Andie Palmer is a linguistic and legal anthropologist conducting research on comparative legal systems and cross-cultural miscommunication. She is in Aotearoa New Zealand to observe initial hearings for the Te Paparahi o Te Raki (Northlands) Claim, which commenced with an extraordinary week of testimony before the Waitangi Tribunal, at Te Tii Marae, on May 10. Andie was based at The Michael King Writers’ Centre to write up the week for a report as an international observer, and to work on a book manuscript on Canadian and New Zealand articulations with Indigenous legal systems.
As an author, Andie is best known in Canada and the US for the book, Maps of Experience: The Anchoring of Land to Story in Secwepemc Discourse (University of Toronto Press, 2005). She is Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Graduate Programs) in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, Canada. Andie has conducted archival research at the United Nations, Geneva, on the creation of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and has served as an editor and advisor for Lushootseed Research, a non-profit organization founded by Upper Skagit Elder Vi Hilbert, dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of the Lushootseed Salish language.
She writes: “The Centre was more than just a serene and supportive place to write. The expansive views of Waitamata Harbour from my desk remind me of the worlds and possibilities that open up before us when we engage in the writers’ craft. It was an honour and a privilege to share space with Bradford Haami, the first Maori Writer-in-Residence. Meeting with a few of the many North Shore writers who have been associated with the Centre, and with the work of Michael King, creates a bond of common experience and comradeship that is one of the most exciting aspects of Centre life. In Administrator Karren Beanland and Tania’s expert hands, Aotearoa New Zealand has a jewel of a writer’s retreat, and one the country can be very proud of.”