Hawaii Education Leaders Partnering in Worldwide Voyage

Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and Hawaii State Board of Education members today joined education leaders from public and private sectors in signifying their shared support for and participation with the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s (PVS’s) Worldwide Voyage.

Just an overexposed picture I kind of like

Just an overexposed picture I kind of like

Representatives from early childhood to higher education institutions gathered at the Marine Education and Training Center on Oahu’s Sand Island to sign a memorandum of understanding in support of community based and sustainable education aligned with the PVS’s voyaging canoes Hokulea and sister vessel Hikianalia. Titled “Promise to Children,” the MOU states in part that, “We will transform our schools, empower youthful voices, and accept the responsibility of Malama Honua. We believe that by inspiring children to explore, discover and learn about Island Earth, they will navigate the future of humanity toward vitality, renewal, and compassion.”

Jenna Ishii explains some of the safety equipment

Jenna Ishii explains some of the safety equipment

“We are … excited that we can make the claim that Hawaii is with us,” said master navigator Nainoa Thompson. He said the Hokulea, in preparation for its Worldwide Voyage, has hosted more than 20,000 school children and community members while visiting ports across the Islands.

Over the next 48 months, the Worldwide Voyage will sail 49,000 nautical miles, visiting 26 countries and 85 ports while sharing Hawaii’s culture with the world. Educators are collaborating on curriculum aligned with Worldwide Voyage activities. Students will be able to embark on a virtual educational journey and participate via various technology channels and the Internet.

The decks were so hot when I was aboard the Hokulea, that they had to keep splashing water on the deck to keep our feet from burning

The decks were so hot when I was aboard the Hokulea, that they had to keep splashing water on the deck to keep our feet from burning

“This voyage not only offers lessons about world exploration and Hawaiian navigation but also the cultivation of aloha and valued Hawaiian traditions,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “We are excited to be a partner in this educational endeavor and will build upon the knowledge over the course of the next four years. We are grateful to the Polynesian Voyaging Society for including our public school students and teachers in this mission.”

While the vessels are not slated to depart Hawaii until May 2014, plans for the Worldwide Voyage are already changing the lives of children such as Daniel Corpuz, who has been visiting the Hokulea as part of an educational program.

“It was only natural that I fell in love with PVS,” he said about growing up near the ocean in Waianae. He said the program has engaged students with culturally relevant, hands-on learning and will help change negative stereotypes on the Leeward Coast. “As they are judging, we are learning,” Corpuz added.

The Hōkūle‘a

The Hōkūle‘a

Follow along with the educational program on the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s website at hokulea.org.

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. To learn more about the Department, its goals and vision for success, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

 

16-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Receives Wish of a Lifetime Aboard the Hōkūleʻa

The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa welcomed special guests Sunday as she sailed from her home port at Sand Island to her final Hawai‘i stop of the Mālama Hawaiʻi portion of the Worldwide Voyage, Ko Olina. On board was Wish Kid Colin, his mom, his brother Chase and his aunt; Colin was receiving his wish-come-true.

Colin takes the helm of the Hokulea

Colin takes the helm of the Hokulea

After facing a life-threatening diagnosis of alveolar rhabdomyasarcoma, countless treatments and hospital stays, Colin’s one true wish was to travel to O‘ahu for a sailing experience, and the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) partnered with Make-A-Wish® Hawaii to grant his wish. PVS crewmembers were quick to volunteer to support Colin’s wish – many of those on Sunday’s voyage were cancer survivors themselves.

Colin has had a life-long love for sailing that started with sailing excursions with his dad who was in the Navy and a sailor at heart. Tom, Colin’s father, passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly in January 2010, and then Colin was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer two years later. Today, Colin can say he is cancer clear and he felt this wish would not only realize his passion, but honor his family, particularly his father, as well.

Colin and brother Chase

Colin and brother Chase

Once under sail, a pule, prayer, was said and introductions were made, as is traditional. During the sail, Colin and Chase (10) helped to steer the waʻa and participated in story telling exchanges with the crew. Colin’s mom and aunt did not hop on the sweep, but actively shared stories with the crew. It was a happy sunset sail, with a lot of laughter and learning.

“We are incredibly honored to work with Polynesian Voyaging Society to help make Colin’s wish come true,” said Siana Hunt, President and CEO Make-A-Wish Hawaii. “We believe that a wish can be powerful medicine for children battling life-threatening conditions and we would not be able to bring wishes true without the support of our community; the type of incredible support shown by PVS with Colin’s wish. Colin was shown the true spirit of aloha and we couldn’t be more grateful for PVS’s involvement.”

Nainoa Thompson

Nainoa Thompson

As the sail completed, Master navigator Nainoa Thompson told Colin “you are a star of hope.” Colin smiled and said the sail was just as he imagined it would be.

Maui and Molokai Residents Invited to Visit the Hōkūle‘a

The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a welcomes the public to visit her in Mā‘alaea Harbor for a few more days.  Crew members have been connecting with youth and community groups since their arrival on Maui on June 17th.

The Hokulea in Hilo

The Hokulea in Hilo

A community presentation about the upcoming Worldwide Voyage is planned for Wednesday, June 26, from 6:00-8:00 PM at the headquarters of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary at 726 S. Kīhei Road (see attached flyer).  Apprentice navigator Ka‘iulani Murphy and crewmembers from Hui ‘o Wa‘a Kaulua, ‘Ohana Wa‘a and Polynesian Voyaging Society will be sharing their stories.

While docked at Mā‘alaea, the public is welcome to visit Hōkūle‘a between 9 AM – 12 noon and 1-5 PM through the 27th.

Mālama Hawai‘i is the first leg of Mālama Honua, the Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.  Hōkūle‘a will pay respects to communities throughout Hawai‘i in gratitude for 38 years of support of voyaging here.

Na Aumakua of the Hokulea

Na Aumakua of the Hokulea

In addition, we will feature stories of leadership and wise practices in resource management, voyaging and navigation, innovative education, and cultural practice throughout the islands.  The plans for the Worldwide Voyage will be shared at every port.  Over the next several weeks*, Hōkūle‘a will be in the waters of Maui Nui:

  • Through June 27      Mā‘alaea, Maui
  • June 28 – Jul 1           Lahaina, Maui
  • July 1 – 3                      Kealaikahiki, Kaho‘olawe
  • July 3 – 8                      Mānele, Lāna‘i
  • July 8 – 15                   Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i
  • August 16 – 18           Hāna, Maui
  • August 18 – 19           Honolua, Maui
  • August 19 – 20          Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i
  • August 20 – 23          Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i

* All dates are subject to change.  Committed to the safety of our crews and vessels, all sail dates are weather/safety dependent.

The Hōkūle‘a Arrives in Hilo – Malama Hawaii (Statewide Sails) and Malama Honua (Worldwide Voyage)

Today I had the opportunity to check out the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Canoe the Hōkūle‘a as it has arrived in Hilo as it prepares to take off for its “Malama Hawaii” (statewide sails) before the Malama Honua (worldwide voyage).

Hōkūle‘a ported at Radio Bay in Hilo

Hōkūle‘a ported at Radio Bay in Hilo

The Worldwide Voyage will include stops at more than 60 ports in more than 20 countries, all connected by ocean, most with traditional systems of ocean voyaging.

The Hōkūle‘a

The Hōkūle‘a

Here is a map of the planned route that they plan on taking:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Crew member Kim Kuulei Birnie talked about the pending voyage and the route that the vessels will take and explained how this is the first time that the vessels have ever been out of the Pacific Ocean as part of their planned route will take them through the Panama Canal and into the Atlantic Ocean and beyond.

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I was invited out to the vessel along with David Corrigan from Big Island Video News and Tiffany Edwards Hunt from Big Island Chronicle and we got to ask crew members about the pending trip.

David Corrigan interviews Kim Kuulei Birnie

David Corrigan interviews Kim Kuulei Birnie

Tiffany Edwards Hunt checks out one of the places to sleep on board

Tiffany Edwards Hunt checks out one of the places to sleep on board

Education Specialist Jenna Ishii was kind enough to explain how things worked aboard the ship and was honest enough to tell us that one of the most difficult tasks they have is actually going to the bathroom as they have to harness themselves to rope and then do their business over the side of the boat.

Jenna Ishii explains some of the safety equipment

Jenna Ishii explains some of the safety equipment

She explained in all the years that the vessels have been going on there has been only three incidents of a crew member falling over board however they are prepared for it when and if it were to happen.

Ishii shows us the flashing beacon that is tossed over shores if someone goes overboard

Ishii shows us the flashing beacon that is tossed off the boat if someone goes overboard

“Since Hokulea’s launch in 1975, Hawaiians have reclaimed and refined the art of wayfinding, non-instrument navigation that synthesizes tradition principles of Pacific Navigation and modern scientific knowledge.”

"Eddie Would Go!"

“Eddie Would Go!”

Here is one of the press releases I received from them on Why Hokulea Voyages:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Here is the tentative Sail Plan and Port List, of course this could all change because of a lot of factors but this is what they are shooting for… note that this first year is what is termed the Malama Honua Hawaii Tour as it travels throughout the Hawaii Islands for the next year to make sure the vessels are prepared for the worldwide Voyage:

The Hawaii part of the World Wide Exploration

The Hawaii part of the World Wide Exploration

And the worldwide plan(s):

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I spent about an hour aboard the Hokulea this afternoon and look forward to following them on their worldwide tour.

The decks were so hot, that they had to keep splashing water on the deck to keep our feet from burning

The decks were so hot, that they had to keep splashing water on the deck to keep our feet from burning

Here are some quick facts about the Hokule’a and the Hikanalia:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The public is invited to send off the vessels tomorrow, however, they technically won’t leave for a few more days however, this will be the main chance for the public to check things out.  A community potluck is being provided by the folks of the Keaukaha Community and the Canoe Clubs that are in Hilo.

Hokulea in Hilo

Just an overexposed picture I kind of like

Just an overexposed picture I kind of like

 

Ten Rescued After 60-Foot Voyaging Canoe Sinks Near Palau

The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Advisor, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea, approximately 103 miles northeast of Palau, Monday.

Coast Guardsmen aboard a small boat from the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Washington assist in transferring 10 canoeists, who were saved by the cargo vessel Hyundai Unity, March 4, 2013, approximately 103 miles off the coast of Palau. The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Adviser, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of the 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guardsmen aboard a small boat from the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Washington assist in transferring 10 canoeists, who were saved by the cargo vessel Hyundai Unity, March 4, 2013, approximately 103 miles off the coast of Palau. The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Adviser, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of the 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Using a satellite telephone, a crewmember aboard a 60-foot voyaging canoe contacted officials at the Palau Community College and indicated the vessel was breaking apart and sinking, at 6:30 a.m. Chamorro Standard Time, Monday.

After receiving the call, the college officials contacted the appropriate Palauan Agencies in accordance with their National Search and Rescue Plan, who requested assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard in accordance with a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding under the Compact of Free Association.

The mariners in distress began their trip aboard the 60-foot traditional sailing canoe, traveling from Palau to the outer islands of Yap State, in the Federated States of Micronesia. The vessel had 10 crewmembers aboard, including students from the Palau Community College. Aboard the canoe were two Americans, seven Palauans and one Japanese citizen.

Coast Guardsmen aboard a small boat from the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Washington assist in transferring 10 canoeists, who were saved by the cargo vessel Hyundai Unity, March 4, 2013, off the coast of Palau. The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Adviser, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of the 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guardsmen aboard a small boat from the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Washington assist in transferring 10 canoeists, who were saved by the cargo vessel Hyundai Unity, March 4, 2013, off the coast of Palau. The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Adviser, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of the 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard launched the 110-foot Cuter Washington to assist in the rescue and requested long range aircraft support from the U.S. Navy’s Combined Task Force 72, located in Kadena, Japan. The Coast Guard also contacted the crew aboard the Panamanian-flagged vessel Hyundai Unity, who was in the vicinity of the distress location. The vessel crew diverted from their course toward the distress position.

The crew of the Hyundai Unity spotted the individuals at 11:32 a.m. and began the process of rescuing the crew members. The Washington’s crew met up with the Hyundai Unity crew to safely transfer the 10 canoeists and take them to Palau.

This successful response was greatly assisted by the foresight and planning of the vessel crew, who filed a detailed float plan prior to departing, and maintained a full suite of lifesaving equipment, including a satellite telephone and personal flotation devices for each person aboard.

For more information contact Lt. Justin Valentino, at Coast Guard Sector Guam, at 671-355-4824.

 

Hikanalia Expected to Reach Home This Afternoon on Oahu

Hikianalia, Polynesian Voyaging Society’s new state-of-the-art voyaging canoe, is expected to reach Mokauea (Sand Island) mid-afternoon, Sunday, November 25. The latest estimated time of arrival is 2 PM to Marine Education Training Center.

Hikianalia is on its way home

Master navigator Bruce Blankenfeld and a crew of 18—including master navigator Chad Kālepa Baybayan, and several veteran as well as new crewmembers—left Friday night, anticipating a voyage with little-to-no wind.  This morning she could be seen from Kalaupapa Lookout; at 9 AM this morning, she was seen off Mo‘omomi Coastline, Moloka‘i.

Kalepa gives a pule for the safe passage of Faafaite on her voyage from Hawai’i to Tahiti in Nov. 2011. Crédits photo: Danee Hazama

Hikianalia reached Hawai‘i last week and has spent the week in Hilo.  She left Auckland, where she was launched in late September, and set sail on October 9.  The crew changed in Tahiti and again in Hilo.

Hikianalia will accompany Hōkūle‘a during the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s 2013-2016 Worldwide Voyage as her sister vessel, providing a second floating classroom, and the main platform for communication and technology.  Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia are Hawaiian star names for Arcturus and Spica, which break the horizon together in Hawaiian skies.  Neither uses fossil fuels; both rely on the wind in their sails and photovoltaics for their lights, communication and – in Hikianalia’s case – engines.

Hikianalia is scheduled to arrive on Sand Island on Oahu this afternoon

To review Hikianalia’s launch and journey from Aotearoa, and to learn more about the upcoming Worldwide Voyage, visit our website http://hokulea.org.

 

Hikianalia Arrives Home in Hawaii – Welcoming in Hilo Bay Tomorrow

Hikianalia, a new state-of-the-art voyaging canoe, is expected to be in Hilo Harbor by dawn tomorrow morning, Sunday, November 18.  She will have traveled more than 4,000 miles to come home to Hawai‘i since her launch in early October.

Hikianalia is scheduled to arrive on the Big Island tomorrow.

It has taken Hikianalia 17 days to sail from Papeete, Tahiti (French Polynesia) to Hawai‘i, and it took 16 days to sail her from her launch site in Auckland, New Zealand, to Papeete.

After clearing customs at Hilo Harbor, Hikianalia will make her way to Radio Bay, where Hikianalia and the entire crew will be formally welcomed by the Keaukaha Community Association.

“We expected them in the afternoon, but now that they are arriving in the morning, it will be a quiet welcome,” explained master navigator Chad Kālepa Baybayan, who has co-organized the Hilo reception.  “Still, we know the community will come out to see her.”

Baybayan navigated Pacific Voyager canoe Faafaite from Auckland to Tahiti, escorting Hikianalia during the latter’s maiden voyage.  Master navigator Bruce Blankenfeld captained Hikianalia during that first leg of her voyage home to Hawaiʻi.

Most of the Hikianalia crew changed in Papeete.  Captain Bob Perkins and master navigator Chadd ‘Ōnohi Paishon are part of a crew of 15 bringing the canoe to Hawai‘i in a portion of the voyage that included crossing the equator.  Overall, for the course between Tahiti and Hawai‘i, the skies have been clear and the winds fair, except for a brief passage through the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, where they experienced quirky weather.

Hikianalia will accompany Hōkūle‘a during the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s 2013-2016 Worldwide Voyage as her sister vessel, providing a second floating classroom, and the main platform for communication and technology.  The two wa‘a will partner in messages of sustainability.  Neither uses fossil fuels; both rely on the wind in their sails and solar energy for their lights, communication and – in Hikianalia’s case – engines.

Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia are Hawaiian names for stars Arcturus and Spica, respectively, which break the horizon together in Hawaiian skies.

“It’s been a privilege to bring Hikianalia home to Hawai‘i,” says Perkins.  “She will finally meet her sister Hōkūle‘a.”

Hikianalia is expected to sail directly from Hawai‘i Island to O‘ahu next weekend.

To track Hikianalia, or to learn more about the upcoming Worldwide Voyage, visit our website http://hokulea.org.

To follow the educational objectives of navigator and Makali‘i senior captain Chadd ‘Ōnohi Paishon, go to http://www.nakalaiwaa.org/student-qa-hikianalia.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded in 1975 on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, seeking to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one other, and their natural and cultural environments.

Hikianalia Sets Sail for Hawaii – Hōkūle‘a’s Sister Vessel Will Be Important Part of Worldwide Voyage

Hikianalia, a new state of the art voyaging canoe, has departed Auckland and is headed for Hawai‘i by way of Tahiti.  Hikianalia will sail alongside Hōkūle‘a as part of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s 2013 Worldwide Voyage and will be a vital component in the WWV’s educational endeavors.

Hikianalia is on its way to Hawaii

Like Hōkūle‘a, Hikianalia carries a Hawaiian star name. Spica rises together with Arcturus (Hōkūle‘a) in Hawai‘i. “They are sister stars because they break the horizon together, and Hikianalia will be the first wa‘a, or traditional double-hulled canoe, to accompany Hōkūle‘a as an escort vessel,” explains master navigator Bruce Blankenfeld.

Bruce Blankenfeld

Hikianalia is a high-tech, eco-friendly double-hulled canoe constructed by master boat builders in Auckland, New Zealand.  Made in the same mold of the Pacific Voyager waka moana that gathered in Hawai‘i in 2011 < >, Hikinanalia has electric rather than diesel motors, and in-board propellers. She is 72 feet long, 23 feet wide, and weighs 30,000 gross tons.  Each of Hikianalia’s hulls contains an electric motor powered by onboard photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight to electric propulsive energy.

Hikianalia was launched in Auckland on September 15th.  Since then, crewmembers have put her through extensive sea trials.

“She has great balance and sails beautifully,” says Blankenfeld, who will captain Hikianalia from Aotearoa to Tahiti. “Like all canoes, she’s definitely a living entity and will be a faithful companion to Hōkūle‘a during the Worldwide Voyage.”

The “Vaka Sails” can be seen here

Hikianalia is expected to reach Pape‘ete in 3 weeks, accompanied by the Tahitian canoe Fa‘afaite.  A new crew will sail Hikianalia to Hawai‘i from Tahiti and will make landfall in Hilo.

To track the Hikianalia from Aotearoa to Tahiti and then to Hawai‘i, visit our website http://hokulea.org.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama Blesses the Hokule’a, Answers Questions and HOLDS MY HAND!

I was invited yesterday for a private event held at Kualoa State Park on Oahu, where His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet blessed the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Hokule’a canoe and then answered questions for invited media folks in Hawaii.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/B2Rz_Hz0Fn8]

His Holiness arrived at Kualoa Park today for a private blessing ceremony for the Hokule’a. As he was escorted to the blessing by Nainoa Thompson and John DeFries, the Dalai Lama was greeted by the sound of conch shells and chants. The Dalai Lama’s earth blessing led into the consecration of the Hokule’a. At the end of the ceremony, the Dalai Lama boarded the Hokule’a with his entourage. The Dalai Lama’s gift of a scarf was tied to the mast, drawing a close to the poignant blessing. (photos courtesy of Pilars of Peace)

Cy Bridges and other members the Hakipu’u Ohana perform a chant to welcome His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet to Kualoa Regional Park on Oahu.

Hakipu’u Ohana blow the pu shell (conch shell) announcing the arrival of His Holiness

His Holiness climbs aboard the Hokule’a

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet jokes with members of the Hokule’a Crew following the Earth Blessing and Consecration of the Hokule’a and the World Wide Voyage.

Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, takes in the Earth Blessing by His Holiness

The crew of the Hokule’a tie a Khata that was given to them by His Holiness to the mast of their canoe

After His Holiness did the blessing, he moved over to a tent where His Holiness fielded questions from the media that was invited… I almost tripped moving to my seat knowing he was coming so close to me!

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He spent about 30 minutes talking to reporters and I just kind of was stunned in amazement that I was sitting right across from him!

Here are some of the pictures I took during the question and answer period with His Holiness (Click for larger view):

Here is His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet’s answer to a couple of the questions asked:

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And a more serious question regarding the military presence here in the State of Hawaii:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/pSSDIhagJDA]

After the question and answer session… His Holiness actually held my hand for about five seconds!!!!  I still haven’t washed my hand!

ABOUT HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent struggle for Tibet and received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his “many enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, nonviolence, human rights and religious understanding.” He recently won the 2012 Templeton Prize for his work in spiritually relevant scientific research. Author of more than 72 books and the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorates, His Holiness describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. For more information about the Dalai Lama, please visit: www.dalailama.com.

ABOUT THE HAWAI’I COMMUNITY FOUNDATION 

With 95 years of community service, the Hawai’i Community Foundation is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. The Foundation is a steward of more than 600 funds, including more than 160 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities. In 2011, more than $43 million in grants and contracts were distributed statewide. The Foundation also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector. Visit www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org for more information.

ABOUT PIERRE AND PAM OMIDYAR 

Active philanthropists who are guided by their belief that people are inherently capable and basically good, Pierre and Pam Omidyar have committed more than $1 billion to help individuals improve their lives and ignite change across a variety of sectors and geographies. The Omidyars received the 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in recognition of the lasting impact of their work and generosity. In 2009, Pierre and Pam made an historic $50 million commitment to the Hawai’i Community Foundation to establish the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund, which is being used to launch several community initiatives. To learn more about the Omidyars’ commitment to Hawai’i and ongoing philanthropic interests around the world, go to www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/hosts.

A Hawaiian Cultural Panel With His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Kekui Kanahele chants a "mele inoa" (name chant) prior to the Hawaiian Cultural Panel. (Pictures provided by the Pillars of Peace)

This afternoon His Holiness The Dalai Lama held a cultural panel with Hawaiian leaders.  Here are some pictures from that event.

A Hawaiian Cultural Panel “The Importance of Native Intelligence in Modern Times,” included Pualani Kanahele, Ph.D., master hula teacher and director of Hawaiian traditional knowledge research at Hawaii Community College.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet listens to a Hawaiian Cultural Panel entitled “The Importance of Native Intelligence in Modern Times.”

His Holiness thanks Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, following todays panel.

Nainoa Thompson presents His Holiness with a canoe paddle made of Koa Wood

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet greets Governor Neil Abercrombie and his wife, Dr. Nancie Caraway following the Hawaiian Cultural Panel

Papa Mau: The Wayfinder – 1976 Hōkūle’a Music Video

In 1974, Hawaiians sailed the traditional voyaging canoe Hōkūle’a from Hawai’i to Tahiti and proved to the world that their ancestors had explored the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean by navigating with the stars. Papa Mau: The Wayfinder is the story of critical role that master navigator Mau Piailug played in that voyage, and the rebirth of Polynesian unity and pride that followed.

The Hōkūle’a was built by members of the newly formed Polynesian Voyaging Society, who dreamed of sailing in the way of their ancestors. Shortly thereafter, a search began for someone who could teach them the art of non-instrument navigation, which had been all but lost until they met Micronesian-born Mau, who agreed to share his knowledge. Follow the remarkable journey of an iconic voyaging canoe and a new generation of Hawaiian navigators who, under the guidance of Papa Mau, revitalized and reclaimed Polynesia’s voyaging tradition.

[youtube-http://youtu.be/WFtNhSl1dt8]

Papa Mau: The Wayfinder is one episode in Pacific Heartbeat, a new anthology series for PBS that provides viewers a glimpse of the real Pacific—its people, cultures, languages, music, and contemporary issues.

Learn more about Papa Mau: The Wayfinder and Pacific Heartbeat at www.pacificheartbeat.org.

The Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation Honored Herb Kawainui Kāne as its 2011 Kamaʻāina of the Year

The Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation honored Herb Kawainui Kāne as its 2011 Kamaʻāina of the Year for his contributions in reviving Hawaiian culture as an artist, historian, and author. As one of the founders of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Kāne was instrumental in the revival of non-instrument navigation, which had been lost in Hawaiʻi for centuries.

Following traditional designs, the deep-sea canoe Hōkūleʻa first travelled to Tahiti in 1976. In the subsequent years, the vessel linked the islands of the Pacific and will soon circumnavigate the globe.

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This revival of ancient wayfinding inspired a cultural reawakening among Native Hawaiians as interest in hula, language, education, arts, and self-determination flourished. Although he is most well known for fantastic paintings depicting ancient Hawaiʻi, Kāne’s greatest legacy is his influence on the generations of Hawaiians who continue to practice their culture.

Statement From Mayor Kenoi on the Passing of Herb Kawainui Kane

From the Mayors Office:

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of our respected and beloved kupuna, Herb Kawainui Kane. His deep respect and reverence for the culture of our islands, reflected by his talent as a world-renown artist, secures his place among history’s most influential Native Hawaiians.

Among his many important accomplishments was his participation in the renaissance of Hawaiian culture and pride through his leadership in the Polynesian Voyaging Society, where he served as captain of the first voyage of the Hokule’a.

Current and future generations of Hawaiians will always owe a debt of gratitude to him. I offer my sincere condolences to his ohana. We have all lost a true Hawaiian treasure.”