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HO‘OKELE HONUA PACIFIC UNITY SUMMIT: Indigenous Leaders of Moananuiākea Convene

Kaʻiwakīloumoku Pacific Indigenous Institute presents

Episode 8 - Season Finale
HOʻOKELE HONUA PACIFIC UNITY SUMMIT: Indigenous Leaders of Moananuiākea Convene

*NOTE: use the blue dots located on the video progress bar to easily navigate between chapters

Please enjoy this special video presentation of the 2021 Hoʻokele Honua: Pacific Unity Virtual Summit sponsored by the ʻAha Moananuiākea Pacific Consortium. This extraordinary virtual gathering of Pacific leaders, culture-bearers, and heads of indigenous-serving institutions on May 3, 2021, marks the beginning of a dynamic Pacific-wide network of indigenous communities who have a shared belief in the power of culture, education, and environmental stewardship, and envision a Pacific future of success and abundance for our youth and the generations to come.

Pacific Unity Summit Program and Informational Packet
[downloadable PDF]

You can launch right into the full show, or you can quickly skim over the easy-to-use video index below and locate the chapter of your choice:

Pacific Unity Summit - Video Index
[downloadable PDF]

Hoʻokele Honua Pacific Unity Summit:
Indigenous Leaders of Moananuiākea Convene


Snowbird Bento and Lāiana Kanoa-Wong, hosts of Pacific Conversations

Opening of video podcast talk show and introductory remarks by hosts.


Dr. Randie Kamuela Fong, Executive Culture Officer, Kamehameha Schools

Aloha / Pule Hoʻomaikaʻi – Welcome and Opening Prayer


Video: Wehena: Opening Ceremony

Ceremony Program

  • Pū Kani – Conch
  • Oli Kaʻiwakīloumoku – Entry chant honoring Kamehameha ʻEkahi
  • Ke Welina Mai Nei – Welcome chant honoring Kāne
  • ʻAha ʻAwa – ʻAwa Ritual
  • Nā ʻAumākua Hoʻokele – Guiding Elders
0:08:140:09:57Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu, HawaiʻiʻŌlelo Welina – Welcoming Remarks. Greetings to summit attendees from seven Pacific regions. Affirming shared educational mission of all the Pacific indigenous partners. “Through education, there is much the Pacific can offer to lift humanity and heal the world.”

Dr. Randie Kamuela Fong, Kamehameha Schools

ʻŌlelo Huliāmahi – Call to Unity. Realizing the immensity of the Pacific and our capacity to harness our collective strengths to “sustain long-term cultural relationships that foster knowledge sharing and educational exchange,” and to connect our youth to their profound oceanic heritage.

Video Highlights: Nā Hoa Alakaʻi

Introduction of Consortium executive partners: Jack Wong, Kamehameha Schools; Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society; Melanie Ide, Bishop Museum; Dr. David Lassner, University of Hawaiʻi.

Melanie Ide, President and CEO of Bishop Museum

Brief background on the Bishop Museum. Introducton of three partnerships in Aotearoa: Sir Hek Busby Kupe Waka Centre, Te Tii Marae, and Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
0:16:430:18:54Video Highlights: AotearoaImages of partnerships in Aotearoa.
0:18:550:25:53Stanley Conrad (Te Aupouri), Captain, Te Aurere; Hekenukumai Busby TrustReflections on beloved elder and revered leader of Māori voyaging  the late Sir Hekenukumai Busby. Recounting Hōkūleʻa’s historic 1985 landfall and origins of Hawaiian tribe, Ngāti Ruawāhia. Regards on behalf of Māori voyaging leaders Jack Thatcher, Piripi Evans and the waka community.

Ngāti Kawa Taituha (Ngāpuhi), Chairman, Te Tii Marae, Waitangi

Recognizing the sacred and historical heritage of Waitangi as a cultural hub and political epicenter of the Māori nation. Carving (Māuipāmamao) represents special kinship with Hawaiian tribe, Ngāti Ruawāhia. Prophecy of Marae elders for Pacific unity, aroha, and a unified indigenous family.

Dr. David Lassner, President, University of Hawaiʻi

Introducton of two Alaska Native partnerships: Sealaska Corporation, and Alaska Native Community Organizations.

Video Highlights: Alaska

Images of partnerships in Alaska.

Kaá Ax Gú, Joe Nelson, Chair, Sealaska Corporation

Honoring revered Sealaska and tribal leader, the late Byron Mallott, long departed elder Judson Brown, and recently departed David Katzeek. Recognition of community hardships from pandemic. Indigenous knowledge can inform global solutions. Native values give us competitive advantage. “As indigenous forces rise up and colonial forces pull back a bit, it will bring healing to the oceans, the ʻāina (lands) will begin to heal.”

Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson, President, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska

“Our health and well-being and the ability to exist and sustain ourselves as our ancestors did for thousands of years, is bound to the health and well-being of our lands and waters…and our ability to transmit our knowledge to the youth.” Our innate ability to adapt and utilize technologies can rekindle our relationships across the oceans and promote cultural exchanges in the ways our ancestors did.

Melanie Ide, Bishop Museum

Introduction of three partnerships in French Polynesia: Ministry of Culture and the Environment, Government of French Polynesia; Elders and Leaders of the Marae Taputapuātea Community; Royal Pōmare Family.
0:47:490:52:05Video Highlights: French PolynesiaImages of partnerships in Tahiti and Raʻiātea.

Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu, Minister of Culture and the Environment, Government of French Polynesia, Pape‘ete

“We are not small islands, we are a big blue continent – we are big oceanic countries…French Polynesia is the largest sanctuary in the world for marine mammals but that protection is not just because they are endangered, but because they are our ancestors, our ʻaumākua.” Tahiti’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) named “Tainuiātea,” is now recognized internationally as it plays a major role in dealing with climate change.
0:58:551:07:06Carlos Schmidt, Municipal Counselor on Culture; relays message on behalf of Mayor Thomas Moutame, Taputapuātea, RaʻiāteaRemarks convey Mayor Moutame’s warm regards and whole-hearted support for inspiring unity through the promotion of culture, indigenous language, and environmental and ocean restoration involving our youth. 2017 UNESCO World Heritage Site designation presents Taputapuātea as a sacred cultural landscape for all Pacific peoples. Looking forward to the return of canoes led by Nainoa Thompson. UH President Dr. David Lassner notes that University of Hawaiʻi signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of French Polynesia to promote academic collaboration.
1:07:111:07:33Dr. David Lassner, University of Hawai’iIntroduction of two partnerships in Taiwan: Kaviyangan Paiwan Tribe in Jiaping, Taitung, and the National Taiwan University Anthropology Department in Taipei.
1:07:341:12:52Video Highlights: Taiwan PartnershipsImages of Declaration Signing Ceremonies with Taiwan partners via Zoom.
1:12:531:14:01Dr. Randie Kamuela Fong, Kamehameha Schools

Introduction of three special video messages sent by the Kaviyangan Paiwan Tribe to be shared with summit participants.

1:14:021:15:00Kaviyangan Video #1: High Chiefess Alingin Zingrur, Tribal Leader, Kaviyangan Paiwan Tribe, Jiaping, PingtungHigh Chiefess Alingin Zingrur greets everyone in her native language, Paiwanese (Formosan / Austronesian) while sitting next to a carved ancestral image in her home. She expresses appreciation for the work put into organizing the summit and looks forward to coming together in person soon. Chinese and English subtitles.
1:15:011:17:47Kaviyangan Video #2: Cheng-Hsien Pan, Principal, Wutang Elementary School, Jiaping, PingtungPrincipal Pan sends warm greetings, and proudly affirms our shared Austronesian oceanic heritage before taking us on a special tour of Wutang Elementary School featuring enthusiastic young learners engaged in music, sports, martial arts, digital learning on computers, and Paiwan traditions. Plans for cultural-educational exchange are in development.
1:17:481:22:05Kaviyangan Video #3: Ceremony to Unite Paiwan Tribe of Kaviyangan with its Pacific FamilyCeremonial rituals invoke the presence of the tribe’s ancestors. A piece of pottery broken off from the rim of a large ceramic pot is offered to ʻAha Moananuiākea as a token of kinship. It will be returned to the tribe when all meet face to face at Kaviyangan Village as a family in the near future.
1:22:061:25:08Professor Maeva Yuan-Chao Tung, National Taiwan University, Anthropology Department, TaipeiThere are 400 million speakers of Austronesian languages (Island Southeast Asia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and Madagascar off the coast of Africa). All trace their origins and voyaging lineages back some 6,000 years to the Austronesian homeland, Taiwan. Through cultural-educational outreach, all 400 million speakers could be united in spirit to honor their shared heritage. The elders of this linguistic community are the Formosan-speaking Indigenous Taiwanese who comprise less than 3% of Taiwan’s population. National Taiwan University agrees to collaborate on courses, community outreach, and museum-related projects to promote Austronesian heritage, and looks forward to welcoming the Hōkūleʻa when it visits Taiwan on the upcoming voyage.
1:25:091:25:31Melanie Ide, Bishop MuseumIntroduction of our Micronesian partnership established through a declaration honoring Papa Pius Mau Piailug and the Assembly of Micronesian Pwo Navigators as a “Pacific Legacy of Distinction.”
1:25:321:28:14Video Highlights: Mau Piailug and the Assembly of Micronesian Pwo NavigatorsTribute to Papa Mau Piailug by KS CEO Jack Wong, and signing of declaration by Micronesian representative and Mau’s family member, Thomas Raffipiy.
1:28:151:36:41Thomas Raffipiy, Assembly of Pwo Navigators of Micronesia, Satawal / Hawaiʻi

“Most of Micronesia is still unchanged – Hawaiʻi a hundred years ago – people still live off the land in the old ways, and the beaches, rainforests are pristine and unspoiled. However, Western influences are spreading through our islands, and we fear cultural erosion. There is mass migration from smaller islands to bigger islands due to sea level rise. And, we are concerned about the prejudice faced by Micronesian communities in Hawaiʻi. These are issues that can be solved through unity.” When Hōkūleʻa comes, Polynesian Pwo can trace their line back to the Micronesian Pwo heritage in Puluwat.


Dr. David Lassner, University of Hawai‘i

Introduction of two partnerships in Rapa Nui: Foundation Ao Tupuna and NGO Toki Rapa Nui.
1:37:301:41:07Video Highlights: Rapa NuiImages of partnerships in Rapa Nui.

Lynn Rapu Tuki, President, and Maima Rapu Tching Chi Yen, Co-Founder, Foundation Ao Tupuna, Rapa Nui

Emotional and heartfelt expressions conveyed in a traditional Rapanui song and spoken in the Rapanui language convey a deep sense of gratefulness to be connected with the Pacific family, and especially the extended voyaging family. They send the mana of Rapa Nui, are grateful to be a part of the Summit, and look forward to staying connected through the Consortium.


Dr. Randie Kamuela Fong, Kamehameha Schools

Acknowledging the historic gathering of the full complement of 12 partnerships for the first time. Introduction of the first virtual youth cultural exchange pilot between Hawaiʻi and Alaska. All partners are encouraged to envision future virtual exchange opportunities for learners, professionals, and elders from their respective communities.
1:47:221:50:39Video: Pacific Youth Virtual Cultural ExchangeFeaturing highlights from a virtual cultural exchange between Kamehameha Schools Kapālama in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, and Thunder Mountain High School and the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, Alaska.
1:50:402:07:45Nainoa Thompson, President, Polynesian Voyaging SocietyReflections on the passing of Hector Busby, Laura Thompson (Nainoa’s mother), Byron Mallott, and beloved PVS / Pwo navigator, Kālepa Baybayan. Moananuiākea Voyage details: 42 months, 41,000 miles, 46 countries and archipelagos, perhaps a hundred indigenous territories, 450 days at sea, and 950 days hosted in the home territories of Pacific people beyond Hawaiʻi. “The world, Island Earth, is a blue island – 70% ocean. Everything is regulated by the oceans, and Pacific people have the answers from their ancestors. We will look back on this day when history was made by uniting the Pacific people. The official voyage starts in Alaska (in 2022), but as far I’m concerned, the voyage left today! This is the Third Waʻa – the virtual canoe!”
2:07:462:09:22Jamie Mililani Fong, Manager, Kaʻiwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural CenterʻŌlelo Hoʻomaikaʻi:  Words of appreciation to the partner organizations, leaders, and Pacific community members who participated in the Summit.
2:09:232:10:40Inu ʻAwa – Ritual Drinking of ʻAwaConsortium leaders partake of ʻawa to affirm the shared Pacific vision of all 12 partnerships, and to affirm the collective commitment to promote indigenous language and culture, the protection of the ocean, cultural exchange, and unity as a Pacific extended family.

Papa Guy Tauatiti, Nā Papa E Vaʻu o Marae Taputapuātea / Council of Elders

Closing words of blessing and goodwill in Tahitian represent the mana, the spiritual essence, of Marae Taputapuātea, one of the most sacred sites in Polynesia and the traditional gathering place of voyaging chiefs unified through an alliance of goodwill, faʻatau aroha.
2:12:412:14:50Video: Closing CeremonyʻAuʻa ʻIa, a traditional hula pahu (sacred drum dance), presents a powerful reminder to hold fast to our traditions. Visuals of sacred sites connect us throughout the Pacific: Marae Taputapuātea, Raʻiātea; Te Kāpehu Whetū i Aurere, Aotearoa; Heiau Hāpaialiʻi me Heiau Keʻekū, Keauhou-Kahaluʻu, Hawaiʻi; Kanaloa/Kahoʻolawe, Hawaiʻi; Hale Mana, Kaʻiwakīloumoku, Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian patriotic call to allegiance brings the Summit to a close: “Kū Haʻaheo e Kuʻu Hawaiʻi.”

Snowbird Bento and Lāiana Kanoa-Wong

Closing of the season finale of Pacific Conversations.


Original Release Date:
June 16, 2021 (Kūpau)