PVS Documentary and Live Panel Featured at Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF)

HIFF Presents “He Wa’a, He Honua – The Earth Is Our Canoe”
The film (plus four other Hōkūleʻa documentaries) are available free of charge via www.hiff.org through Nov. 29
A one-hour documentary produced in partnership with ‘Ulu’ulu, Hawai’i’s moving image archive, that pays tribute to the sweeping cultural renaissance that began in the 1970s and will continue with a movement of environmental revitalization led by Hōkūleʻa and Hawai’i. The film looks back at the people and actions that reclaimed language, land, voyaging and other cultural practices and invites viewers to join Hōkūleʻa in the next renaissance – that of Island Earth. The special includes archival footage from many of Hōkūleʻa’s well-documented voyages, interspersed with commentary from past, present and future leaders.

Live Panel: “Visions of Hōkūleʻa” hosted by PVS, ‘Ulu’ulu and HIFF
Date: Friday, Nov. 20, 7 pm (HST)
A free, live online panel discussion with visionary and courageous leaders of the 1970s Hawaiian rights movement and the young leaders who will propel us to a new renaissance. Moderator: Elisa Yadao
Panelists: Voices of Renaissance — Dr. Emmet Aluli, Walter Ritte, Nainoa Thompson, Larry Kimura, Governor John Waihee, Bruce Blankenfeld.
Voices of Young Leaders — Denise Espania, Kaiʻulani Murphy, Pomai Bertelmann.

Register for “Visions of Hōkūleʻa” Live Panel (Free, open to the public): https://www.goelevent.com/HawaiiFilmFest/e/ULUULUPANELVISIONSOFHOKULEA

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PVS Premiers New Documentary and Launches 2021 Membership Drive

“He Wa’a, He Honua – The Earth Is Our Canoe” premiers Saturday, November 14, on KGMB and will be featured along with a live panel at the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF).

The Polynesian Voyaging Society is kicking off its 2021 Membership Drive with the premier of “He Wa’a, He Honua – The Earth Is Our Canoe,” on Saturday, November 14, on KGMB. The film also will be featured online at Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), along with a live panel discussion focused on renaissance.

The one-hour documentary produced in partnership with ‘Ulu’ulu, Hawai’i’s moving image archive, pays tribute to the sweeping cultural renaissance that began in the 1970s and will continue with a movement of environmental revitalization led by Hōkūleʻa and Hawai’i. The film looks back at the people and actions that reclaimed language, land, voyaging and other cultural practices and invites viewers to join Hōkūleʻa in the next renaissance – that of Island Earth. The special includes archival footage from many of Hōkūleʻa’s well-documented voyages, interspersed with commentary from past, present and future leaders.

The film shares a message that even as we all cope with the uncertainty created by the global pandemic, we see the continued impacts of human activity on our environment and our planet, and we feel an imperative to continue our work to Mālama Honua (care for Island Earth).

In addition to the premier airing of “He Wa’a, He Honua – The Earth Is Our Canoe” on Saturday, Nov. 14, 7 pm (HST) on KGMB, the show will air as follows (HST):

*Sunday, Nov. 15, 7 to 8 pm on KGMB and KFVE
*Monday, Nov. 16, 7 to 8 pm on KFVE
*Sunday, Nov. 22, 9 to 10 pm on KHNL

The program also will be LIVE steamed on Sat. Nov. 14, 7- 8 pm (HST) via www.hokulea.com, www.hawaiinewsnow.com and will be available on all HNN digital platforms (desktop, mobile, Roku, OTT).

Hawaii International Festival (HIFF) will present the film along with a series of five past Hōkūleʻa documentaries for free of charge online at www.hiff.org, Nov. 16-29. On Friday, Nov. 20, 7 pm HIFF will present a live panel discussion featuring some of the renaissance leaders from “He Wa’a, He Honua – The Earth Is Our Canoe,” including Nainoa Thompson, Walter Ritte, Dr. Emmett Aluli, Governor John Waihee, Bruce Blankenfeld and Larry Kimura, as well as representatives from the next generation of leaders. See details on the HIFF presentation here.

Mahalo nui loa to the sponsors of “He Wa’a, He Honua – The Earth Is Our Canoe”:

Hōkūleʻa Sponsors:
Kamehameha Schools

Hikianalia Sponsors:
Hawaii Tourism Authority
HEI, Hawaiian Electric, American Savings Bank
Julie Ann Wrigley ASU Global Futures Laboratory

Wayfinder Sponsors:
Ward Village
Zephyr Insurance

Voyager Sponsors:
Arizona State University
Tim Johns

PVS hopes to encourage support for the voyage and educational campaign by becoming a PVS member. For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society, membership and the airing of “He Wa’a, He Honua – The Earth Is Our Canoe,” visit www.hokulea.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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PVS Announces Details of Moananuiākea Voyage

Amid the uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) has been developing a plan, as well as back-up plans, for its next major journey and educational campaign: The Moananuiākea Voyage. Contingent on the state of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi and throughout the world, the 41,000-mile, 42-month circumnavigation of the Pacific will take voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia to 46 countries and archipelagoes, nearly 100 indigenous territories and 345 ports. Focused on the vital importance of oceans, nature and indigenous knowledge, while developing young crew members, navigators and leaders, the goal of the voyage is to engage communities around the world to take part in navigating the earth towards a healthy, thriving future.

Planning for the Moananuiākea Voyage and its educational initiatives began two-and-a-half years ago prior to the pandemic. This year, after several delays due to shut downs and new safety protocols, work is now also underway to prepare the vessels and conduct crew training. The circumnavigation of the Pacific is tentatively set to start from Alaska in spring 2022. The canoes will return to Honolua Bay, Maui on May 1, 2026, the 50th Anniversary of Hōkūleʻa’s 1976 maiden voyage to Tahiti. Prior to circumnavigating the Pacific, PVS is hoping to sail Kealaikahiki, the ancient sea road connecting Hawaiʻi and Tahiti, in the spring of next year to train young crew members and navigators, and to ask permission at the sacred navigational heiau of Taputapuatea to embark on the Moananuiākea Voyage. Upon the return from Tahiti, the canoes will sail around the Hawaiian Islands to connect with local communities before departing Hawaiʻi for more than three years.

“We want to be respectful to this global pandemic and its impacts on communities we are hoping to sail to, so although we continue to prepare to voyage, COVID has changed how we do everything,” said Nainoa Thompson, Pwo navigator and president of PVS. “We have also been searching and having many conversations about how Hōkūleʻa and the voyaging family can make a positive contribution and help Hawaiʻi and its people during these very difficult times.”

“Today we find ourselves facing some of the most challenging threats we’ve ever faced. From this global pandemic to burning forests, emptying oceans, melting glaciers, rising seas…storms that will change the earth and humanity into the next century and beyond,” he added. “With the Moananuiākea Voyage, we feel the urgency to seek out and connect a new generation of bold, brilliant and caring leaders around the world who can chart a course for a flourishing future for Hawaiʻi, the Pacific and the Earth. We call these leaders navigators.”

And so the Moananuiākea Voyage will also create a network of “navigators” in communities around the Pacific and, by way of a virtual “Third Canoe,” the world. The “Third Canoe” is a platform of communications and education initiatives that will allow room on the deck for a global “crew” of partners connected by common values who are protecting the earth through diverse ways including education, storytelling, science, art, music, poetry, indigenous wisdom and policy-making. The “Third Canoe” will inspire people to action and to make good choices around the Pacific and the world. Partners including ʻAha Moananuiākea Pacific Consortium (Kamehameha Schools, University of Hawaii and Bishop Museum), Arizona State University, Planetary Health Alliance, Ocean Elders and Nia Tero–a global NGO whose mission is to secure indigenous guardianship for vital ecosystems, are already developing programs that will scale the educational impact and reach of the Pacific Voyage.

“Whether our two canoes are able to physically sail or not, the virtual “Third Canoe” will still go,” said Thompson. “With partnerships and modern technology, we can still commit to a global voyaging campaign that engages, educates and inspires a movement of caring for people, culture, place and oceans.”

In the meantime, PVS is in the beginning phases of reaching out to the countries along the tentative voyage route to seek permission to visit and engage during the sail, a PVS protocol practiced prior to each voyage.

PVS Documentary and Membership Campaign
PVS has started a membership drive to help fund the Moananuiākea Voyage and educational campaign. As part of the launch, a one-hour documentary, He Wa’a, He Honua – The Earth Is Our Canoe, will air on Saturday, November 14, on KGMB. The broadcast will also be live streamed on Hawaii News Now and Hokulea.com and will be available online for free as part of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) Nov. 16-29. The show takes a look back at the cultural renaissance that began in the 1970s reclaiming language, land, voyaging and other native Hawaiian cultural practices, then shares PVS’s plans for the next five years inviting viewers to join Hōkūleʻa in the next renaissance – that of Island Earth.

For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Moananuiākea Voyage and the airing of He Wa’a He Honua – The Earth Is Our Canoe, visit www.hokulea.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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E Hoʻomaha Me Ka Maluhia, Aunty Laura

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) has lost one of its longtime leaders, an extraordinary navigator for Hawai’i and the world.  Known affectionately by the voyaging community as “Aunty Laura,” Laura Kalaukapu Low Lucas Thompson, daughter of Clorinda and Charles Lucas, peacefully transitioned into her next journey on the evening of August 9, 2020, surrounded by her family in her home on the land that she loved for 95 years, Niu Valley, O’ahu. “She left our sight with a smile on her face and went deep into the valley to her beloved home,” said her son Nainoa Thompson.

Laura served as a board member of PVS for decades and was a guiding conscience in decisions that would ultimately affect thousands through PVS programs and voyages.  In 2017 at the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage homecoming celebration, PVS honored her with the Navigators Award for her many years of leadership and support to the organization.

Laura grew up on her father’s “Niu Dairy,” where her deep and abiding love of nature and animals, both tame and wild, took hold and guided her through life. She would say her best friend was her horse Huapala.  She told stories of riding Huapala from Niu to Maunalua Bay, to Hanauma Bay and beyond, to Alan Davis.

Laura graduated from Punahou school where a certain classmate caught her eye in the 9th grade, Myron “Pinky” Thompson.  According to Laura, she handed Pinky a note that read, “Hi, you’re cute. I’m Laura and I’m sitting in the row next to you five seats back.”

Laura went on to Lake Erie College in Ohio while Pinky went off to war.  He survived the invasion of Normandy but later was shot in the head and lost an eye while leading a patrol.  After recovering at a hospital on the East Coast, he attended and graduated from Colby College.  Laura and Pinky married in Augusta, Maine on February 21st, 1949.  They soon began a family, starting with their daughter Lita. Then, upon their return to Hawai’i and Niu Valley, they had their sons Myron then Nainoa.

Laura was the embodiment of Hawaiian values of old.  She left the garage door open for countless children, neighbors and even strangers if they needed a place to lay their head at night, food to eat, counsel in crisis or just the comfort of presence.  And she left it open because nature was always welcomed as well, be it pets or strays.  She was also stalwart and strong, unwavering in those values and she applied them with passion to all living things, for which she carried an unconditional love.

Laura was a powerful force for good in the community but always chose to give her time quietly in the background for countless organizations and causes.  In addition to her service to PVS, she served as executive director and board member of the Hawaiian Humane Society. In her 80’s she volunteered on Midway Atoll and found such joy in being outnumbered by thousands of Albatross.

Laura’s love for all forms of life extended to the ocean as well.  She served on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council from its inception in 2001.  She advocated for outreach and education programs for Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, and was instrumental in securing it as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.

She also focused her attention on the dramatic deterioration of coral in Maunalua Bay, part of the ahupua’a of Niu.  She was a founding member of  the non-profit Malama Maunalua.  “This is my home, this is my aina, this is my responsibility,” she said at one meeting.

Laura also served on the boards of Alu Like, Kahala Nui, Papa Ola Lokahi, Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center, Hawai‘i Island Humane Society, American Humane Association, the Latham Foundation (Alameda, CA), The Nature Conservancy, Hui Nalu Canoe Club, Hawai‘i Nature Center, The Outdoor Circle, Planned Parenthood of Hawai‘i, Parents and Children Together, the YWCA, Palama Settlement, and the Zoo Hui.

Laura’s reach and impact were global, and she received many awards over her lifetime, both locally and nationally, because of her commitment to kindness and compassion.

From her children’s point of view, of all the infinite gifts she gave to so many, one of her greatest was that she was the foundation for her husband and her husband’s work and successes, because she not only loved him, but because she believed in him.

Laura’s greatest joy would be for every one of us to be kind – kind to each other, kind to this land and kind to all living things.  We believe what mom would want would be that every day every one of us will give a gift of kindness and compassion to earth, nature and humanity, with the belief that this will be the path to peace.

Laura is survived by 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren, all of whom she loved dearly.

Aunty Lauraʻs obituary in The Star Advertiser can be found here.

Give Aloha At Foodland: Support Hōkūleʻa with Code 77673

Polynesian Voyaging Society is participating in Give Aloha, Foodland’s Annual Community Matching Gifts Program. The program honors Foodland’s founder, Maurice J. “Sully” Sullivan, and continues his legacy of giving back to the community.

How It Works

From September 1-30, customers are invited to make donations of up to $249 to Hawaiʻi non-profit organizations like the Polynesian Voyaging Society at checkout at any Foodland, Sack N Save, Foodland Farms or with online grocery orders! Foodland and the Western Union Foundation will match a portion of each donation. Individuals must use their own Maika’i number to make a donation; donations made without a Maika’i number will not be matched.

How to Donate

  1. Shop at Foodland,Sack N Save, or place an online grocery order for curbside pick up or delivery.
  2. Use your Maika’i Card at checkout.
  3. Use our code (77673) and the amount of your donation (up to $249).
  4. Review your receipt to confirm the following appears: – Our organization name (PVS) – Your donation amount – Your Maikaʻi number

**Foodland will also be accepting My Reward certificates as a $5 donation towards the Give Aloha Fund which adds to the $300,000 matching gift benefiting all organizations**

Acknowledgement of Your Donation

Donor names will not be released to our organization. Therefore, if you would like to us to know of your gift, please contact us directly at info@pvshawaii.org so that we may properly acknowledge your gift. You may ask the cashier for a duplicate receipt to submit to us.

Are These Contributions Tax Deductible?

These contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please save your store receipt for tax purposes since it will be the only record you will have of your donation(s).

Matching Gift

Matching gifts will be determined at the end of the program. Our organization will receive 100% of all customer donations given to us, plus each donation made with a Maika’i card, will be partially matched by a gift from Foodland and the Western Union Foundation.


Please contact Community Relations at Foodland at (808) 732-0791 ext. 7388 if you have any additional questions.

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