Voyaging Leaders Discuss Next Steps to Create a Thriving Pacific

The Polynesian Voyaging Society in partnership with Ahahui Moananuiakea/Kamehameha Schools,Bishop Museum and Nia Tero hosted the Hoʻokele Honua Summit 2018 at Bishop Museum, April 21. For the first time in history, 25 voyaging leaders from around the world gathered to discuss how summit change-makers can collaborate to work toward environmental balance.

“The pathway the world is on now, if we don’t act and we don’t change it’ll take us to the island of extinction – cause it’s defined by decline,” said Nainoa Thompson, pwo navigator, Polynesian Voyaging Society. “You in this room, are defined and identified by powerful renewal. It’s the next voyage, it’s the next renaissance, it’s the next level of renewal. It’s the earth!”

The summit began with a sacred awa ceremony to welcome the voyaging community at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama and continued with deep conversation around environment and how we can better take care of our land and sea at Bishop Museum. The plenary sessions throughout the day sparked discussion about the past and the appreciation for our ancestors who were great stewards in sustaining and respecting the environment. After reflection, the conversation shifted to responsibility of the voyagers and community action and partnerships needed in order to fulfill a thriving Pacific.

“Everyone here today is part of the 28th “canoe” that will set off on a new voyage to take care of our land,” said Tua Pittman, pwo navigator from Rarotonga, Cook Island. “We’re putting this voyage together because that’s what we’ve been taught to do – taught to overcome adversity and to teach the younger ones to overcome adversity and work together.”

The final plenary offered a space for leaders and share what they have learned and discuss what is next. With strategic partnerships and the support of the community, the leaders hope to break through current social norms and inspire others to take greater responsibility for our environment.

©2018 Polynesian Voyaging Society, Todd Yamashita

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