At the moment I’m reading ‘The Pacific in the wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neil’ written by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios which was gifted to me by one of my students in both sharing a love of reading and learning about the Pacific.

It’s a very interesting book because it was based on a TV series that aired last year which traced the voyage/s of Captain Cook in NZ and around the Pacific. Sam Neil hosted the series and I had been interested to watch it but decided that it probably would not say much about the indigenous peoples’ viewpoint so I thought not to catch up with it.

However, upon reading the book, I was quite surprised that there was a definite interest in the indigenous peoples’ viewpoints and how Captain Cook had made mistakes in his actions and even more importantly, that Captain Cook hadn’t discovered anything because there were already people populating all of the islands that he visited which must have been astonishing for him.

I think as a teacher of Indigenous research, it solidifies for me that there is a reawakening of a lot of scholars and teachers in the reworking, rewording and rewriting of history books to give credit to those who had already lived upon the lands that colonial powers thought they’d “discovered” back in the 1700s+.

The so-called ‘Doctrine of discovery’ or ideas surrounding seemed to be based on an arrogant belief that colonial powers were the superior culture and would conquer and subjugate nations that did not share the same ‘enlightened’ beliefs or who did not have technology that could kill in an instant eg. weapons such as muskets and knives etc.

It’s now interesting that indigenous cultural knowledge holders are being called upon to assist in sustainable living as people search for answers on how to ‘save’ this planet from ideologies of developed countries that are actually killing it through pollution, over-forestation, gaseous emissions through cattle etc.

I would recommend this 400+ page book to those who are interested in the different viewpoints of Captain Cook’s voyages with discussions by Sam Neil (famous NZ actor) and indigenous peoples perspectives at the various Islands that he came in contact with as those islands were never the same…