|January 2009 - March 2009|
Volume 3, Issue 2
First Nations' Futures Program NewsletterKe Alaula: The Dawning
|FNFP Directors |
E nga mana, e nga reo, e karangatanga maha, tena koutou tena koutou, tena tatou katoa. He mihi nui tenei ki a tatou i runga i te ahuatanga o te wa.
Pictured above: (front row, l-r) Renee Young, Rangimarie Mules, Kama Dancil, and Gail Thompson. (back row, l-r) Nick Francisco, Jason Jeremiah, Mohi Apou, Riki Ellison, Jocelyn M-Doane, and Keola Nakanishi.
This issue of Ke Alaula touches on our recruiting efforts for the 2009/2010 fellowship, summarizes the recent 2009 Aotearoa Project, looks forward to the upcoming Hawai`i project in May, and shares some news from the fellowship `Ohana.
For this group of fellows, their journey while in the program is nearing the twilight. The upcoming Hawai`i project will be the final time this cohort comes together as current fellows. After this module, they will 'graduate' from the fellowship and go on to do more great work with their communities, and mentor or give back to the next group of fellows.
Our tupuna told us "neke atu he tete kura, ara mai he tete kura" - as one fern frond moves aside, another rises to take its place.
* Kamehameha Schools is offering five First Nations' Futures Program Kamehameha Schools Fellowships for the 2009-2010 program year. Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2009 (postmarked). Click here for a shortcut to the admissions webpage to retrieve a downloadable application. For more information regarding the program, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (808) 541-5376 or visit www.fnfp.org.
* FNFP welcomes new fellow, Gail Thompson from Awarua, to our extended 'ohana. Gail comes on board to fill the vacant seat of fellow Manaia Cunningham, who no longer can fully participate in the fellowship given his increased responsibilities and schedule.
* Congratulations to Aunty Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele for being named Pacific Business News' (PBN) 2009 Gladys Kamakakuokalani 'Ainoa Brandt Kupuna Award Recipient. This award recognizes Aunty's lifelong work and contribution to Hawaiian culture and the benefit she's provided and continues to provide to Hawaii communities as well as national and international arenas. Aunty Pua retained the knowledge passed down from many generations, and continues to share and teach them for future generations. It was an honor to have Aunty Pua share her mana'o with FNFP during this past year's Stanford Institute in the Fall. We echo PBNs acknowledgement. To read more of PBNs honor, click here for PBNs April 3rd article and here for PBNs April 10th article.
* First Nations' Futures Program is now on Facebook. In an effort to catch up with modern communications, FNFP has joined the social networking scene. Come join us! Become a "fan" of our FNFP Facebook page to enjoy timely updates of the program's progress. Simply click on the "Find us on Facebook" icon, and once on our page, click on the "Become a Fan" button located directly below our program logo.
Ko Aoraki toku Maunga
Ko te Waitaki toku Awa
Ko Waitaha, Ngati Mamoe, Ngai Tahu oku iwi
Ko Takitimu toku waka tapu
Ko Te Rau Aroha toku marae
Ko Awarua toku turangawaewae
Ka moe ahau i a Bubba Thompson ka puta ki waho ko Skye te matamua
Muri mai ko Saird te potiki
Kei ahau nga mokopuna toko toru
No reira, he mihi aroha atu tenei ki a koutou e nga iwi katoa
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou tatou katoa
I was born and raised in the small fishing community of Bluff (Motu Pohue), situated at the southern most end of Te Wai Pounamu. This community has continuously been dependent on Mahinga Kai, manu (Birds) and kaimoana (fish) for sustenance and income. I am an active and committed marae committee member of Te Rau Aroha Marae, Bluff. I worked for Awarua Runanga, initially as the Administration and Communication Officer, leaving this position to take employment with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu as the Kai Arahi (Customary Fisheries Advisor ki Murihiku 1999) -- this role was instrumental in educating and empowering Tangata Whenua to manage and take responsibility (kaitiakitanga) of their kaimoana, kairoto, kaiawa. I returned to Awarua Runanga in 2006. My new role continues to give me the flexibility to work in the area which I have a passion: Mahinga Kai, 'Ki Uta ki Tai' from the mountains to the sea. My kaupapa is customary (Mo tatou, a mo ka uri a muri ake nei, for us and our children after us) working with other committed Runanga members for the conservation and future sustainabilty of our mahinga Kai. I currently represent Ngai Tahu / Murihiku Runanga / Te Runanga o Awarua in a number of forums, including Te Ao Marama, Southland Conservation Board, Sub Antarctic Regional Marine Protection Planning Forum, Whenua Hou Committee, and Tangata Tiaki Kaitiaki ki Awarua.
I annually take time out to travel to Kaihuka (Titi Island) to customarily harvest titi (Sooty Shearwater). These hikoi give my whanau the opportunity to work, live and actively practice our customary right to harvest titi as our Tupuna did.
I take this opportunity to mihi to Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Te Runanga o Awarua, the Ngai Tahu Fellows, Nga Rauru Fellow, the Hawaiian Fellows, The First Nations' Futures Program Directors and my whanau for giving me this generous opportunity to participate in the First Nations' Futures Fellowship 2009.
No reira he mihi arohanui atu ano ki nga Rangatira ma kei runga tenei waka whakahirahira
Hei tautoko hei manaakitia tenei kaupapa nui tena koutou tena koutou no reira
Ma te atua hei manaakitia i a tatou katoa i nga wa katoa no reira tena tatou katoa mauri ora
Te Wai Pounamu, February 2009
Pictured above: Puketeraki marae.
For the last three weeks of February, FNFP shifted total focus onto Aotearoa in its first place-based project of the year. The maori hui graciously opened and shared their homes and land, and put together a vacuum tight itinerary. Fellows were whisked from Christchurch to Dunedin, Puketeraki to Otakou and then full circle to Christchurch again; and that was only the first week. Evidently, the project entailed a lot of travel and sightseeing, but the primary purpose wasn't leisure and entertainment. The task at hand was much more profound: fellows were tasked with analyzing New Zealand's aquaculture and the relevant fisheries resource management in order to propose a balancing and integrating system - including a communication flow chart and a final report of observations and insights that attempts to balance the often conflicting interests of commercial, recreational and customary fishing.
The fellows held their forum at the end of their first week in Aotearoa and got a feel for and identified the current state of the issues, stakeholders involved, roles, attitudes, and outlook. In effort to generate progress and move in the right direction, as always there needs to be a starting point. This project, and its focus (Kawei Ika Moana) is that start. With that, the Hawaii fellows presented two deliverables:
1) A final report of their input and observations after connecting with various stakeholders in the fisheries sector throughout the project, as well as implications and recommendations for next steps.
2) A Kawei Ika Moana Communications Diagram (View).
These two deliverables will serve as building blocks as they identify the issues and promote better communication to resolve them.
Pictured above: Group photo at Pearl Harbor sign near Te Anau, Fiordlands
In their own words
The trip to Aotearoa was memorable, and I will always cherish the experience ... I am truly humbled.
The landscape is remarkable and the vast openness of the country is astonishing. The land is alive and it speaks, in some places louder than others. The effects of man's need to support a utilitarian perspective are evident as well. However, the pendulum has swung and it is becoming more and more apparent that "The land is chief, and we are the servants," ("He ali'i ka 'āina, he kauwā ke kānaka"- Pukui).
The people (Māori) are a reflection of the land and the environment in which they live. It is obvious that we are cousins, and that our kupuna simply chose different paths. A very proud and humble people, our cousins, as "Ho'okipa" is often perceived as a measure of true mana. The kai provided for us, the manuhiri, was a reflection of a rich land and people. Their patience and tolerance of the keiki, even during important and somewhat serious occasions, is astonishing and is a testament of their perpetual foundation.
Our role as Fellows in Aotearoa was to focus on the aquaculture industry and practices. It became evident early-on that it was similar to our situations here at home. It was a balancing exercise, and most often than not it came down to money vs. mana, and really the pinching point was with people and not the resource. Just as we struggle to manage multiple bottom-lines or objectives, aquaculture and the managing of resources is, and will continue to be, a multi-generational discussion. It is up to each generation to decide what is appropriate for their time.
The "Romance" of living in a green world is consuming and it is very obvious that if natural resources are managed in a pure utilitarian manner, then not only will the resource suffer but so will our culture. We must change our perspective and begin to look through the lens of our resources, just as our kupuna did.
Aotearoa was remarkable, and I hope to visit again someday. But I am Hawaiian, I am born of this land, and it's good to be home.
I will never forget the time I spent on the Aotearoa field project. I gained many invaluable experiences and new perspectives. The trip was one of tremendous personal growth and learning. I found that dedicated leadership plays a huge role in the guidance, planning and ultimate success of any initiative. I also took away a greater respect for the pre-planning and planning processes. My only major critique of our constructive three-week voyage would be to have the future projects primarily place based. A place based project would accomplish a great deal by focusing more energy on interacting and experiencing the location and people in greater depth. This trip had far too much traveling. As soon as we met and exchanged our greetings/introductions it seemed as if we were off to experience another place. The positive side to our nomadic expedition was that we saw a vast amount of Aotearoa's majestic country and met many lovely and hospitable people. The downside was that we were all very tired and travel worn.
- Kama Dancil
Pictured above: Reese Harrison (daughter of 2007-08 Fellow, Aimee Kaio) and Kama
Pictured below: Kaleo and Nick Francisco
The trip was largely a huge success. The cultural exchange of histories and practices have opened my eyes to what lies ahead for our people as we continue on our path of cultural revitalization. Having now seen the Māori model, experiencing and understanding the role the Marae plays within their communities and learning of the similar struggles our people share, I am filled with hope and inspiration. Returning home from Aotearoa, I have brought back greater self-confidence and appreciation in my abilities as well as personal clarity to my vision of what positive change I will create for our people. In ending, I must send my deepest thanks to our Māori hosts. I truly love and appreciate all that you shared with me and my family. We have never experienced such aloha and unending hospitality outside of our shores. We are blessed to have met you and all your whānau. It is an honor to have such friends.
- Nick Francisco
Pictured above: Fellows gathering cockles in Waiputi.
The Aotearoa Project showcased the connection that Maori have with the moana as a source of kaimoana (food). The project also displayed the potential Māori have to participate as one unified voice to ensure their fishing interests are recognized. As observed, the Māori play an important role in commercial, customary, and recreational fishing. The close relationship that Māori have with the use of their ocean resources was displayed during our collection of cockles while staying at Puketeraki marae. During the course of the project we met with various stakeholders with interests in the fisheries. Māori, being one of the largest and most important stakeholders in fisheries, displayed their traditional management systems such as the mataitai and taiapure, and the tangata kaitiaki who are equivalent to the konohiki in the Hawaiian system of land and resource management. While in Aotearoa, the shared experiences allowed us to draw parallels back home to the way we manage our resources in the moana. It brings us hope toward restoration to actual customary and recreational uses of resources as our world shifts itself more towards sustainability.
One of the greatest takeaways from Aotearoa was being able to work together with the Māori fellows during the course of the project. The interactions between the various stakeholders in fisheries and the FNFP fellows really brought an understanding toward the issues at hand and how effective communication can be built and strengthened in the future. Connecting with people at the flaxroot level, including the Māori fellows' families, was also a really important takeaway from the case study. Meeting the people that hosted us at Puketeraki marae in Karitane and at Tauranga Ika and Wai o Turi marae in Whanganui was really special.
Personally, it was really powerful to see how the cultural traditions of the Māori are still an integral part of their life. I believe the experiences in Aotearoa will encourage the Hawaii fellows to continue the good work we do in our communities and bring hope that we too can ensure the continuance of our Hawaiian traditions and cultural practices. E ala! E alu! E kuilima!
- Jason Jeremiah
Pictured above: Jocelyn and Rangimarie engaged in observing and learning at the Albatross Center.
Aotearoa was awesome. Spending time with our Māori fellows and their whānau was great and I already miss them!
The topic of fisheries was somewhat challenging for me initially because of my lack of familiarity. It seems that one contributing factor is that "fisheries" in Hawai'i is no where near the scale of "fisheries" in Aotearoa. In addition to the sheer size of Aotearoa's waters and therefore its opportunities, it appears that its fisheries industry is much healthier than ours.
It was interesting to see how differently the Hawai`i and Māori fellows viewed the "health" of the industry. Based upon our experiences, Aotearoa's marine resources are generally in great condition. However, this view was different from most of the Māori fellows. As a result of our differing perspectives, where we saw abundance - cockles, mussels, lobster, and fish piled high on the dining table - they often saw depletion. This reaffirmed an important lesson that things clearly look differently based upon our experiences and the place in the world that we stand.
Despite my lack of familiarity I was very eager to learn and was impressed with our site visits and speakers. An unexpected revelation for me was that māori cultural fishers and New Zealand commercial fishers have similar perspectives on many issues. They are often aligned in the theory, and with stronger relationships will likely find themselves powerful allies.
The most valuable and cherished moments for me was our time spent with the community at the marae and in their "spaces." Our casual discussions over dinner and during free time revealed what I often times suspected - we face similar challenges with our māori cousins. Understanding these challenges and the way our similar values guide our actions will help us to grow and develop into strong leaders for our people.
- Jocelyn M-Doane
Pictured above: Rangimarie and Riki outside Otakou marae
My feelings for the Aotearoa Project are kind of like a 50c lucky dip - we endeavoured to take a chance, not knowing what we were in for, spent some money and ended up with a range of colourful sweets of experience. I think we have all learnt a tremendous amount about ourselves and others in relation to the various influences and environments that we have faced throughout the programme. I personally found the months leading up to the Aotearoa project, and the project itself, a challenge that has offered me skills that will assist me in reaching some of my aspirations in the future. It has unearthed skills I thought I never possessed - it turns out I can be bossy and organise people (to an extent), but unfortunately those singing talents have not yet rendered.
A consistent theme has been echoed throughout the programme thus far, and that is: people. Every experience we have encountered so far has been enriched by the passion, reliance and foresight of the various people that have contributed to our journey, fellows included. There are a number of people who helped me and the Aotearoa fellows through this leg. Rangimarie, Kari and Nicole all offered their expertise in leadership, experience and administration - valuable aspects that have lifted much of the weight off our shoulders. The hosts at our marae welcomed us with the utmost warmth, exposing us to the lush resources and vivacious communities throughout Te Wai Pounamu (South Island) and Ngā Rauru Kiitahi. These have been priceless experiences that can, and will, never be replaced.
Our Hawaiian cousins, apart from their everlasting baggage, were amazing! They went above and beyond to help ensure the three weeks went smoothly by demonstrating resilience, unity and a strong work ethic. I hope to contribute something back in reciprocity when we head over to their shores in May.
Overall, the Aotearoa project has taught me how to think about opportunity, mediate situations, communicate with transparency, stand with conviction, and most of all value some of the compromises that people and the environment make in hope for the future.
- Rangimarie Mules
Pictured above: Keola on Doubtful Sound.
Many of us have been blessed with experiences where we realize that indigenous peoples - worldwide and especially those who share the same ocean - have diverse cultures, yet share many common patterns of struggle, oppression, resiliency, renaissance and revitalization.
Still, to actually see, hear, and feel this firsthand is invaluable versus reading or hearing about it second-hand. There is affirmation in firsthand observation of the common struggle and oppression - we are not alone. Our history, our claims, and the emotions that come with it are valid. There is much inspiration and hope to be gained in seeing, hearing and feeling the efforts and successes of the movements of our indigenous cousins. This was especially true for me with our Maori cousins. The various initiatives that proved to be insightful and inspiring, were often positive and proactive, and always filled with passion, vision, and a grounding in truth and history.
Meeting the leadership and learning of Ngāi Tahu's struggles and successful settlement well over a century later, and its considerable growth in the ten years since, was very inspiring and insightful with many applications for the home front. Likewise with Nga Rauru's passion and resiliency demonstrated in all they have achieved with their values-based leadership despite having a much smaller land and financial assets base.
In the area of fisheries, and aquaculture in particular, were more examples of affirmations, common struggles, inspiration and success. How can we in Hawaii have more access and jurisdiction over our ocean resources as the Maori do? How can we also learn from their challenges - similar to ours - in improving relations and communications across stakeholders in this or any other sector? Over the course of our visit were many inspiring hosts, guest speakers, and beautiful, sacred places that presented both insights and more questions related to balancing the need for economic viability while honoring the kuleana to protect our natural resources in both customary and recreational fishing rights.
Above all, the mana of the 'āina, kai, and kanaka we met were most memorable (though I am still nowhere near shedding all the pounds I gained from being fed all too well, all too often!). I cannot mahalo enough all the people and places that served as our hosts in this unforgettable learning and growing experience. A special mahalo to our Māori fellows who worked hard in taking lead on this project, found a good balance of staying on course and being flexible, and hosted us with good humor, patience and aloha.
- Keola Nakanishi
Arriving in Dunedin with a fishy smelling 4WD and my first conversation being "can you take the washing machine out of my vehicle and leave it in the car park?" -- not your usual introduction to a group of hand-picked intelligent, professional Hawaiian fellows. Being the late entrant to the Fellowship, I was apprehensive by the prospect of fitting in. This energetic group of Fellows made me part of the team from the start. The Fellows were enthusiastic through extensive travel, cold temperatures, long days and extreme information gathering sessions. We assume that we are the only culture that has greivances. By comparison, both cultures have real pain that we carry with us from one generation to the next. Governments come and go, the future holds the same fights for our mokopuna -- the right to Tinorangatiratanga (Self determination) of ourselves, land and our natural resources. The opportunity to compare Ngai Tahu and Nga Rauru gave me the realisation that iwi katoa grapple with the same issues daily. Practicing kaitiakitanga (stewardship) while balancing the books does not always happen in harmony. The whanau at Nga Rauru and Puketeraki were awesome. The whanaungatanga, maanakitanga shown made me proud to be maori. The home teams bring new meaning to multitasking -- cook, cleaner, paua harvester, oral stories, entertainers, researchers to name a few.Mihi to the Aotearoa Fellows. In true leadership manner you each came to the fore with your individual strengths. We came together with different backgrounds, experiences and expectations, and I now have a new found respect for each of you for different reasons. Mihi to our visitors. You each have the potential to be leaders. Your behaviour and professional standards were impeccable. You are each devoted ambassadors for your people and your country.A huge mihi to Neil, your tautoko, maanaki, inspiration, wise counsel helped the Aotearoa Fellows realise strength, integrity and friendship. Thank you.
Pictured above: Gail Thompson, Edward Ellison and Neil Hannahs.
- Gail Thompson
Pictured above: Renee posing in front of Moeraki stones.
It was an absolute privilege to host our Hawaiian cousins here in Aotearoa. The highlight for me was being able to bring the fellowship to Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi to share with them our land, our people and our culture. It was interesting to note that it took having manuhiri from far afield to be able to sit back and reflect on the many blessings I have here at home. I was truly proud and humbled by my Iwi who did a fantastic job hosting the fellowship over what was extended to a weeklong stay.I also thoroughly enjoyed spending time in a different rohe and learning about another iwi from the inside, something that not many have the opportunity to do so intimately. I think the Aotearoa fellows underestimated the planning and preparations it took to organise this case study however; despite only a few hiccups, we still managed to pull it off and I thank my Ngai Tahu whaanau for this.Like the Stanford leg, I found huge value in being able to sit and share stories of personal experiences with the Hawaiian and Maori fellows alike. It was also great to have our tamariki, Kiwa and Kalamakua along for the ride.I think if I learnt one thing during the case study, it wasn't anything to do with aquaculture but something about myself. I think I have had to take a hard look at myself and how I deal with certain situations, particularly when they do not go to plan, and appreciate that not everyone deals with these situations like I would and sometimes you just need to take a breath, walk away, and let it be.I also have a new found appreciation for leadership and the ongoing challenge we have to face in order to become a great leader of our people. We all posses the skill and potential to reach our island (destination, goals), we just have to recognise this and continue to empower ourselves to make it there.
- Renee Young
Pictured above: Recently relocated Marae in Whanganui.
In their own words
We all have learned a great deal from the Aotearoa leg and will apply our learning to make the Hawai`i segment as effective as possible. I see much potential in what Keālia could be for not just our Hawaiian community in South Kona, but for all Hawaiians. I truly believe that we will find the solutions to tomorrow's challenges by looking to and learning from the wisdom of our ancestors. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this project. I look forward to seeing how it will evolve over time and take great pride in knowing that I will have a small hand in its initial stages. I personally believe that this project will be a model of sustainability for Hawai`i and the world. This project has the potential to create widespread change and steer the direction of all future natural resource management.
- Nick Francisco
I look forward to the Hawai`i Project which will give the Hawaiian fellows an opportunity to share our Hawaiian experience with the Māori fellows and develop a vision for a sustainable future in Hawaii.
- Jason Jeremiah
I am very much looking forward to the Hawai`i portion of this program and to reciprocating the aroha given to us while in Aotearoa. I look forward to being a host to the Māori fellows, their affiliates, and whānau.
Our project, a small part of sustainable visioning for the ahupua`a of Keālia, will be a great learning experience for all of us. Our plans very much will involve immersing ourselves in the Keālia community, as well as speaking with and visiting others involved in sustainability and ahupua`a planning. In addition to personal growth, I think these experiences will be invaluable to my career and future legal work within the Native Hawaiian legal arena.
We have high goals and expectations of the Hawai`i project, and this will require a lot of work and time from each of us. However, I am excited and look forward to the time I will spend on planning and implementing this leg of our program.
- Jocelyn M-Doane
Following the lead of our Māori fellows is one thing; in May it will be our turn to lead as best we can. My hope and expectation is that we will give our best effort in the following:
1) Host our guests as we would want to be hosted.
2) Clearly state our objectives, desired outcomes and expectations up-front.
3) Touch base periodically along the way as to our progress on these desired outcomes (deliverables), with a space for safe, open discussion and flexibility as needed.
4) The activities we do should relate to our objectives and desired outcomes. They should be ambitious but realistic. As Mawae mentioned to me recently, it's better to do a few things well than tackle too much. Specifically, I hope our activities will give the best 'kickstart' possible, in 22 days time, toward the intergenerational effort of establishing a sustainable modern-day ahupua'a in Kealia.
5) Allow enough down time to decompress, recuperate, digest, and informally discuss what has transpired thus far. There is often as much learning, growth, and relationship building in down time. Being well rested with time to digest what you've done the week prior, makes us all more effective when returning back to the hard work!
6) As we work hard at learning, growing and serving the Kealia community as best we can, we can and should still have fun.
- Keola Nakanishi
My vision of Hawaii is beautiful flowers, fruit, flourishing green pastures (TV), bright blue ocean, warm sunny days, starlit nights. While my vision may be rose coloured, I am excited at the prospect of our journey to Hawaii, the land our Tupuna migrated from and the lands we return when we depart this world. I am enthusiastic about the Hawaii project. The positive of baselines is that we can strive for more (better quality, standards, quantity) if we have tangible, qualified, accurate information. History tells us that people come and go, but the land never leaves -- as a community you are indeed privileged to have land to manage.
- Gail Thompson
Unfortunately, I am unable to join the Fellowship on the Hawaiian leg as I will be embarking on another facet of "leadership" - motherhood. I wish the Fellows all the best and am truly jealous that I will not be there to experience the beautiful people and lands I have heard so much about. Next year maybe...
- Renee Young
Congratulations to past fellows
FNFP welcomes Komene Kururangi and Todd Shigeo Yamashita into our extended 'ohana. These two fine, young men stole the hearts of two mana wahine of FNFP.
Komene and 2007-2008 FNFP Ngāi Tahu fellow, Kari Moana Austin, were married on January 10, 2009 at Ohoka, North Canterbury. The young couple had a bi-lingual ceremony presided by Komene's koro (grandfather), Rev. Hati Kururangi, surrounded by 200 of their whānau and friends, including previous FNFP fellows Aimee Kaio, Rangimarie Parata-Takurua and David O'Connell. As Kari shares: We had an absolutely amazing day (night), filled with laughter, speeches and waiata (singing), and are both very excited to begin our journey together.
Todd and 2007-2008 FNFP Kamehameha Schools fellow, Noelani Lee, tied the knot as they exchanged vows on August 8, 2008. Todd and Noe married on the east end of Molokai at Honoulimaloo (a.k.a Yamashita) Bay, in front of an ahu (pictured above) built by an FNFP mixed group that included: Hano Naehu, Kalaniua Ritte, Gerard Te Heuheu, Kelly May, and Anaru and Liana Poutu.
2007-2008 FNFP Kamehameha Schools fellows Mahina Duarte and Nālani (and husband, Udee) Dahl were in attendance to witness Noe and her "molokai-boy" showcase their love.
Noe was especially proud to note that she had the "green" wedding she envisioned. All food gathered, hunted, fished, and farmed were from Molokai, including the poi pounded that morning from friends in Halawa Valley and fish caught in their fishponds the day before.
True to the "green" theme, all prepared food were cooked in an imu, biodegradable/biocompostable paper products were used and went to composting after the wedding. Even the invitations were printed out on recycled paper and envelopes.
|Kupu'āina - "of the land" |
On January 31, 2008 the Hawai'i Supreme Court unanimously placed a moratorium on the sale of "ceded" lands, former Hawaiian Kingdom Crown and Government lands, until unrelinquished claims of Native Hawaiians are resolved. The Court based its opinion on both federal and state law. This was an extra-ordinary holding and represented a strong affirmation of the State's commitment to reconciliation with the Native Hawaiian people.
Despite the State's commitment and progress towards reconciliation, Governor Lingle and her administration disagreed with the moratorium, and requested a review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Our State Legislature expressed concern that the administration's decision to take the matter into the federal arena was "detrimental to the interests of all of the people of Hawaii and to the ongoing reconciliation process between the State and the Native Hawaiian people."
Over the last four months I have taken part in the leadership of a hui, Kupu'āina Coalition, which is an organization of current law students and recent graduates of the William S. Richardson School of Law. Members of Kupu'āina realize our opportunities in law school have been a blessing, and in turn have strong feelings of kuleana, or responsibility, to use our legal skills to help our community.
We formed Kupu'āina Coalition to educate and inform our community about the "ceded" lands case and its implications. We were concerned that a review by the U.S. Supreme Court would threaten reconciliation efforts and severly diminish Native Hawaiian rights. On March 31, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Hawai'i Supreme Court could not rely upon the U.S. Apology Resolution to support a moratorium on the sale of ceded lands, and remanded the case back to Hawai'i. Significantly, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that it had no authority to decide questions of Hawai'i state law or to provide redress for past wrongs except as provided by federal law.
The Lingle Administration sought to take this case out of Hawai'i, however, the U.S. Supreme Court has put the case back into the hands of the State Supreme Court. Kupu'āina believes the State of Hawai'i, via the 1978 Constitutional Convention and multiple legislative acts and resolutions, has undertaken a broad initiative and commitment to make amends for historic injustices perpetuated on the Native Hawaiian people. It is our stance that the laws and policies put into place by our voting citizenry and all three branches of government are more than adequate to support a moratorium on the sale of ceded lands. We are now awaiting the case to come before the Hawai'i Supreme Court.
Our trip to Aotearoa strongly reaffirmed that the claims we have to these lands are legitimate on both legal and moral grounds. Māori and their iwi have a political voice in Aotearoa and are strong economic players in Aotearoa's economy. In part, this has been accomplished as a result of their reconciliation process with the New Zealand government. We strive for no less than what our Māori cousins have achieved.
The First Nations' Futures Program and its directors have been extra-ordinarily supportive of my efforts with Kupu'āina. Additionally, my participation in FNFP has provided me with experiences that will make my efforts with Kupu'āina even stronger.
'Aha'i 'Olelo Ola vlog of UH Law Group -- click here
Update as of 4/01/09 -- click here.
For more information on the Kupu'aina Coalition and their efforts, visit their main website by clicking here or join their online Facebook network by clicking here.
Before Esther became a Land Asset Manager for Kamehameha Schools and joined the FNFP 'ohana as a 2007-'08 fellow, she spent 21 years in Washington D.C. focusing on Native Hawaiian issues, and at one time serving as Sen. Daniel Akaka's legislative assistant.
KGMB's 'Āha'i 'Ōlelo Ola caught up with Esther in an interview in early January to discuss her experiences in the nation's capitol. Click here to read up on and view a short clip of what this "Congressional Staffer Reflects on Time in Washington."
One lesson learned is that perseverance and sheer determination can get you far. However, what opens doors? Apparently the phrase "I will work for free," seems to do the trick.
|Presidential Inauguration |
Past FNFP fellows make way to DC
In mid-January, several past FNFP fellows from papa wili decided to get together for a couple of historical events. Even though their FNFP fellowship was last year, 2007-2008 Kamehameha Schools Fellows Nalani Dahl, Mahina Duarte, Esther Kia'aina and Noelani Yamashita continued their capacity building together by joining the other hundreds of thousands of Americans and world citizens in a pilgrimage to Washington D.C. to witness Barack Obama's presidential inauguration as well as take part in pre- and post-inaugural festivities.
As Esther accounts:
To me, capacity building doesn't stop when our fellowship is over. Continuing to share our experiences and knowledge is important in strengthening our leadership skills.
Going to Washington, D.C. in January for President Obama's inauguration activities was more than just a once in a life time opportunity for myself and the 2007-2008 FNFP fellows who joined me - Nalani Dahl, Mahina Duarte, and Noelani Lee. Apart from the inauguration and going to four balls - the Hawaii for Obama Ball, the Pearl Gala, the Hawaii State Society Ball, and the official Home State Ball for Illinois and Hawaii, we also made time to visit our four Hawaii Congressional member offices and have a meet and greet with policymakers on Hawaiian and Pacific Island issues from Hawaii, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. Among the issues we were able to discuss, with other Hawaiian community leaders who joined us, included: ceded lands, the Akaka bill, increased funding for Hawaiian language programs, Kalaupapa, transit, the impact of No Child Left Behind on charter schools, affordable housing, and funding for the University of Hawaii at Manoa Hawaiinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. It was a whirlwind paced trip that had us freezing, tired, laughing, and excited all at the same time. But it will be an experience we will likely never forget.
Follow this link to the Honolulu Advertiser's clip of General Shinseki's informal speech at the Pearl Inaugural Gala. At the tail end of the video clip, Nalani and Mahina briefly share some of their D.C. travel experiences.
Above (from left to right): Nalani Dahl, Noelani Yamashita, Esther Kia'aina and Mahina Duarte pose before Pearl Gala honoring Asian and Pacific Islanders 1.19.09
Readying the canoe
In our next Ke Alaula issue, the fellows will share their experiences while in Hawai`i and offer their personal goals as they set sail on their own individual voyages after being together on this yearlong journey.
For now, the canoe points to Hawai`i and will come to rest on these Hawaiian shores come May. I mua.
FNFP, Program Manager
FNFP, Project Support
Pictured: Otakou marae