Indigenous Perceptions of Adventure Recreation: Māori Perspectives
University of Idaho Seed Grant
Western research has demonstrated the value of adventure activities in promoting wellbeing and healthy development. Further, adventure tourism has been promoted as a panacea for common crises facing indigenous peoples (e.g., loss of land and culture; marginalization; poor health care; economic instability). However, the majority of studies within adventure recreation and tourism have adopted euro-centric participants, models and perspectives. Due to recent growth in adventure tourism products featuring indigenous people, western and indigenous people are increasingly interacting in adventure contexts. Given indigenous peoples' lack of representation in the adventure recreation and tourism literature, this project will employ a Kaupapa Māori research paradigm to investigate indigenous perceptions of: adventure; values and benefits associated with adventure; and representations of indigenous culture within adventure tourism. Qualitative data will be collected and triangulated via in-depth interviews with Māori, indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand), and participant observation of indigenous-based adventure tourism products. This pilot study will address critical knowledge gaps and expand dominant psychological theories in the adventure literature. It will also be used to leverage external funding for study replication and expansion (e.g., in India, South America, Africa, the U.S.); inform Idaho state recreation and tourism policies; and enhance teaching, learning, and outreach conducted through the University of Idaho.