The biggest perk of being a volunteer host on ThinkTechHawaii.com is that I get to share with the digital universe some of the wonderful people, organizations and happenings in our community. The Outdoor Circle is expanding into new territory with two new branches, one in Waikīkī. Myles Ritchie tells us how we can calculate the benefit of the niu in your back yard, or any tree you can measure the circumference of and identify.
My first guest in the Green Eggs and S.P.A.M. (Sustainability, Permaculture, Agriculture and Makers) category was the charming, intelligent, and deeply-committed-to-the-greater-good Charles Wang. As Chief Exponential Officer of EcoQoob, he and his forward thinking team have developed the game for change in energy efficiency. The EcoQoob app will be available later this month. For students who have participated in the initial training, the game is free. EcoQoob’s trainers will come to your school and provide the one hour orientation, FREE. Interested? Contact Megumi Marsh: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, explore www.ecoqoob.com
A few weeks ago I was introduced to Charles Wang at a Hawaii Venture Capitalist Association meeting. His team from EcoQoob announced the imminent launch of an educational app that would turn elementary school kids into energy auditors. WHAT? I had to go see for myself. So I went to a demonstration with fourth graders at Ft. Shafter Elementary. They were really, interested, and they knew so much about energy and climate change! Tune in today on Think Tech Hawaii, 3pm HST.
One of the dominant threads I pay attention to is the role of the unseen in the realm of the physical. Somehow, when I am with other Hawaiians that kicks into turbo. After Meleanna Meyer’s invitation to an art installation event last Thursday arrived, part of the KUʻU ʻĀINA ALOHA project at Mark’s Garage, I lost no time inviting her to speak about it the following Friday on Think Tech Hawaii.
The talk with Osorio was distressing in many ways. The current flurry of activity in labyrinthine processes facing Native Hawaiians seeking restitution, in some as-yet-amorphous dominion, for the loss of Kingdom, kin and culture seem devilishly calculated to distraction from the primary work of personal healing. How can we work effectively together on political solutions when so many of us are in abject pain, poverty and disease?
The most potent message from Meyer was that holistic healing needs to happen on a personal level, as a first priority. Meyer’s multidimensional project, with David H. Kalama Jr. as Co-creator, has been a vehicle for her transition. Suddenly it all made much more sense.
I left the Think Tech Hawaii studio and drove out to Camp Mokule’ia, where Mary and Jon Osorio and 65 other members of Calvary by the Sea Lutheran (ELCA) gathered for our annual weekend-long retreat. The same group of artists– Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Harinani Orme, Kahi Ching, Carl Pao & Solomon Enos – who made the mural exhibited at Mark’s Garage, also painted a couple of them on the campgrounds. As the weekend unfolded, the presence of Meyer and her collaborators, through the murals, provided a vivid backdrop for our community strengthening programs of yoga, dance, history, art, worship, etc. As I mentioned in the conversation with Meleanna, Where is the place for Native Hawaiians to gather and learn about our culture, history, without passing entrance exams based on foreign systems of education? Where is our place as a community to grieve the horrific 90% depopulation of Hawaiian people through the unintended (smallpox, syphilis, measles, etc) genocide of the 19th century? Why not build a puʻuhonua where we can bury the iwi with proper respect, teach ourselves and the children Hawaiian culture?
Like the Kuʻu ʻĀina Aloha Project, some of this is already happening, especially in the Hawaiian immersion schools, civic clubs, hālau for arts like hula, canoe clubs. Perhaps the best example of healing through learning about culture is the work of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. It’s not surprising one of its founders, Myron “Pinky” Thompson had a Masters in Social Work, and dedicated his life to healing what he called the Hawaiian Sickness, but today we would call generational trauma. PVS’s work is certainly not limited to the Hawaiian community, and has become a powerful model globally.
Between Jon and Meleanna, a cohesive picture is emerging, which I endeavor to share. In the meantime, take the time to participate in the life of your community, whatever it is. And if that isnʻt your cup of tea, you can always be on the support team for projects like Kuʻu ʻĀina Aloha and PVS’s Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, making it possible for this critical work to be done.
Posted in Art Naʻau, The Elephant on the Lanai | Tagged healing generational trauma, Jon Osorio, KUʻU ʻĀINA ALOHA, Meleanna Meyer, Myron "Pinky" Thompson, Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Polynesian Voyaging Society | 1 Comment »
Today’s guests; Meleanna Meyer presents the newest phase of this groundbreaking healing work, an interactive installation at the Arts at Mark’s Garage. Part of the Kuʻu ‘Āina Aloha project, a muti-modality approach to addressing the lingering impacts of cultural trauma birthed by the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Absent a Truth and Reconciliation process, the legacy of the overthrow continues to wreak havoc in the lives of all who live in Hawaiʻi. From incarceration, houselessness, chronic illness, and the usual post-colonial social ills in the Hawaiian community, to the Maunakea TMT debacle, the greater community of all who live here are in need of a healing process. Meyer shares her journey. Tune in at 3pm HST to Think Tech Hawaii.com
What a day Friday was, from the tribute at Magic Island for kumu hula Leinaʻala Kalama Heine, to Think Tech Hawaii’s studio for premier of Hawaiʻi Is My MainLand. Hula sister Mary Osorio, with whom I had the honor of being haumana to Leinaʻala, is married to Jon Osorio, the beloved musician, composer, author, scholar, and professor at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, at the University of Hawaiʻi.
The theme of the day was the recent Department of the Interior announcement regarding Native Hawaiians. Jon and I discussed the convoluted issues around nation building within and without the carefully constructed box the proposed DOI rules have made to contain the government Native Hawaiian’s choose to create, 1) if they choose to create one, and 2) if the one they create meets the standards set by DOI. If you really want to do some homework here’s a link to the document, including instructions for submitting comments. It’s only 73 pages, and the summary is only a paragraph.
The pronoun “they” is used although I am part Native Hawaiian, because I don’t have official documents that “prove” it. Jon discussed Naʻi Aupuni‘s complicated and conflicted role. I admit after being a conscientious roll objector for decades I had a weak moment a couple of weeks ago when all the announcements about the up coming ʻAha elections started getting louder. I called Naʻi Aupuni. “Why doesn’t your mother’s birth certificate say Part-Hawaiian? ” the nice Naʻi Aupuni staffer asked.
“Because in 1923 no one wanted to be Hawaiian,” was my too honest answer.
He thought I had an “unusual case,” and should try contacting OHA, which is also still enrolling Hawaiians. Last time I counted I had 50 some relatives within a 1 mile radius. We have lived, loved, and died in Hawai’i generation after generation, since before Captain Cook was a sparkle in his parent’s eyes. Tant pis that my great-grandmother’s handwritten family genealogy, in ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i just isn’t good enough for the agents of the United States, the State of Hawaii, OHA, Kau Inoa, Kanaʻiolowalu and Naʻi Aupuni.
The biggest takeaway is that this whole DOI process is a red herring, and Jon needs to come back and continue de-mystifying the issues around Native Hawaiians and sovereignty.