To celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a showing of the 2021 Duke Kahanamoku documentary movie, Waterman, will take place on UH Hilo campus Oct. 10, 2022, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., University Classroom Building, room 127. Q&A Talk Story will follow with cast members Isaiah Helekunihi Walker, world champion waterman Duane DeSoto, and professional surfer Pua DeSoto.
By Susan Enright.
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, named Waiolama, kicks off its first series of events on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is celebrated on the second Monday of October, falling on Oct. 10 this year. The events (see schedule below) aim to educate and share critical knowledge not only about Oceanic Indigenous peoples, but all Indigenous peoples throughout the world.
Organizers of UH Hilo’s Indigenous Day celebrations include Director and Title IX Coordinator Jennifer Stotter, Assistant Professor of English Leanne Day, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Dana-Lynn Ko‘omoa-Lange, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences and Advisor for the Indigenous Public Health Certificate Yolisa Duley, Institutional Support and Confidential Advocate and Prevention Educator Kekai Lindsey, and Professor of Art Michael Marshall.
“We are excited to host the Indigenous Peoplesʻ Day festival,” says Stotter. “We believe this to be a fitting day to kickoff Waiolama for the fall 2022 semester.”
She explains, “The aim of the festival is to celebrate indigeneity and provide an opportunity for people from all walks of life to engage and learn about each other, building and strengthening relationships on the basis of our shared humanity with the longer term goal of eradicating racism from our campus and society.”
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Events Scheduled for Monday, Oct. 10, 2022
WORKSHOPS & TABLING: 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., Campus Center and Campus Center Plaza.
- Kīpaepae and Opening Remarks (12:00 p.m.) by Kekai Lindsey, Chancellor Bonnie Irwin, and Leanne Day.
- Workshops and Tabling:
- Workshops on Native Plants (Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center), Lei Making, Art and Poetry (UH Hilo English Club).
- Tabling on the Campus Center Plaza by the UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, Pacific Island Student Center, Office of Equal Opportunity, and Pride Club. Also sharing information will be Mālama Waimanalo.
FILM: 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., University Classroom Building, room 127.
- Showing of the 2021 Duke Kahanamoku documentary Waterman (see video at top of this post). Q&A Talk Story after showing with cast members Bringham Young University’s Academic Vice President Isaiah Helekunihi Walker, and world champion waterman Duane DeSoto, along with DeSoto’s 17-year-old daughter, Pua DeSoto, also a pro-surfer.
- Professor of English Leanne Day, co-organizer of the screening, explains Waterman was chosen “because I felt it would provide an opportunity for folks to engage with not only the phenomenal legacy of Duke, but to also consider the various challenges Duke encountered globally with racism and prejudice as way for us to think about these issues in a contemporary context.”
Earlier this year, UH Hilo was selected by the Association of American Colleges and Universities to host a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center. In addition to UH Hilo, AACU is partnering with 46 other higher education institutions throughout the country, including UH Mānoa, to develop the centers to prepare the next generation of leaders to break down systemic racism and dismantle belief in a hierarchy of human value.
Assistant Professor Day says all Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation centers are built on a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.
The UH Hilo Waiolama center emphasizes that the university, as an Indigenous-serving institution, has a commitment to not only the recognition of Kānaka Maoli on whose land the university occupies, but also to genuinely engage in meaningful dialogue about the contemporary experiences of Indigenous communities.
“As such, Waiolama aims to provide a safe space for our campus community to engage in critical conversations around racial disparities and systemic injustices, both past and present, and promotes healing and understanding of our shared humanity,” Day says.
By Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories.