Stretching across 6,000 km of northern Pasifika are the 129 volcanoes and surrounding waters which form the archipelago of Hawaii, and 80 million years after its emergence kanaka Maoli, despite struggling for over 200 years against foreign diseases, cultural decimation and diaspora, carry on as its human stewards.
To aid that stewardship, and Hawaii’s healing and renewal, a hui of cultural practitioners formed Pasifika Foundation Hawaii (PFH) to create a pu’uhonua, a holding environment, in which all of the voices expressing Hawaii’s mana and mana’o about its future could be heard, and to find ways in which their wisdom could be applied.
Additionally, PFH actively reaches out to gather the mana’o of all of its Pasifik cousins—whether in their own Island groups or Hawaii nei—to share Pasifik perspective about Pasifik problems. From Saipan to Aotearoa, from Rapa Nui to Papua, all of Pasifika is being similarly challenged; from the tsunami of the global economy to global warming; depleted fisheries, agricultural lands and fresh-water resources; inundation from trash and tourists; the health crises of diabetes and heart disease; the lack of adequate and appropriate educational programs for its people, both young and old; the ongoing struggles for self-determination and decolonization of Pasifika; and perhaps most critical of all, the diminishment and marginalization, in some cases nearly to the point of extinction, of the wisdom and mana of Pasifika’s cultures.
PFH’s stewardship approach to these issues is to support and facilitate the development of, and communication about, the best sustainable and self-determined economic, educational, and cultural future for Hawaii and Pasifika as derived from the voice and vision of its places, peoples and cultures. The projects in development by PFH have these intentions:
• To assist in gathering into a knowledge-base the wisdom of Hawaii’s leading cultural practitioners, and in creating a forum for continuing dialogue about solutions from the voices of Hawaii and its people;
• To devise strategies and means to increase the flow of ideas, information and issues among the people of Hawaii and Pasifika;
• To develop and sponsor, in partnership with cultural and stewardship groups throughout Hawaii and Pasifika, a variety of events that serve to educate about and celebrate the cultures of our continent;
• To develop cooperative and culturally appropriate and sustainable economic initiatives.