Dr. Carrie Clifford is passionate about cultural and intergenerational well-being practices and their potential contributions to overall hauora.
She has experience researching how pūrākau can be incorporated into modern mental health practices. Pūrākau is a powerful form of indigenous storytelling, which is passed intergenerationally and plays a critical role in preserving and communicating Māori knowledge through space and time.
In early 2023, she obtained a PhD from Te Whare Wananga o Otago, the University of Otago, where she explored the use of pūrākau, its benefits, and its potential adoption into the mental health space. This included developing a framework - Toka Āhuru - to support safe, meaningful, mana-enhancing use of pūrākau and other cultural practices in mental health settings.
Carrie is dedicated to highlighting the significant cultural benefits of pūrākau, which intertwines Te Reo, Tikanga, and Te Ao Māori values and their associated therapeutic and well-being benefits. Carrie hopes to see the ongoing reinstatement of pūrākau widely within the community, kura, and more broadly in Aotearoa.
During her Ph.D, she applied for and received the Fulbright Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga graduate award. This opportunity led her to travel to the University of Colorado in Denver and the John Hopkins University in Baltimore in the US as a visiting researcher. Her research in the US allowed her to collaborate with international researchers to examine the use of Indigenous storytelling practices among Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian peoples. She continues collaborating with her colleagues on Indigenous health-related kaupapa to advance health.
Carrie is a qualified and practising clinical psychologist, collaborating primarily with Māori and Pasifika whānau.
Centering Indigenous Knowledges and Worldviews: Applying the Indigenist Ecological Systems Model to Youth Mental Health and Wellness Research and Programs. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health