search logo

In honor of Sealaska’s gift of two Sitka spruce logs to help building Hawai‘iloa in 1990, leaders representing the Sealaska and ʻAha Moananuiākea revisited the very site that a ceremony was held 30 years ago on KS lands in Keauhou-Ka‘ū. The gathering kicked off ʻAha Moananuiākea’s Hoʻoilina Conference – a collaborative of Native Alaskan and Hawaiian leaders working together to advance ancestral knowledge and protect the environment.

Bond between Native Hawaiians and Alaskans continues to flourish at Ho‘oilina Conference [VIDEO]

Jun. 17, 2019

In 1990, as a result of a decline in koa, Sealaska, a corporation owned by the Tlingit, Haida and Tshimshian tribes of Southeast Alaska, gifted two 200-foot Sitka spruce logs to Hawai‘i to help construct Polynesian Voyaging Society’s wa‘a Hawai‘iloa.

The kind gesture was commemorated soon after with a ceremony and planting of koa seedlings on Kamehameha Schools lands in Keauhou-Ka‘ū on Hawai‘i Island – further sparking an extensive reforestation program by KS. 

Fast forward to May 27, 2019, KS and the PVS hosted Sealaska leaders on a day trip to Hawaiʻi Island to revisit the native forest where almost 30 years earlier, Native Hawaiian and Alaskan leaders gathered in ceremony to honor the gift that has forever connected both communities.  

“We planted seedlings back in 1990 at a site we are visiting today. The purpose of this is to say we honor that act, and we celebrate the past, and as we are celebrating and remembering we are planting new seeds for the future,” said KS executive cultural office Randie Fong.

Fong participated in the 1990 ceremony along with Anthony and Byron Mallott of Sealaska, Alaskan Tlingit tribe elder Judson Brown, Pinky and Nainoa Thompson, Herb Kāne, and canoe builders Wright Bowman Sr. and Wright Bowman Jr.

The revisit to the native forest kicked off the three-day Ho‘oilina: Empowering Our Traditions of Exploration Conference hosted by ʻAha Moananuiākea – a Pacific consortium sponsored by Kamehameha Schools that includes PVS, Bishop Museum, and the University of Hawai‘i.

Held on May 28-30, the conference brought together leaders in education, government, and culture representing the Native Hawaiian and Alaskan communities to explore navigation and wayfinding traditions, share native language, discuss solutions to protect the Pacific Ocean, and look at ways to heal our indigenous communities in body, mind and spirit.

This conference also helped to establish meaningful relationships and unite both communities as PVS prepares for Hōkūleʻa’s Moananuiākea Voyage (circumnavigation of the Pacific) that is scheduled to launch from Alaska in 2021 to promote social, cultural, and environmental revitalization throughout the Pacific.

“Continuing to build relationships with Hawaiians and other indigenous people is important to Sealaska,” Sealaska President and CEO (Anthony) Mallott said. “The Hawaiian and Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people have a deep connection as ocean and canoe people, who are deeply tied to their environment. Good relationships between indigenous people who have common histories can help advance common goals.”


In honor of Sealaska’s gift of two Sitka spruce logs to help building Hawai‘iloa in 1990, leaders representing the Sealaska and ʻAha Moananuiākea revisited the very site that a ceremony was held 30 years ago on KS lands in Keauhou-Ka‘ū. The gathering kicked off ʻAha Moananuiākea’s Hoʻoilina Conference – a collaborative of Native Alaskan and Hawaiian leaders working together to advance ancestral knowledge and protect the environment.


The 1990 ceremony held in the native forests of Keauhou-Ka‘ū helped spark a koa reforestation efforts by KS. Cultural leaders at that meeting included Byron and Anthony Mallott of Sealaska, Alaskan Tlingit tribe elder Judson Brown, Pinky Thompson, Herb Kāne, canoe builders Wright Bowman Sr. and Wright Bowman Jr., Nainoa Thompson, and Randie Fong.


Leaders representing Sealaska and ʻAha Moananuiākea gathered at PVS’ Marine Education and Training Center as part of the Ho‘oilina Conference. From left, Nainoa Thompson, president of PVS, Melanie Y. Ide, president and CEO of Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Jack Wong, CEO of KS, Joe Nelson, Sealaska board chair, Byron Mallott, former CEO of Sealaska, Anthony Mallott, Sealaska CEO, David Lassner, UH president, and Randie Fong, KS executive cultural office.

In honor of Sealaska’s gift of two Sitka spruce logs to help building Hawai‘iloa in 1990, leaders representing the Sealaska and ʻAha Moananuiākea revisited the very site that a ceremony was held 30 years ago on KS lands in Keauhou-Ka‘ū. The gathering kicked off ʻAha Moananuiākea’s Hoʻoilina Conference – a collaborative of Native Alaskan and Hawaiian leaders working together to advance ancestral knowledge and protect the environment.


TAGS:
aha moananuiākea pacific consortium, cultural partnership, aotearoa, hokulea, sp2020 goal 3

CATEGORIES:
Themes, Culture, Leadership, I Mua Kamehameha, Newsroom, Department News, CEO Office, Ho‘okahua, Features

Kawaiaha‘o Plaza

567 South King St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 523-6200

KS Hawai‘i

16-716 Volcano Rd
Kea‘au, HI 96749
(808) 982-0000

KS Kapālama

1887 Makuakāne St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 842-8211

KS Maui

275 ‘A‘apueo Pkwy
Pukalani, HI 96768
(808) 572-3100