University community pulls together to assist in this cultural way of welcoming incoming students to be a part of the UH Hilo ʻohana.
Click photos to enlarge.
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai joined university staff on the lanai of the Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center last Wednesday to help make 200+ lei la‘i (ti leaf lei) for the newest Vulcans and their ‘ohana.
“For the past two fall orientations, our (university) ‘ohana has come together to make over 400 lei la‘i (ti lef lei) for our new students and their families,” says Shara Mahoe, director of First Year Experience Programs at UH Hilo.
Mahoe says this year, organizers will be incorporating a kīpaepae welina, a welcoming ceremony, prior to the New Student Convocation formal program scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, 2018, at 12:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Administrators, faculty and staff will assist in this cultural way of welcoming incoming students to be a part of the UH Hilo ʻohana.
There also will be orientation events and workshops before convocation week for people who wish to participate but are unfamiliar or have not attended a kīpaepae. No prior experience is necessary to be a part of the kīpaepae, explains Mahoe.
A Google sign up page has been created so organizers can communicate with admin, faculty and staff that would like to participate.
“Let us gather together as the UH Hilo ʻohana and welcome our new students on their academic journey!” says Mahoe in an email to the university community.
The Hōkūleʻa is visiting Hawai‘i Island for a two-month stay that started in March. This is the voyaging canoe’s first visit to our island since embarking from Hilo in May 2014 for the three-year Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.
Hōkūleʻa and crew will be stopping at several ports on the island starting with Miloliʻi, then Kailua-Kona, Hilo, and Kawaihae before heading back to O‘ahu in May. The Hawaiʻi Island visit is an official stop on the “Hōkūleʻa Mahalo, Hawaiʻi Sail” trip throughout the islands as a way for the crew to say thank you for all the support shown by the people of Hawai‘i during the worldwide voyage.
The importance of Hōkūleʻa and the worldwide voyage is significant. The Hawaiian name for the voyage, Mālama Honua, means “to care for our Earth.” The purpose of the trip was to share with the world the understanding that our island chain teaches us that our natural world is in need of our stewardship if we are to survive together.
We’re proud to be part of the worldwide voyage through the many people from the UH Hilo ‘ohana who participated. Master navigator Kālepa Baybayan, a UH Hilo alumnus and navigator in residence at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, has been part of the Polynesian voyaging renaissance since 1975 at the age of 19, and served on the worldwide voyage as both crew and captain on various legs of the journey such as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, U.S. East Coast. Notably, he captained the Hōkūleʻa’s historic sail to Washington D.C.
UH Hilo shares in the vision of Mālama Honua—as an indigenous serving institution, we take our kuleana, our responsibility, to protect cultural and environmental resources for our children’s future, very seriously.
The voyage sought to engage all the world’s people to bridge traditional and new technologies to live sustainably. This is also a high priority of the UH System and UH Hilo in particular, and we share with Hōkūleʻa, the crew, and the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the connection and understanding of the important work being done here in the islands to care for Earth and our unique culture.
At each stop on our island this month, the crew of the Hōkūleʻa, including many from UH Hilo, will be giving presentations and talk story sessions, canoe tours, volunteer stewardship opportunities and other family-friendly events, all free to the public. The Polynesian Voyaging Society will also be hosting thousands of public and private school students with canoe visits and educational activities that highlight wayfinding and voyaging through the perspectives of math, science, conservation and culture.
In celebration of this shared vision for a sustainable future, UH Hilo will be hosting a day-long event for Hōkūleʻa, the crew, and the local community on Saturday, April 21. We anticipate a large turnout and hope to share with our local communities the importance of the Mālama Honua Voyage as well as the many related educational programs at UH Hilo. There will be exhibitions and informational displays and lots of hands-on activities and fun takeaways for the keiki.
There are a number of other events planned around the Hōkūleʻa visit to our island. One of these is a field trip of 200 students from Kaumana Elementary School who will visit the UH Hilo Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center in Keaukaha as part of a day-long educational event. The center will be giving the students and their teachers tours of the aquaculture research and educational facility, inspiring keiki to pursue science and dedicate their lives to the preservation of the ocean and our island home.
I hope you’ll join us on April 21 to welcome and celebrate the Hōkūleʻa and crew, as we honor them as cultural treasures and worldwide ambassadors of our island home.
Delegations from all 10 UH campuses will gather to learn together.
The Annual Hawai‘i Sustainability in Higher Education Summit serves as a cornerstone event to advance the University of Hawai‘i Executive Sustainability Policy EP 4.202 strategic sustainability initiatives from year to year. Delegations from all 10 UH campuses gather to learn together from local practitioners, national subject matter experts, and each other, and to set the action agenda for implementation of strategic initiatives each year.
The theme of this year’s summit is, “Exploring the meeting of wisdoms between indigenous ancestral knowledge systems and western empirical sciences.”
The summit will be held at three locations on Hawai‘i Island:
Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
Hawai‘i Community College Palamanui-Kona
Time: 8:00-11:00 a.m.
Location: Campus Center 301
A virtual symposium featuring interactive online presentations exploring lessons learned while teaching to the Grand Challenges of Water.
Panel: “Meeting of Wisdoms” with Pualani Kanakaʻole Kanahele, Christian Giardina, Luka (Kanakaole) Mossman, Kealakaʻi Kanakaole, Ulumauahi Kealiʻikanakaʻoleohaililani. Moderated by John DeFries.
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Campus Center 301
Panel will explore the meeting of wisdoms between indigenous ancestral knowledge systems and western empirical sciences.