Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is holding its sixth biennial International Indigenous Development Research Conference.
With 10 world renowned keynote speakers, the conference will address themes which are central to the realisation of indigenous development.
First Nations representatives stressed that there's concerning health matters within their communities and it's affecting the generation of today.
Professor Karina Walter from the University of Washington spoke in front of 100 indigenous nations at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, and focused on the health issues affecting her Choctaw nation.
She also believes that her people are still affected by the historic trauma bestowed on her ancestors in the 1880s since their first encounter with Europeans.
It's projected that 1 of 3 Choctaw youth will have Type 2 diabetes by 2050, and 70-80% of their people are currently affected by or are struggling with obesity.
The Canadian Mohawk Nation representative who is also a professor at the University of Victoria is alarmed at the contamination of PCB in their waterways. The water is their nations' life force.
Given that PCB is persistent and is an ongoing problem, they've had to reconstruct their Mohawk identity to get around the continued industrial activity. They continue to find ways of gaining their indigenous rights.
First Nations researchers believe that sustainable community service-based change is the way forward.