After years of preparation, legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea arrived in New York City and was officially welcomed this morning by thousands of New York residents and a delegation of Hawaii leaders, educators, students and supporters.
Among those in attendance were Governor Ige’s Chief of Staff Mike McCartney, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Hawaii Island Senator Kai Kahele, Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO George Szigeti, Solomon “Sol” Aikau (Eddie Aikau’s older brother), marine artist Wyland and Solar Impulse pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg.
The arrival event began with a traditional ceremonial welcome by Native American tribes from the area including the Ramapough Lenape Nation, Moraviantown Delaware Nation, Shinnecock, Unkechaug, Mohegan, and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. A traditional Hawaiian aha awa, or awa ceremony, was held by Hui Kipaepae of New York. Various hula halau (groups) from New York and Hawaii also offered performances celebrating the historic occasion.
“There is something special that this canoe carries on behalf of our home that I think this world not only respects, but needs,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “This day of celebration is really the step we need to give us strength to go to the United Nations on behalf of all of the people who are doing their part to be responsible for our island home called Earth.”
On World Oceans Day on June 8, a series of events with the United Nations will include a ceremonial presentation of ocean protection declarations by Thompson to Secretary General Ban-ki Moon. The canoe’s arrival at Manhattan’s North Cove Marina – the doorstep of the 9/11 Memorial, New York’s financial business district – marks the pinnacle point of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.
During their time in New York, Hokulea crew members have a robust schedule of outreach and engagement, in which they will lead, participate in, and support the following events:
- Monday, June 6: Malama Honua Education & Environment Summit at Governors Island
- Tuesday, June 7: Presentation by master navigator Kalepa Baybayan on behalf of Imiloa Astronomy Center at Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
- Wednesday, June 8: World Oceans Day
- Thursday, June 9: Hokulea Storytellers Evening at Patagonia New YorkSoHo
- Saturday, June 11: Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge
For Hokulea’s most up-to-date US east coast schedule, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hokuleas-planned-east-coast-port-stops/.