago in Social Work, for the Bachelor of Teaching, as well as guest lecturing in Law, History, Anthropology and Social Geography. Dr Russell sits on the University of Otago Ethics Committee, Te Reo Committee, the Treaty of Waitangi Committee and is the Pouheretangata to the Department of Zoology (a research advisory and Tikaka role). Holding a similar position in the School of Law, Dr Russell is the Arai-te-Uru advisor to the Dean of Te Tumu (Māori Studies) of Otago University. She sits as an Iwi representative on the Dunedin Public Health Organisation Governance Committee, the Southern Region Ethics Committee and the Otago District Health Board Mortality Committee. She was a member of the Performance Based Research Fund Māori Knowledge and Development Panel. Her PhD thesis “A Kai Tahu’s perception of Landscape: (Re)Defining Those Understandings From an Indigenous Perspective” considered the importance of world-view as Kai Tahu raised at our homeplaces is based on how we thought, think and relate ourselves to those places as part of our environment and with our landscapes and seascapes, who are our tüpuna. We are living whakapapa as well as being both past and future parts of it. We accept this way of understanding as usual. We also understand that there can never be a separation of whakapapa from DNA or of DNA from whakapapa and both of these are as much a part of us as we are a part of our landscapes. We also accept as usual, that use rights to the landscapes are also about whänau or hapü boundary management and why these are inseparable from identity and the place of Kai Tahu within our environment.

Khyla will present Worlds colliding: Participatory storytelling and indigenous culture in building interactive games. [Paper]