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ʻAha Moananuiākea Pacific Partnerships

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Aotearoa (New Zealand)

Kupe Waka Centre Partnership, Aurere (December 2018)
With a $4.6 million (NZD) grant from the New Zealand Parliament, a cultural center featuring a school of carving and navigation is currently under construction to honor Sir Hekenukumai Busby. Envisioned as a sister center to Kaʻiwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center, both sites will serve as Pacific piko for cross-cultural learning and leadership development.

Te Tii Marae Partnership, Waitangi (December 2019)
Hōkūleʻa made its historic landfall at Waitangi in 1985. This led to the designation of the Hawaiian tribe, Ngāti Ruawāhia (the extended families of KS and PVS), and the profound rebirth of the Māori voyaging tradition. In 1992, KS erected a carved ancestral post, Māuipāmamao, at Te Tii Marae marking the area as a Ngāti Ruawāhia heritage site. The post will be replaced with a new carving that is scheduled to be installed on Dec. 7, 2020, to commemorate the 35th anniversary of both the Hawaiian tribe and the monumental landfall. The Hekenukumai Busby Trust gifted the consortium a 20-by-5-foot kauri log for this purpose. This partnership is designed to strengthen Hawaiʻi’s tribal relationships as Ngāti Ruawāhia, and promote Hawaiian-Māori cross-cultural learning.

Waitangi National Trust Partnership (February 2020)
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of the premier national landmarks of New Zealand, is the site where Māori chiefs gathered to sign the controversial document establishing a formal relationship with the British Crown in 1840. For well over a century, it has served as a venue of honor and distinction for Māori and all New Zealand citizens. Since 1985, KS and PVS have routinely visited the Treaty Grounds to attend special ceremonies, participate in historic commemorations, and pay respect on behalf of the Hawaiian people. This partnership establishes an educational alliance between the Waitangi National Trust and the Consortium, and designates the Waitangi Treaty Grounds as a Ngāti Ruawāhia heritage site.



Sealaska Corporation Partnership (May 2019)
This partnership rekindles Hawaiʻi, Tlingit, and Haida relationships that began in 1990 with the gifting of two Sitka spruce logs for the construction of the Hawaiʻiloa canoe. Based on a declaration of kinship signed at the Hoʻoilina Conference in Hawaiʻi in 2019, work is underway to establish exchanges with the Sealaska Corporation in Juneau, and to prepare for the launch of the trans-Pacific voyage of Hōkūleʻa, which is scheduled to take place in Alaska in 2022.

Consortium of Alaska Native Institutions Partnership (June 2019)
Based on a declaration of unity signed at the Hoʻoilina Conference in Hawaiʻi in 2019, exchanges are now under development with the University of Alaska Southeast, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and other members of a loosely organized network of Alaska Native institutions that will focus on culture, the environment, healing, and opportunities for revitalizing language and honoring our respective canoe heritages.


French Polynesia

President Édouard Fritch and the French Polynesian Government Partnership, Tahiti (November 2019)
A declaration of kinship signed at the Presidential Palace in Papeʻete sets the stage for educational, cultural, artistic, and environmental collaborations. To initiate this partnership, the consortium accepted an invitation to participate in the One Planet Summit, which was scheduled to take place in April 2020. Nainoa Thompson was to deliver keynote remarks and Kamehameha Schools was slated to present newly composed chants and dances about climate change and sea level rise to an audience of Oceanic leaders, the French Polynesian community, and special guest President Emmanuel Macron of France. Planning continues around a series of collaborative projects that commit to the restoration of the Pacific Ocean and celebrate the shared culture and genealogy of Hawaiians and Tahitians.

Council of Elders and Mayor Thomas Moutame of Taputapuātea Marae Community Partnership, Raʻiātea (November 2019)
A declaration of unity signed at Taputapuātea Marae declared the UNESCO World Heritage Site as a Hawaiian heritage site. This effort has created opportunities for a symposium with elders regarding ceremonial protocol, and the initiation of educational exchanges with Taputapuātea Elementary School and Faʻaroa High School. Additionally, Mayor Thomas Moutame confirmed his intentions to bring 100 members of the Taputapuātea community to be hosted by the ʻAha Moananuiākea Pacific Consortium in Hawaiʻi in October 2020. While these plans have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, digital efforts are now underway to provide virtual exchange experiences that enhance mutual interaction and provide cross-cultural learning for participants of all ages.

Madame Mysco Pōmare Kilian and the Pōmare Royal Family of Tahiti Partnership (November 2019)
The signing of a declaration designating the Pōmare Family as a Pacific legacy of distinction affirms the time-honored relationship between the Royal Pōmare Family of Tahiti and the Royal Kamehameha Family of Hawaiʻi. This act of deference is promoted by the living legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop – Kamehameha Schools. Future engagements include co-sponsorship of heritage initiatives related to aliʻi values of civic service and leadership development.


Indigenous Taiwan

National Taiwan University, Department of Anthropology (June 2020)
A virtual ceremony involving ʻawa and ritual protocols took place in Hawaiʻi and Taiwan for the signing of an institutional declaration that affirms a joint commitment to promote Austronesian heritage. The origin of the Hawaiian language and the early development of navigation and voyaging technology can be traced back some 6,000 years; both are rooted in the indigenous Pacific Island heritage of pre-Chinese Taiwan. Over millennia, as people migrated from Taiwan and voyaged through Southeast Asia, out to Madagascar, down through the Bismark Archipelago, and up into the central and northern Pacific regions of Polynesia and Micronesia, multiple language branches developed, which traced their movement. “Austronesian” is a linguistic term referring to all speakers of languages that have branched off from the initial root languages originating in Taiwan. These all share a common Austronesian heritage. This partnership provides for collaborative opportunities in research, cross-collegiate degrees, Austronesian studies, and the empowerment of indigenous views and voice in academia.

Kaviyangan Paiwan Tribe (June 2020)
The offering of ʻawa, mele, and hula in Hawaiʻi, and of millet wine, noseflute, and ancestral poetry in Taiwan, was observed at a virtual ceremony for the signing of a tribal declaration to promote Austronesian heritage. Maljevljev Zingrur, daughter of Tribal Leader Alingin Zingrur, read the declaration, offered well-wishes on behalf of the royal family and the village, and affirmed our joint commitment to engage in cultural-educational exchange to empower our youth.


Satawal (Caroline Islands, Federated States of Micronesia)

Mau Piailug Family and Satawal School of Navigation Partnership (projected for 2021)
A partnership was proposed at the Northern Pacific People’s Forum hosted by global change-makers and consortium colleagues, Nia Tero, in February 2020. It was received favorably by Mau Piailug’s extended family of traditional navigators, and research and planning are currently underway regarding the next steps for engagement. The vision for this partnership is to bring honor to Piailug, and to recognize him and his extraordinary life’s work as a Pacific legacy of distinction.


Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

NGO Toki Rapa Nui and Maʻu Henua Indigenous Polynesian Community Partnership (projected for 2021)
This partnership proposes cultural exchanges with two highly innovative entities on the remote island of Rapa Nui. Toki Rapa Nui is an environmental advocacy organization that is housed in a community-built, state-of-the-art sustainable structure that functions as a performing arts school for children. Maʻu Henua is a unique island council of traditional clan leaders that governs the Rapa Nui community and has been recently empowered to oversee the island’s national parks and heritage sites formerly managed by the Chilean government. This potential partnership builds upon earlier relationships that were initiated in 1999 during the Closing the Triangle Voyage and again in 2017 on the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage of the Hōkūleʻa.