News & Events


August 5, 2013

One Ocean, Shared Waters, Shared Knowledges

Photos of One Ocean visits

On Saturday, February 23, 2013, the HU Center for Native Health & Culture partnered with IWRI to host 160 people at the “One Ocean, Shared Waters, Shared Knowledges” event at HU.  The gathering celebrated the sharing of indigenous knowledges and research partnerships for indigenous health equity in Aotearoa (New Zealand), Hawai’i, and Turtle Island (mainland North America).

The event started with an invocation by HU student leader, Haver Jim. Next, the attendees were delighted by beautiful dancing and singing by the girls (aged 3-18) of Iksíks Washanalá of the Toppenish Creek Longhouse, who graced the audience with a lovely performance of the Swan Dance. The girls’ teachers, Patricia Whitefoot, Marilee Jones, Marlene White, and Eleanor Davis, described the importance of the regalia and of the spirit of generosity that guides their group.

IPhotos of One Ocean visitsksísk Washanalá made gifts for the visiting guests, as well as all the elders attending the event. HU Provost, Dr. Curt Guaglianone, gave all of the girls a gift. The visiting scholars sang songs and told stories to share some of their Maori, Hawai’ian, and Samoan cultures. Gifts were exchanged between the guests and HU Center Director, Dr. Michelle Jacob and HU President, Dr. John Bassett. The guests gifted HU with a Maori flag and several books. HU Native American Club (HUNAC) provided guests with a lunch consisting of elk stew, salad, and wild celery.

Photos of One Ocean visits Presentations followed lunch.  Most of the scholars hailed from Te Whare Kura (TWK:, a Maori research institute at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  Dr. Brad Coombes (TWK- Geography and Environmental Management) spoke about indigenous sovereignty and environment.  Dr. Papaarangi Reid (TWK-Medical and Health Sciences) spoke about the science traditions among Maori peoples. Dr. Tracey McIntosh (TWK-Sociology) spoke about incarceration of indigenous peoples in prisons. Dr. Melani Anae (TWK-Pacific Studies) spoke about the Polynesian Panthers and indigenous activism. Ms. Everdina Fuli (TWK-Business Manager) spoke about collaboration and networking among Maori and Pacific communities.  Dr. Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula (University of Hawai’i, Manoa-Native Hawaiian Health) spoke about the history and trends of Native Hawaiian Health.

HUNAC students, led by President Debra Whitefoot, provided a closing song and Eleanor Davis offered a prayer. The audience and presenters were all grateful for the sharing of knowledges and cultures, and look forward to the next such exchange.


Photos of One Ocean visits— In late February 2013, IWRI had the honor of hosting a group of six indigenous scholars from the Pacific Rim.  Over the course of one week, they gave presentations and were graciously welcomed by the Suquamish Nation on Puget Sound, the Yakama People at Heritage University (HU) in Toppenish, Washington, and the UW.  This article was written by Dr. Michelle Jacob (Yakama), Director of the Center for Native American Health and Culture at HU (