The University of Hawaiʻi is the higher education partner in the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, with over 50 people from all 10 campuses directly involved.
Sailing from Hawaiʻi to South Africa and multiple ports and countries in between, University of Hawaiʻi students, faculty, and staff have been an integral part of the voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa’s worldwide voyage, also known as Mālama Honua, or “to care for our earth.” UH is the higher education partner in the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, with over 50 people from all 10 campuses directly involved.
Some of these participants and others from UH—about 55 total—gathered at UH Hilo on Feb. 12 to discuss integrating the knowledge and experience gained on the voyage into UH curriculum. Also attending was UH President David Lassner and the UH campus chancellors, including UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney.
“It is through this type of collaborative work, learning from each other, that UH can fulfill our responsibilities to the people of Hawai‘i,” says Straney.
Chad Kālepa Baybayan, a master navigator on the voyage, navigator-in-residence at UH Hilo’s ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, and a member of the faculty at Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language says that although UH is probably the lead institution of the voyage, most heavily engaged in providing active participation, providing the manpower and resources to execute the voyage, a lot of people don’t know the extent of UH’s involvement in Mālama Honua.
At the meeting held last week Friday at Haleʻōlelo on the UH Hilo campus, participants acknowledged the importance of the UH System’s understanding and respect for ʻike Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian knowledge) in teaching, research, and service, and shared ways in which the connection between the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage and UH initiatives can strengthen work in STEM, sustainability, and Native Hawaiian language and culture.
- See also UH System News, Feb 16, 2016: UH maps way forward at second Worldwide Voyage meeting in Hilo.
“Mālama Honua caring for our island earth is a vision for which Hawaiʻi can serve as a model through sustainability efforts of its language, culture, land, water and natural resources,” says Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, director of the Hawaiian language college. “Discussion (at the meeting) focused on the many venues across academic disciplines and community outreach projects that are contributing to a larger sustainability effort of the university.”
The meeting’s agenda included welcome ceremonies, presentations, small group discussions, and sharing of those discussions with the larger group.
“With mālama honua as our vision and aloha ‘āina as the foundation, the gathering is part of our commitment to past, present, and future generations of students,” says Linda Furuto, an associate professor of mathematics education at UH Mānoa who specializes in ethnomathematics and has served as crew on the Worldwide Voyage. “Our University of Hawai‘i System efforts, values, and worldviews come from an assets-based approach to relationships with the land, genealogy, resiliency, strength, and compassion. Similar to navigating, we need to know where we’ve come from, to understand where we are, and only then can we voyage into the future and truly fulfill our kuleana to care for island Earth.”
The day concluded with an optional field trip to ʻImiloa Astronomy Center.
“Mālama Honua is about ʻimi ʻike (quest/search/exploration for knowledge), expanding and deepening cross-discipline collaborations for students, faculty, research, and community to generate new knowledge and opportunities for Hawaiʻi’s future and the world,” says Kaʻiu Kimura, director of ʻImiloa, which has contributed much, including resources and personnel, to the Worldwide Voyage.
The meeting was a continuation of discussions started at a gathering held last December at UH Mānoa.
Double click photos to enlarge.
Introductions and Opening Remarks
Small Group Discussions
The Venue: Haleʻōlelo
About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.
About the photographer: Bob Douglas is a local artist, photographer, and sometimes part-time student who volunteers his photography skills to the Office of the Chancellor and UH Hilo Stories. Visit his website at bob-douglas.com.