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Victory in the Release of Guatemalan Political Prisoner Rigoberto Juarez

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August 6, 2016

By Linda Ferrer

July 22, 2016 marked a day of victory, not only for Rigoberto Juarez Mateo, but also for the Indigenous Q’anjob’al Maya community in the municipality of Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. In a split decision made by Judges Yasmin Barrios, Patricia Bustamante, and Gerbi Sical, seven Ancestral Authorities, including Rigoberto Juarez, Domingo Baltazar, Ermitano Lopez Reyes, Sotero Adalberto Villatoro, Francisco Juan Pedro, Mynor Lopez, and Arturo Pablo were released from prison, five of whom were acquitted of all charges.

Sixteen months ago, Rigoberto Juarez, one of nine Ancestral Authorities, was detained for his advocacy against two private hydroelectric and mining companies, Hidra Energia and Hidro Santa Cruz, respectively, for their failing to comply and consult with Indigenous communities’ prior to accessing licensure for their projects. Posing a threat to their natural resources, land, and way of life, those who resisted the projects faced threats, coercion, and were sometimes kidnapped, raped, or even murdered. Rigoberto Juarez and Domingo Baltazar, two well-known Indigenous leaders, traveled to Guatemala City to file reports on these various human rights violations to the Department of Public Ministry and the United Nations Commission for Human Rights but both were arrested by police without warrant or charges. They were illegally imprisoned without due process on that day of March 23, 2015. Rigoberto Juarez was placed in High Risk Group A preventive detention center for false accusations in a series of crimes which the private companies claimed against them. Sixteen charges were then made against him, including public disturbances of peaceful demonstrations, kidnapping, and intent to commit crimes. However, the lack of evidence and factual grounds for the heinous charges that were made only indicate that the hydroelectric and mining companies, working with the Mayor and judicial system of Guatemala, strategically organized the persecution and arrest of the community leaders in order to remove their voice and actions from the resistance movement he had begun and committed to since 2008. Read more…

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Interactive map by University of Georgia historian shows U.S. appropriation of over 1.5 billion acres Indigenous land, 1776-1887

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This interactive map, produced by University of Georgia historian Claudio Saunt to accompany his new book West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776, offers a time-lapse vision of the transfer of Indian land between 1776 and 1887. As blue “Indian homelands” disappear, small red areas appear, indicating the establishment of reservations.  (Above is a GIF of the map’s time-lapse display; visit the map’s page to play with its features.)

The project’s source data is a set of maps produced in 1899 by the Bureau of American Ethnology. The B.A.E. was a research unit of the Smithsonian that published and collected anthropological, archaeological, and linguistic research on the culture of North American Indians, as the nineteenth century drew to a close.

While the time-lapse function is the most visually impressive aspect of this interactive, the “source map” option (available on the map’s site) offers a deep level of detail. By selecting a source map, and then zooming in to the state you’ve selected, you can see details of the map used to generate that section of the interactive. A pop-up box tells you which Native nation was resident on the land, and the date of the treaty or executive order that transferred the area to the government, as well as offering external links to descriptions of the treaty and of the tract of land.

In the site’s “About” section (reachable by clicking on the question mark), Saunt is careful to point out that the westward-moving boundaries could sometimes be vague. Asked for an example, he pointed me to the 1791 treaty with the Cherokee that ceded the land where present-day Knoxville, Tenn. stands. The treaty’s language pointed to landmarks like “the mouth of Duck river,” a broad approach that left a lot of room for creative implementation. When dealing with semi-nomadic tribes, Saunt added, negotiators sometimes designated a small reservation, “rather than spelling out the boundaries of the cession.” Read more…

Behind Alex Cuba’s Canada Day performance in Wit’suwet’in

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‘I’m digging into the roots of my adopted land,’ says Cuban-Canadian songwriter

By Andrew Kurjata, CBC News Posted: Jul 01, 2016 7:00 AM PT Last Updated: Jul 01, 2016 7:00 AM PT

Cuban-Canadian singer Alex Cuba had the lyrics of one of his songs translated into the Wit'suwet'in language for a Canada Day performance on Parliament Hill.

Cuban-Canadian singer Alex Cuba had the lyrics of one of his songs translated into the Wit’suwet’in language for a Canada Day performance on Parliament Hill. (Alex Cuba photo: Paul Darrow/Reuters; Lyrics photo: Alex Cuba/Facebook)

When Cuban-born singer Alex Cuba takes the national stage for a performance on Parliament Hill this Canada Day, he’ll be showcasing the language of his adopted home — and it isn’t English or French.

Instead, the Juno and Grammy-award winning artist will be performing a verse from his song Directo in Wit’suwet’in, an Athabaskan language spoken by First Nations in northwest British Columbia.

Cuba says the performance is his way of paying tribute to his adopted home, the small town of Smithers in northern B.C.

“I have roots in that part of Canada now,” he said. “I made Smithers my home for over 13 years now, and my kids, they are growing in Smithers.”

“I’m basically digging into the roots of my adopted land.”

From Spanish to English to Wit’suwet’in

Ron Austin

Northwest coast artist Ron Austin (T’sek’ot) translated lyrics from English to Wit’suwet’in. (Northwest Community College)

The lyrics were translated by Ron Austin (T’sek’ot), an artist and hereditary chief living in nearby Moricetown.

First, Cuba had to translate the words from Spanish to English. Then, Austin got to work adapting them to Wit’suwet’in.

“I had to search for some words like ‘hopelessness,’ because in our language it’s said almost like a sentence,” the chief said. The closest he could come was the phrase, “My heart is in confusion.”

“It’s a more expressive language.”

Endangered language takes national stage

It was during this collaboration that Cuba discovered the deeper significance of the project.

Alex Cuba Director lyrics in Wit'suwet'in

The lyrics of Alex Cuba’s song ‘Directo’ translated into Wit’suwet’in, along with handwritten notes. (Alex Cuba/Facebook)

There are only a few fluent Wit’suwet’in speakers left: somewhere between 70 and 200.

Austin says when he was growing up, children spoke nothing but Wit’suwet’in. That changed when he was sent to a Catholic day school.

“We were not allowed to practice our language and not allowed to speak any native language without being disciplined. Now you see our children around the village, all they do is speak English.”

Cuba says hearing this reaffirmed his commitment to learning the verse.

“It became more clear to me, what if I can do this on national television? … I am honoured to be able to do my little bit to help save this language.”

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Million-acre St. Lawrence Island land title signed over to native population

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By Travis Khachatoorian / KTUU |

SAINT LAWRENCE ISLAND, Alaska – In one of the biggest land conveyances in US history, the federal government officially signed the title to Saint Lawrence Island over to its native population.

More than one million acres of land was researched and surveyed by the Bureau of Land Management in preparation for the title transfer. Using GPS mapping and aerial photography, the BLM took three years to complete the process before handing over ownership of the island.

“This is the largest survey we have ever done, and the fourth largest conveyance that the US government has ever done in one fell swoop,” said BLM director Neil Kornze.

Multiple BLM officials from Washington DC, Anchorage and Nome flew into the villages of Gambell and Savoonga on Wednesday for an official document signing ceremony. The conveyance of land finalizes a process the Alaska Natives of St. Lawrence Island have been waiting for since President Nixon signed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA.)

“The descendants of our forefathers would have clapped their hands just like we did with the signing of the patent,” said Gambell village elder Branson Tungiyan.

With the title in hand, the villages of Gambell and Savoonga will share ownership of the sixth biggest island in the US.

Full ownership of the island was a decision made by the village elders decades ago. When ANCSA first passed, villages across Alaska were offered a piece of a near billion dollar settlement to sell large portions of their land to the federal government.

Savoonga and Gambell elders opted out of the payout. Instead they received no money, no opportunity to become part of a larger regional native corporation, but rather received opportunity to own the former St. Lawrence Island Reserve, now giving them 900 miles of coastline, mountains and lakes.

“One of the things [the elders] told us is, ‘as long as you are owners of the island, the island will take care of you,’” said president of Kukulget Corporation Perry Pungowiyi.

“You keep the land instead of the money, because money runs out,” said Tungiyan.

The BLM gave the native population interim conveyance of the land in 1979, only to receive the final title when the government finished its survey of the land. The survey for St. Lawrence Island wasn’t completed until 2016.

“The ANCSA entitlement in total [statewide] was about 44 million acres, and that’s roughly the equivalent size of the State of Washington,” said Erika Reed, Alaska BLM deputy state director of lands, cadastral survey and pipeline monitoring. “That’s about the acreage that we’ve been surveying and conveying over the last 45 years.”

Pungowiyi said, so far there’s no plans for greater development of the island. He said, most important to the village at this point is to preserve the land their ancestors have inhabited for thousands of years.

“This is home. This is where I live. I feel at peace when I’m here. I have no worries other than fish and game,” said Pungowiyi. “Here it still feels like we’re living with our ancestors.”

Source: KTUU. Retrieved from: http://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Massive-land-transfer-388618852.html on August 1, 2016

Taiwan’s President Apologizes to Aborigines for Centuries of Injustice

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HONG KONG — President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan offered a formal apology on Monday to aboriginal peoples for centuries of “pain and mistreatment,” and she promised to take concrete steps to rectify a history of injustice.

In a ceremony at the presidential office in Taipei attended by aboriginal community leaders, she said that although Taiwan had made efforts to end discrimination against hundreds of thousands of indigenous people, a formal apology was necessary.

“Unless we deny that we are a country of justice, we must face up to this history,” Ms. Tsai said. “We must tell the truth. And then, most importantly, the government must genuinely reflect on this past.”

Taiwan has 540,000 residents who are members of aboriginal groups, or about 2 percent of the population of 23 million. The Council of Indigenous Peoples officially recognizes 16 groups, with three — the Amis, Atayal andPaiwanmaking up 70 percent of the total indigenous population.

Taiwan’s earliest known residents are believed to have come to the island 6,000 years ago or earlier from Southeast Asia and are part of the Austronesian peoples who range from Madagascar to Polynesia. When Han settlers from mainland China began arriving in the 17th century, indigenous peoples, particularly those on Taiwan’s western plains, faced assimilation, loss of land and outright violence.

Today, indigenous groups face high levels of unemployment, low wages and less access to education and other services.

“Another group of people arrived on these shores, and in the course of history, took everything from the first inhabitants who, on the land they have known most intimately, became displaced, foreign, non-mainstream and marginalized,” Ms. Tsai said.

Capen Nganaen, 80, a representative of the Yami, said he was happy to receive the government’s apology.

“Taiwan has had many presidents during its history, but never before has one been willing to offer an apology to the indigenous peoples,” he said during the ceremony.

He spoke of how the Yami had unsuccessfully resisted the use of their homeland, Orchid Island, southeast of Taiwan, as a depository for nuclear waste from power plants on Taiwan. “This is the pain of the people of Orchid Island,” he said.

Mr. Capen said many Yami feared that an accident would render Orchid Island uninhabitable, and he called on Ms. Tsai to address how to remove the waste.

Ms. Tsai became the first female president of Taiwan after winning a landslide victory in January, and her Democratic Progressive Party took control of the legislature for the first time. She campaigned in part on social justice issues, including an investigation into assets acquired by the Kuomintang, the former governing party, during decades of autocratic rule. Last week, the legislature passed a law ordering the return of ill-gotten assets taken by political parties since 1945, the year the Kuomintang took control of Taiwan from Japan, which had ruled the island as a colony from 1895.

During her inauguration in May, Ms. Tsai said her government would take an “apologetic attitude” toward indigenous peoples.

On Monday, Ms. Tsai announced that she would lead a commission to address the injustices faced by indigenous groups and said that she would push through a law outlining their basic rights. She also said the government would provide compensation to the Yami before a decision was made on where to store the nuclear waste deposited on Orchid Island for the past 30 years.

White Earth Descendant Selected for Minnesota Supreme Court

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Turtle Talk

Congratulations Judge Anne McKeig

Link to full article here

From the article:

Gov. Mark Dayton has selected Fourth Judicial District Judge Anne McKeig as the next Supreme Court justice, giving the state’s highest court its first American Indian jurist, as well as the first female majority since 1991.

McKeig, 49, a descendant of White Earth Nation, has specialized in child protection and Indian welfare issues. She was first appointed to the bench in 2008 by GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty. She will replace retiring Justice Christopher Dietzen, also a Pawlenty appointee.

The selection means that Dayton has made a majority of appointments on the 7-member court, likely ensuring his legacy on the bench long after he leaves office. He has now appointed five justices, though former Justice Wilhelmina Wright joined the federal bench earlier this year.

In his two terms, Dayton has made diversifying the state’s courts a priority. He praised…

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Hokule’a, The Hawaiian Canoe Traveling The World By A Map Of The Stars

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The Hokule'a, a voyaging canoe built to revive the centuries-old tradition of Polynesian exploration, makes its way up the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Sailed by a crew of 12 who use only celestial navigation and observation of nature, the canoe is two-thirds of the way through a four-year trip around the world.

The Hokule’a, a voyaging canoe built to revive the centuries-old tradition of Polynesian exploration, makes its way up the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Sailed by a crew of 12 who use only celestial navigation and observation of nature, the canoe is two-thirds of the way through a four-year trip around the world.

Bryson Hoe/Courtesy of ‘Oiwi TV and Polynesian Voyaging Society

She sails by the memory of the stars.

Her bones are lashed together with 6 miles of rope. Her twin wooden masts are lowered and outstretched only by the power of muscled arms. And once fully extended, the red, V-shaped sails announce who she is.

She is the Hokule’a, Hawaii’s famous voyaging canoe, built in the double-hulled style used by Polynesian navigators thousands of years ago to cross the Pacific.

Now, she’s on a journey to make history, traversing the globe by wayfinding — an ancient Polynesian skill that requires memorizing hundreds of stars and where they rise and set on the ocean horizon. She has already crossed 26,000 miles of ocean and still has a year left to go.

“As a navigator, your job is to look at the shape of the ocean,” said Nainoa Thompson, the architect of the worldwide tour and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “You have to be on your feet, and to be able to feel one wave when it comes through from one foot to another. You only know where you are by memorizing where you come from.”

Kala Tanaka marks "stays" at the front of the canoe so they can go back in the same place after the mast is taken down to fit under the George Washington Bridge. The garlands of ti leaves, a Hawaiian tradition, were placed on the Hokule'a by well-wishers.

Kala Tanaka marks “stays” at the front of the canoe so they can go back in the same place after the mast is taken down to fit under the George Washington Bridge. The garlands of ti leaves, a Hawaiian tradition, were placed on the Hokule’a by well-wishers.

Claire Harbage/NPR

Onboard this East Coast leg is a 12-member crew, a mix of veteran native Hawaiian navigators and young, lean apprentices who have taken time off their jobs as pro surfers, educators and executives for the chance of a lifetime: sailing for weeks on a 61-foot catamaran-style canoe in the open ocean. And the promise of returning with a stronger sense of themselves.

Many are part Native Hawaiian and were inspired to connect to their roots. With Hokule’a (ho-koo-lay-ah), they want to spread a message about what the world could learn from island people about how to live sustainably and care for the ocean.

“She has the ability to transform,” said Na’alehu Anthony, 36, who is navigating this leg of the trip but also serves as chief executive of ‘Oiwi TV, a Native Hawaiian television company.

“This floating island is a representation of the values people should have for the islands we all live in — whether that’s Hawaii, the U.S. mainland or Tangier Island. It’s been really interesting to see how people see themselves in that message. They get it.”

Behind the canvas on both sides of the boat are the small, 6-foot “holes,” or cubbies, which are the sleeping quarters for crew members. They have a sleeping bag, clothes and a few personal effects for the journey. Underneath the sleeping mat is storage space for food, water and other supplies.

Claire Harbage/NPR


Hokule’a’s trip around the world is ambitious. But it’s nothing compared with her maiden voyage. That was a moonshot.

Forty years ago, a group of Native Hawaiians and anthropologists built the Hokule’a to revive the ancient art of Polynesian wayfinding, which had been forgotten.

No one knew how to build a canoe in the style of their ancestors, whose oral stories spoke of setting forth across vast oceans like astronauts of their day, exploring an ocean that is bigger than Russia.

At the time, no one in Hawaii knew how to build a voyaging canoe — none had existed for at least 600 years. No one in Hawaii knew how to navigate by the stars. But they found a man named Mau Piailug in Micronesia, a wayfinder on a tiny island who agreed to teach them how to sail using cues from nature — not only by watching the stars, but by noticing the swells and bird species, and the smallest of details, like shifts in the wind pressing against their bodies.

Left: Apprentice navigator Kala Tanaka (right) talks to students from the Alexandria Seaport Foundation about how the boat is navigated, during one of many educational tours offered while the boat is in port. Right: Na'alehu Anthony took leave from his job as chief executive of a television company to train for and join the voyage.

Left: Apprentice navigator Kala Tanaka (right) talks to students from the Alexandria Seaport Foundation about how the boat is navigated, during one of many educational tours offered while the boat is in port. Right: Na’alehu Anthony took leave from his job as chief executive of a television company to train for and join the voyage.

Claire Harbage/NPR

In 1976, a group of Native Hawaiians and anthropologists, and Mau, bet their lives that they could sail from Hawaii to Tahiti without any modern-day navigational equipment. They wanted to prove a theory that the original people who settled the islands of Hawaii did so not by accident, but with the intention of finding the islands and settling there.

And when the team safely reached its destination, after more than a month at sea, its triumph sparked a revival of Hawaiian identity and culture. Soon after, Native Hawaiians demanded that the state begin teaching the Hawaiian language in schools again. A group occupied the uninhabited island of Kaho’olawe, in protest of the U.S. Navy’s use of it as a target for bombing practice.

“There was a time when the Hawaiian culture wasn’t valued,” said Kalepa Baybayan, who was part of that first generation of crew members aboard the Hokule’a. “In the ’70s, it all changed.”

Na’alehu Anthony’s hand rests over a small black mark on the rail of the boat. Marks like this create a grid on the entire boat to help orient the navigator in the direction which they are heading.

Claire Harbage/NPR

The Hokule’a gave the Native Hawaiian people an identity; it became a symbol of hope for the survival of their culture.

Now they call Hokule’a the mother ship because she spawned a new generation. Since that 1976 voyage, 25 more deep-sea-voyaging canoes have been birthed across 11 countries. More than 180 crew members have taken a turn aboard the Hokule’a on its global trip. More impressive is the number who trained, applied but for whom there was no room: 4,000.

It’s her mana, or spirit, as well as her history, that attracts people, crew members say. On her first voyage, to Tahiti, she was greeted by a crowd of 17,000 who walked into the water with their clothes on to see her; to touch her; and to drape leis around the necks of men who were onboard. And when she arrived along the shores of Alexandria, Va., last week, visitors waited as long as an hour for the chance to step onboard and touch her bow.

Modern updates include this rope rather than the coconut fiber that was used on Hawaiian canoes in the past. The small flag (right) that flutters above the canvas is one tool that navigators use when they can't see the stars. Knowing the direction the wind is blowing and watching the waves helps them to understand their direction when it is cloudy.

Modern updates include this rope rather than the coconut fiber that was used on Hawaiian canoes in the past. The small flag (right) that flutters above the canvas is one tool that navigators use when they can’t see the stars. Knowing the direction the wind is blowing and watching the waves helps them to understand their direction when it is cloudy.

Claire Harbage/NPR

The navigator’s place is at the back corner of the Hokule’a, standing at all times with feet wide apart on the deck.

“There’s the motion that the canoe makes as it climbs up over the wave,” said Baybayan. “And you have to internalize that as the rhythm, the pulse of the canoe. And when that rhythm changes, either you’ve steered off course or the conditions have changed.”

When you’re doing it for the first time, you’re double-guessing yourself, he said. But once you make your first landfall, you understand that the process you went through got you there.

“Once you’re in the zone, you’ve reached a different plateau of metaphysical thinking,” he said. “It just builds confidence in yourself. You start to understand nature.”

The mast must come down in the next part of the journey to get past the bridges on the Potomac River on the way to the Washington, D.C., stop. The lei at the very top is color coded; traditionally each captain had his own color so the boats could recognize who was on it from afar.

The mast must come down in the next part of the journey to get past the bridges on the Potomac River on the way to the Washington, D.C., stop. The lei at the very top is color coded; traditionally each captain had his own color so the boats could recognize who was on it from afar.

Claire Harbage/NPR

Being on a 61-foot vessel with no engine in the middle of the ocean is, indeed, as tough as it might seem. All crew members train for weeks to prepare their bodies mentally and physically and must take courses on celestial navigation to prepare for the voyage.

Once onboard, crew members are assigned a 6-foot-long plywood plank that runs along the inside of one of the boat’s two hulls, which are connected by boards that serve as Hokule’a’s deck. Most put a waterproof foam pad on top, like the kind you float on in a swimming pool.

The rookies get a “hole,” or 6-foot sleeping spot in the front of the canoe, where it’s wettest and coldest. The elder crew members get the back where it’s warmer and dry. They all sleep head-to-toe, in a line, inside the twin canoe hulls.

“It’s like a one-man tent, but like, elongated, ” said Kala Tanaka, 34, who sleeps in the front while her father, one of the most seasoned navigators, sleeps in the back. “You have situations where it’s so rough that the water splashes in between the canvas [overhead] and it gets wet. But I like to think of this as exciting!”

Ki'i, statues that help guide the vessel, are on either side of the boat. Only the female (right) has eyes because she sees the way while the male counterpart stands guard.

Ki’i, statues that help guide the vessel, are on either side of the boat. Only the female (right) has eyes because she sees the way while the male counterpart stands guard.

Claire Harbage/NPR

Aside from a canvas over their head, the crew members are exposed to the wet cold, the relentless sun or rain. They take saltwater showers. The sunscreen onboard is gallon-size, with a pump on top. The navigator and his or her apprentices are expected to remain awake for 18 to 22 hours a day, keeping an eye on the conditions to ensure they stay the course.

But their rewards, of course, are many. They are counted in mahi-mahi, which the cook prepares sashimi-style, and in the sightings of whales, penguins and sunrises that they will never forget.


This leg of Hokule’a’s journey is moving slowly; she’s her most graceful out in the open ocean.

On this trip, she has braved new challenges of the mid-Atlantic: She took on unexpected whipping winds while sidestepping the onbeat of Navy and fishing boat traffic up the Chesapeake Bay to Alexandria, Va. Then she had to limbo under a series of concrete bridges up the Potomac River to Washington, D.C.

The Hokule’a has traveled 26,000 miles to deliver a message that, in typical fashion of this city, is often calculated through a political lens. Her message is Malama Honua.In Hawaiian, it means taking care of Island Earth.

“Not everyone believes in climate change, but we do,” said Thompson, one of the architects of the worldwide tour. “We’re islanders; we see it. We come from small islands in the Pacific who have nothing to do with [causing] climate change but we are the ones who will suffer the most, first.”

The Voyage Of Hokule’a, Beginning And Ending In Hawaii

Map of the canoe trip's path

Hokule’a left Hawaii in 2013 and headed west across the South Pacific and across Australia, Indonesia, the Indian Ocean and down around Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Then, she crossed the Atlantic to Brazil and headed north. At each stop, she has been greeted by first-nation people and like-minded organizations that want to create a sense of urgency about climate change and keeping the oceans clean.

In that cause, the Hokule’a has attracted some high-profile supporters. Before setting sail three years ago, the Dalai Lama blessed her and, on a stop in Samoa in 2014, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came aboard in a show of support.

Kalepa Baybayan (right) and his daughter Kala Tanaka. Kalepa is training Kala as an apprentice navigator.

Kalepa Baybayan (right) and his daughter Kala Tanaka. Kalepa is training Kala as an apprentice navigator.

 

When Ban came aboard the Hokule’a, he brought her a gift of a message in a bottle: a handwritten note pledging that the top environmental issue was to protect the world’s oceans and a commitment to take action. Thompson said Hokule’a has been collecting other pledges from around the world and added 40 more messages to the bottle. He plans to return it to the secretary-general at the United Nations next week for World Oceans Day.

For 40 years, Thompson’s life has been tied to the Hokule’a. Now, she is reaching middle age and, at age 63, he has nearly passed it. This trip is a bookend for him, but not likely for her.

“This canoe is a school that’s about relearning the genius of our ancestors, and about our reconnection to our ocean,” said Thompson. “This voyage is not my vision. It’s that of my teachers. I’m just a bridge between between them and” — he points to his young crew — “them.”

After New York, the Hokule’a will attempt to make it as far north as Nova Scotia, which, at 50 degrees north of the equator, would mark the northernmost point she has ever sailed. After that point, though, she will turn around. And every minute will be that much closer to returning home.

Hokule’a will go up the St. Lawrence to the Great Lakes, then turn back down the East Coast and across the Panama Canal where she will return to her ocean, the Pacific.

Thompson, Baybayan and the other elder crew members made a deal that this would be their last voyage. Anyone over age 32 will have to come off the boat as Hokule’a re-enters Polynesia at the last stop before home, in Rapa Nui. There, a new generation of wayfinders will come onboard and decide where she goes next.

Hokule'a stops in Alexandria, Va., on the way up the Potomac River to Washington, D.C.

Hokule’a stops in Alexandria, Va., on the way up the Potomac River to Washington, D.C.

Claire Harbage/NPR

Reporter Adam Cole contributed to this report. @sarakgoo @cadamole

 

Reference: NPR. 2016, June 13. Hokule’a, The Hawaiian Canoe Traveling The World By A Map Of The Stars. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/05/27/479468130/hokulea-the-hawaiian-canoe-traveling-the-world-by-a-map-of-the-stars