|April 2008 -August 2008 |
Volume 2, Issue 3
First Nations' Futures Program Newsletter Ke Alaula: The Dawning
|FNFP Directors |
E nga mana, e nga reo, e karangatanga maha, tena koutou tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.
This issue of Ke Alaula celebrates the successful completion of our second fellowship cohort, which included a Stanford Fellow for the first time. During this past year the fellows took on the complex issues of tribal economic development for the Aotearoa project and sustainable food systems / food security for the Hawai`i project. The program directors want to acknowledge the tremendous commitment, dedication and growth that we observed in this cohort of fellows. We thank them for their contribution to the development of the program, the value that their projects have delivered to the partners, and wish them well on their personal journeys as they apply the lessons of the fellowship to the rich and diverse work they do with their communities. As we say farewell to this cohort, we also look forward to the incoming fellows with excitement and anticipation. I mua!
Mawae Morton. FNFP Co-Director.
* On May 7th, Hawaiian radio personalities Uncles Kimo Kahoano and Brickwood Galuteria invited FNFP to share the program's objectives with their listener-ship on Cox Radio Hawaii's KKNE-AM 940's, OHA produced, Hawaiian Talk radio: Nā `Ōiwi `Ōlino, People Seeking Wisdom. Fellows Nālani Dahl, Mahina Duarte and Esther Kia`aina joined Neil Hannahs in representing the program well - to increase community awareness of opportunities available for fellowship - just prior to application deadlines for this coming year's new fellowship. Appropriately noted by Brickwood, "what a great dynamic in this group".
* FNFP's Hawaii Fellowship Application for 2008-09 closed in June. Applications were processed and reviewed. After grueling phone and face-to-face interviews, it is with extreme confidence that we can say: the new cohort of fellows have been plucked from a very competent applicant pool. Kamehameha Schools has indeed selected five applicants to enter the new fellowship cohort and represent the Hawaii contingent in the program. Selected applicants were notified of their awards recently, and our anxious enthusiasm to introduce them to our first nations' community will be evident in the next Ke Alaula newsletter issue. We applaud all applicants and thank you for your interest in the program. We encourage you to consider the program in the future, and we look forward to our paths crossing again.
* Camera crews were at the June 25th workshop taking shots for their July 3rd morning news report on FNFP. Amy Kalili and the crew from Sunrise on KGMB9 morning news featured FNFP in one of their Hawaiian news minute segments - `Āha`i `Ōlelo Ola, Messenger of a Living Language. Fellows Mahina and Nālani shared their perspectives of the program and what they've garnered from their experiences over the course of the year; what it has offered them and what they can offer back. To view the archived segment of the show, follow this link. (Runtime: 2 minutes)
* OHA's Public Information Specialist, Lisa Asato, submitted a brief writeup featuring FNFP and "Sustainable futures" in OHA's August newspaper issue of Ka Wai Ola. Present at the June 25th workshop, Lisa noted the interrelationaships shared by stakeholders in agriculture. As presented in the piece, Fellow Kari Austin points out the similarities of importance to which Hawaii and Aotearoa share in the subject matter. To view the online newspaper, follow this link. The FNFP piece appears on page 15.
* The fellows had the intense task and privilege to present their Hawaii Project findings and year's work to the Kamehameha Schools executives and other representatives from the Land Assets Division on June 27th. Many thanks go to the special guests present: Dee Jay Mailer, CEO; Kirk Belsby, Endowment VP; Chris Pating, Strategic Planning and Implementation VP; Sydney Keliipuleole, Residential Assets Director; Neil Hannahs, Land Assets Director; as well as a healthy contingent from the Land Assets team: Mawae Morton, Darrell Hamamura, Mahealani Matsuzaki, Giorgio Caldarone, and Kalani Fronda. Overall, the presentation was well received. Given Kamehameha Schools' position within the community, implementation of workshop findings are under consideration and will be put into action soon.
|Hawai'i Project |
June 6 - June 27, 2008
Having already completed phases I (Stanford Institute) and II (Aotearoa Project) of the program, the fellows were well prepared to take on the highly ambitious demands of the third and final stage: The Hawaii Project.
Reciprocating the generous gesture of Ngai Tahu during the Aotearoa Project, Kamehameha Schools (KS) hosted the fellows during their stay in the islands. The chief topic of concern: Sustainable agriculture and food systems -- an appropriate topic choice given the challenges facing Hawaii and its isolated existence. Kamehameha Fellows (Nalani, Mahina, Esther, Noelani, and Hokuao) and Stanford Fellow (Mehana) planned and put together the itinerary for the project. As is the norm, the schedule for the fellows was non-stop. From boardroom lectures to interactive conferences, focus group discussions to numerous site visitations, each minute of each day was carefully planned and intertwined to build off of each other.
The fellows, with the help and guidance of KS Land Assets Division personnel and Rocky Mountain Institute consultants, did in three weeks what would be expected for a full year's work. Having met face-to-face with many of the stakeholders in agriculture and food systems, the fellows gained an understanding of the true challenges facing Hawaii in the efforts towards sustainability in these respects. Island hopping from O'ahu, Moloka'i, Kaua'i, Hawai'i Island, and Maui, the fellows got the viewpoints from as many stakeholders willing to share their time.
Gathering the various mana'o was a start. Reconvening all these stakeholders in the FNFP-hosted Hawaii Workshop on June 25th, and sharing the viewpoints was a culmination to a successful project. Presenting the final deliverables will be a conclusion with an open-ended commitment to continuously strive to better the situation onwards to sustainability.
Pictured above: Fellows visit Ka'ala Farms on the Wai'anae Coast of O'ahu and meet up with Uncle Eric Enos - June 10th.
Pictured below: Fellows convene on the island of Kaua'i to take part of the Food Sovereignty Youth Conference hosted by the Waipa Foundation.
Pictured above: Fellows visit with Uncle Lawrence Ball Berde at Hamakua Farms on Hawai'i Island - June 16th.
Pictured below: Fellows tour Kapalua Farms on Maui with Gustavo Diaz - June 18th.
|Hawaii Workshop - Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems |
June 25, 2008
University of Hawaii at Manoa
East-West Center, Imin International Conference Center, Koi Room
The gathering of strong minds at this year's FNFP workshop that focused on Sustainable Food Systems was a culmination of the Hawaii Project. The full spectrum of agricultural stakeholders were well represented. From farmers to chefs, educators to policy makers, distributors and consumers, everyone came to the table with mana'o to provide and share with the group. Everyone participating agreed to join in the effort to reach a common goal: "to define what agriculture and food sustainability mean for Hawai'i and identify the top opportunities for agricultural stakeholders to play a major role in achieving food sustainability."
Undoubtedly, the expected objectives and outcomes of the workshop were achieved:
1. Gain a better understanding of the top needs and challenges facing a shift to sustainable agriculture.
2. Collaborate with stakeholders and professionals from across the food value chain.
3. Formulate alternative solutions to move towards sustainable agriculture.
The workshop produced grand and small scale ideals to progress towards a more sustainable food systems in Hawaii. Focus groups shared their mana'o, and the fellows identified several top challenges and opportunities from these contributions.
Top challenges to food sustainability included six main groupings: Education; Government regulations; Farmers and labor; Environment; Land; and, Water. In regards to education, focus needs to be placed on consumers and their tastes; we need to see the value of agriculture versus tourism; and, the curriculum within the education system itself has to be given some attention and revised where necessary. For farmers and labor, the mere interest and skill levels are concerns. In regards to the environment, soil quality and pests/invasives are pressing issues. For land, the lack of access and competition for other land usage emerge as barriers. With water, it's natural supply, infrastructure, and quality are foremost concerns.
These challenges are also opportunities to achieving food sustainability. Top opportunities for food sustainabilty: Education; Farmer collaboration/association; Access to Land; Capacity Building; Value Adding; and, Housing. In regards to farmer collaboration/association, farmers markets, agricultural parks, and community gardens are positive avenues. Capacity building can come in the forms of professional development and business/strategic planning assistance. Of course, the big one is education. Support for 'aina based programs, school curriculum shifts, internships and succession planning is a start.
It shouldn't go unmentioned that opposing views were tempered and civilized, productive conversations prevailed. When minds come together in this fashion, more can be brought to the table. Consequently, the fellows were able to take away leaps and bounds of information on where the attitude, behavior and effort stands now; where it should be; and, how much effort it'll take to get there.
Current followup include the formation of an agricultural working group, comprised of interested attendees at the workshop and other stakeholders to work with the KS Land Assets Division on long-term agricultural sustaining efforts.
Pictured above: Hawai'i Fellows Mahina and Noelani portray the essence of what the workshop is all about -- putting our heads together for the common goal.
Pictured above: Attendees at the workshop hold hands and share a closing prayer as they reflect on the accomplishments of the day as well as the work ahead to achieve sustainability.
A look back -- from the fellow's perspective
In the words of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Fellow: Kari Austin
The Hawaii Case Study:
Going into the Hawaii Case Study, I was quite apprehensive about what I personally would be able to bring to the table. Not having any background at all in agriculture or food systems, I was not sure I would have anything of value to contribute to the team. However, as one of our well-known whakataukī (proverbial saying) says:
Mā tāku kete kōrero,
Mā tāu kete kōrero
Ka ora ai te iwi
With your basket of knowledge
and my basket of knowledge,
the people will prosper
The biggest learning curve for me from the Hawaii Case Study has been the realisation that regardless of the subject matter, each and every one of us has something of value to contribute. The multi-disciplinary nature of the First Nation's Futures Programme has intrigued me from the very start - can this Fellowship successfully bring together such a diverse group of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and worldviews to work together on a range of targeted projects? The answer to this question has finally been answered for me - unequivocally yes!!! Not only did this Fellowship achieve this, it demonstrated to all involved that the multi-disciplinary nature of the Fellowship was not a challenge at all - in fact, it was our biggest advantage. There is an enormous strength in diversity! The challenge is in recognizing that strength and using it to our advantage. All too often we focus on our differences, what makes us different from our neighbours, and we forget to look for our commonalities. As individuals who have been identified as having leadership potential within our respective communities, I hope that this is a lesson that we can all take away. Ultimately, it is our commonalities that will unite us and lead our people forward.
Highlights of the Hawaii Experience:
The highlight for me was most definitely the people - meeting so many passionate, committed, inspirational people - all completely dedicated to working towards a better world for their people. It also was a privilege to have been able to observe the Hawai'i Fellows in their own environments and meeting the people who have contributed to making them the amazing people that they are. As indigenous people, we know that we are nothing without our families and wider communities, and that each and every time we step out into the world we are not only representing ourselves as individuals, but our families, our wider communities and our ancestors. All I can say to our hosts is that you did your people proud. I am inspired by each and every one of you and feel blessed to be able to call you my friends!!!
In the words of Stanford Fellow: Mehana Blaich-Vaughan
The Hawai'i case study was a wonderful culmination of this whole year's experience. First, the topic was so important, and of interest to a diverse group of people who shared their homes, businesses, farms, and mana'o across the state. One of my favorite parts was
watching each of us fellows, particularly our Maori 'ohana, in our own way, become invested in and excited about food sustainability. Reportedly, there'll be some new gardens starting up in Aotearoa as a result.
The Ho'ea'ea i ka 'Aina conference on food sovereignty, hosted so
graciously this year by the Waipa Foundation in Halele'a, Kaua'i,
sparked ideas of youth exchanges. Having our fellows visit that
conference to learn from the many mahi'ai (farmers) and particularly from the youth themselves, was a reminder for me, both groups are people that are constantly doing, not just talking about, but doing. The mana of the generations following ours is evident. Participating in the blessing of restoration efforts at the agricultural field system in Puanui, Kohala, reminded us of the depth of our kupuna's wisdom in ho'oulu 'aina, causing growth, and of the possibilities for rediscovery and adaptation.
Across Hawai'i, we got to meet so many amazing people working on food sustainability, from the growing, to the buying, to the cooking, to the policy, to the teaching, to the feeding, in a very short time. Their hospitality, thoughtfulness, and openness were humbling. The experience culminated with our forum and the chance to bring many of these different people together. Getting to spend so much time thinking deeply about this issue with the other fellows, trying to weave together all the mana'o shared with us, was challenging, rewarding, and really fun, and all the more enhanced by the diverse talents of the group. The foods we ate, from pua ama ama on Moloka'i, to fresh pa'i 'ai in Wai'oli, to sweet pineapple and ulu from Hoku'aos' 'ohana's 'aina, ono and grown with aloha at each stop, nourished our kino, along with our minds and na'au. We are humbled and grateful. Mahalo me ka ha'aha'a to all who contributed to this experience.
In the words of Ngai Tahu Fellow: Aimee Kaio
Aloha mai kakou,
The Hawaii case study - Food sustainability, was a 'wake up call' for me personally. It was brought to our attention that 20 to 25 years from now, Aotearoa may well have similar issues as Hawaii are experiencing now - sustainability of the land, waterways, ocean, natural resources, kai, and of the culture. Visiting and speaking with many beautiful and passionate Whanau in Hawaii gave great insight into why and how the sustainability of their culture (mauka ki makai) has been compromised. In many ways, similar 'compromise' is currently a reality in Aotearoa.
So, the mission for us here at home is to be forever grateful for what we have now; it begins here at home, in our marae, in our communities. Let's plan wisely for the future, always keeping in mind the importance of culture, people and all of our resources - the resources and sustenance that gives us life.
Aloha mai kakou to all Whanau who hosted us on their farms, on their lands, in their homes and for being fantastic participants for the Hawaii case study. Hawaii is in safe hands with the calibre of 'leaders' today.
Nga mihinui ki a Neil me Mawae. Your vision and drive has been 'meritorious' at this 'juncture'. And, I feel it is 'important' to mihi to our Hawaii fellows as well. Be very very proud of yourselves; you and your whanau welcomed us into your homes with open arms; you planned a very intense schedule but in hindsight I loved every moment of it, even 'Transylvania'. We experienced many things together and these experiences have created lifetime friendships and wonderful memories, for this, 'mahalo'. My Whanau and I miss you all.
To us Aotearoa fellows, we have returned home with inspiration. Let's do it!!!
I am so pleased I took the plunge and became part of FNFP, truly a 'meritorious juncture' (Please note '_' are 2007-2008 FNFP fellow famous quotes). FNFP has literally changed my outlook on life. I have learnt so much from the programme and my peers, and I have developed both personally and professionally along the way. To all future FNFP participants, you will gain immense value from this programme, and more importantly, become part of a 'lifelong' fellowship.
In the words of Kamehameha Fellow: Esther Kia'aina
Our Hawaii case study on food sustainability gave me a deeper appreciation of the value and scarcity of land in Hawaii as we seek to balance our competing needs for economic development, housing, preservation, and agriculture. This includes the competition within the field of agriculture, as we determine how much to allocate to local food production.
The experience, which included state-wide field visits, presentations by leading experts in agriculture, land, and the economy, and a successful sustainable food systems workshop, was even more exciting given the potential impact of the Kamehameha Schools (KS) on the overall movement of this vital issue. I envision one day that through our combined KS resources (i.e. Education, Campuses, Land Assets, Commercial Assets), we truly can make an impact in our efforts to promote food sustainability in all of Hawaii. I hope to contribute to this effort through my responsibilities as a Land Asset Manager at Kamehameha and through my involvement with my own family and our Hawaiian community at large.
In the words of Kamehameha Fellow: Hokuao Pellegrino
The tremendous work and expertise that was brought to the table by our colleagues and fellows in such a short time was quite challenging and yet very gratifying. It was a collaborative effort that made this cohort very successful.
As a kalo farmer, I was unaware of the complexities and functionalities of the value chain throughout Hawai'i surrounding our agricultural system. We traveled in a whirlwind tour around Hawai'i, meeting with experts in all facets of the agricultural industry. I was dumbfounded by such great projects and efforts across the board. Our overall theme of How Princess Pauahi's lands can feed our people, in my eyes, turned out to be: how can Kamehameha and Princess Pauahi's lands play more of a leading role for all of Hawai'i in its ongoing efforts to be more self sufficient and sustainable.
I realized, as I reflected upon our experience at Stanford last October, this is much greater than all of us. We need a continued effort to push the standards and boundaries; to make connections globally; and, to take action with a global perspective rooted in an indigenous foundation in mind. Our Hawai'i case study is just one piece of the pie and yet it is probably the most important because we all need to eat. Learning about the many challenges our farmers, suppliers, and even retailers face in Hawai'i, allowed us to better understand our objectives for our forum and follow-ups afterwards.
The planning and implementation of our program was most exciting even though it was probably most challenging. We were all able to collectively gather our ideas and share what we had learned pre-FNFP and during FNFP to achieve our overall goals. I was also very impressed with our Maori colleagues and their knowledge of our topic which strategically enhanced our case study and overall fellowship.
The final component of our case study included a forum which was successful, and again another eye opener to those that came to the table for the discussion. As we kept saying, it was a gathering of not only minds but the endless belief that Hawai'i and all of its movers and shakers need to act now in order to achieve a truly sustainable future, especially when it comes to our food system. Our conclusion, which we undoubtedly understood from the start, is that there is not just one aspect of this system which is going to bring our state our of the dark, but it will take everyone and then some in a collective forward movement.
It starts with education. I can remember one very important point that was brought up in my break-out session at the forum: "How can we get the people of Hawai'i not only to start growing more food locally, but moreso changing their palate to eat more healthy so that there is not only a consistent demand for our locally grown products, but also to keep costs down by supporting more small scale farmers that are community based?" We set our specific goal for our forum centered around working together to make our foods system more independent versus relying highly on the outside. The dooms day theory, in terms of running our of food, as one person put it, is not just a theory. It has happened before and will happen again, therefore, we need to prepare ourselves.
This fellowship was truly a blessing for me. I felt so honored to be in the presence of so many brilliant fellows who've turned out to be lifelong friends. Our leadership team at Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division had a dream, and I feel grateful that we could assist in fulfilling their dream. My hopes are that we continue to call upon each other for kokua as we all return to our communities, and that we build upon the many goals and objectives that we set out to meet throughout this 2nd year First Nations' cohort. Mahalo a nui loa ia 'oukou pakahi a pau.
In the words of Ngai Tahu Fellow: Rangimarie Takurua
Firstly, I need to sincerely thank our Hawaiian Fellows and Programme Directors for the enormous amount of work that went into preparing for and managing this intensive three week programme in Hawaii. The attention to planning and detail was impressive as was the ambitiousness of our itinerary. Exhausting as it was, I can now appreciate how difficult it was for our hosts to eliminate anything. We were privileged to meet some exceptional people doing some exceptional things and I couldn't have asked for a better way to be introduced to the real Hawaii.
I have to say, I was a bit sceptical about the topic prior to our first site visit. I had pictured in my mind wandering around huge commercial farms like we have in New Zealand full of "smelly" animals and highly efficient boring mass technology. By contrast, our first day of site visits in Waianae exposed us to some of the most beautiful organic community gardens and as we moved from island to island we visited similarly inspiring fishponds, gardens and farms that were concerned with sustainability first. This was an eye opener for me as farming in New Zealand is primarily about size and scale and export earnings.
During our visit to the Youth Food Sovereignty Conference on Kauai, an observation was made that Hawaii was ahead of New Zealand by about 20 years. It took us a little while to understand what that meant given the advanced and developed nature of our agricultural sector. What we saw first hand was a possible future for New Zealand if we continue to maintain a single minded focus on economic maximisation and highest and best use of land with little if any regard for people and culture. We were reminded everyday that land is not just an economic asset and that the disconnect of our people from our lands has had devastating impacts on our social structures; health; education; and cultural well being.
A surprising outcome of the case study for me was the absolute relevance of the Hawaiian situation to Aotearoa, particularly at a community level. It was like fast forwarding into a possible future for Maori in New Zealand. As a result, we were all inspired to look for ways to divert the current course we are on. In particular, we recognised the perfect opportunity we have in Aotearoa to develop community based models of food sustainability. We already have a head start with established community structures (Runanga) and marae. We also have a strong history of Mahinga Kai (traditional food production and gathering). Unfortunately, however, few if any of our marae grow their own food. Up until now it has just been easier and cheaper to buy our foods at PaknSave. High fuel and food prices today combined with our damning health statistics are providing the incentive for people to start to look at the alternatives.
While we may not be as dependent on imported food as Hawaii, our persistent focus on growing food for export exposes us to the same issues Hawaii now faces and is already having a huge negative impact on domestic prices. The move towards local and organic food self-sufficiency and sustainability is definitely moving from the fringes to becoming a necessity.
So, as you can see, I am a convert: From a self-confessed latte-drinking city girl to a fanatical advocate for growing our own food, starting in our own backyard, schools and marae. The kamokamo and kumara patch has already been dug at home: Aimee, Kari, Gerrard and I have already started talking to our own families and marae about what we can do at home; how we can help develop food sustainability at our marae; and food trade between the marae both within the South and between islands. On a personal note, at my own marae they were in the middle of designing a new wharenui and landscaping. As a result of my raves, my mum is going to the next meeting with the intention of replacing all the ornamental gardens in the landscape design with food gardens - like they used to have when she was a girl - Go MUM!!
Finally, I would just like to mihi to all the people that we met during our wonderful stay in Hawaii. We were treated like living taonga wherever we went and truly did appreciate the extraordinary efforts our hosts went to look after us. I am truly sorry I missed the forum at the end, but can report that the reason for my early return to Aotearoa was well rewarded with our team winning the Tairawhiti regional Kapahaka competitions (one of the toughest regions in the country), beating the current Champions of the World, and taking the shield home to Tokomaru Bay for the first time in 23 years!!!
Pictured above: With a little help, Fellow Rangimarie prepares poi at the Food Sovereignty Conference on Kaua'i back in mid-June.
Pictured above: Children at the Ho'oulu 'Āina Conference on Kaua'i observe Fellow Gerard display his artistic prowess.
In the words of Kamehameha Fellow: Nālani Dahl
Like many of my colleagues, I too was unsure of how I could contribute to our Hawai`i Case Study, Sustainable Food Systems. We quickly learned that, within the food value chain, each component has a role and without balance one could not reach its true potential without the other. This philosophy applies within our cohort which includes farmers, land managers, educators and researchers. I see myself as simply a consumer who now has a better understanding of why it is so important to continue to ensure that we value our land for all it has to offer. By better supporting those that spend their days taking care of the land that nourishes our families, our communities, and our islands, we can all cultivate sustainability.
While traveling to five different islands to participate in place-based learning experiences, many faces and places left an impression. The keiki from Waipa, Kaua`i became our educators and inspired us with their vision to live off the land by sowing the seeds of that vision into a gardening program at their elementary and intermediate schools.
We also had many opportunities to meet the `ohana of our Fellows and visit some of our home towns. While at Kapalua Farms, I had the honor of spending a moment connecting to the Honokahau ahupua`a, the same land my kupuna cared for nearly two centuries ago.
Connection was a recurring theme throughout the Fellowship -- connection to our people, our ocean and our land. As Fellows, this connection began at our opening ceremony on Jasper Ridge at the Stanford Institute, continued at our Powhiri at Te Rau Aroha Marae, and again at the courtyard of Kawaiaha`o Plaza.
In addition to being the consumer, the Fellows also came to know me as the canoe paddler. In the canoe, the wind and ocean currents help me to navigate on the water. Upon completing this First Nations' Futures Program, I have a new source of guidance to help me navigate through life - the members of my fellowship, my friends.
A fellowship for a year, a commitment for a lifetime.
|Looking Ahead: FNFP 2008-'09 |
Ke Alaula - A dawning of a new day
As this program year comes to a close, the fellowship of 2007-08 put their finishing touches on the final Hawaii Project report deliverables. When complete, the report will be made available/viewable on the official FNFP website homepage.
The journey will not be complete, however. This past year's group of fellows was put in charge of welcoming the new cohort of 2008-09 fellows during Orientations in early September and also will have a presence at the First Nations' Futures Institute held at Stanford University in October. Having been in constant contact with the fellows from the first year (2006-07), this past year's fellows should know full well their journey has just begun -- as they set sail in search of further knowledge -- equipped with the tools garnered during their year-long fellowship.
As the sun sets, we look forward to the dawning of a new day.
In our next issue, we'll proudly introduce the new cohort of fellows comprised of five Kamehameha fellows, three Ngai Tahu fellows, one Tuwharetoa fellow; all of whom will hopefully be joined by a Stanford fellow and fellows from two other iwi from Aotearoa who have shown strong interest in joining the efforts of the program. For now, we ready the canoe. I mua.
First Nations' Futures Program, Co-Director
'08 Fellow, KS Land Asset Manager
Hamakua Farms w/ James and Geno Enocencio
Oneali'i, Moloka'i - June 12th
Serenity outside East-West Center, UH-Mānoa