He Au Honua 2021


About He Au Honua

He Au Honua: Indigenous Research Conference will be held on Maui, Hawaiʻi from Tuesday, March 19 to Friday, March 22, 2019. The opening ceremonies will be a shared event with the Native Hawaiian Education Association at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. A lūʻau dinner to follow. The conference is hosted by the Native Hawaiian Education Association.

He Au Honua Conference Title:

He Au Honua derives from the Maori term He Manawa Whenua, the conference title over the last six years where it originated from. He Manawa Whenua is a term for a subterrainal aquifer or an underground spring. Water is life, and because a Manawa Whenua originates deep within the earth, Māori believe it is a most precious resource vital for the well-being of the people. This conference was gifted to Hawaiʻi in 2017 to signify the close ancestral ties between Maori and Kanaka Maoli. In keeping with the original title, He Au Honua where Au– not only refers to era, but also current, be it water, wind, or otherwise. Honua, meaning Earth, yet in other Polynesian languages, the honua (or cognates thereof) could also mean placenta. Being that we are of the honua, the new title suggests that this is our time to come forth more so than we already have. At the heart, of ancestral knowledge is research. Therefore this conference proposes to explore the pool of ancestral or indigenous knowledge and research under the following theme:

I Mana ka Mauli, I Mauli ka Mana

Life is Divine Power, Divinely Powerful is Life

MANA and MAULI exist in all things but the way in which they are seen, understood and utilized are varied and different. Mana is the power we have to influence things in the world, and mauli is the inner life-force inherent, as well as developed, within us. I Mana ka Mauli, I Mauli ka Mana our life force and our spiritual, intellectual, cultural power draw from each other. This speaks to our indigenous intellectual framework that includes our kuleana and relationship with nā akua (divine, supernatural), ʻohana (familial, cultural) and ‘āina (rooted in, related to and responsible for the land/ocean). We have chosen the theme for this conference to continue the movement from the last He Manawa Whenua conference of Indigenous Sovereignty.

Global projects spanning 35 years of engagement with Indigenous Elders and Sacred Site Guardians, WISN works from the leading edge of applied Indigenous research through integrating the best of western and Native Sciences. Offering the academic community education rooted in Ceremony, Ancestral Healing and Decolonization, WISN developed the Indigenous Mind Program, an advanced degree program for students of multi-tribal backgrounds in search of Indigenous roots and identity. Guided and attended by Elders, the program holds space for scholars, activists, artists, and healers of different cultural lineages to explore life-ensuring buffer zones and bridges between western and Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Investigation of an early 18th century Chickasaw settlement that revealed a continuation of customs practiced within the society both then and now.

In this presentation we will discuss a variety of indigenous-inspired activities and approaches to engage Native Hawaiian undergraduate STEM students. This unique approach served as a spark for some of the students to pursue graduate or professional degree programs who are now Postdoctoral Pharmaceutical Science researchers or practicing Pharmacists. We will describe activities to engage undergraduate students in their STEM exploration and additional activities to integrate student’s indigenous cultural values into their graduate/professional education and training. Attendees will be invited to participate in an indigenous-inspired learning activity and to share their ideas and experiences.

For most Indigenous peoples, genealogy entails complex layers of dynamic relationships between humans, the environment and the spirit realms. These relationships often lie at the heart of traditional knowledge systems and the intergenerational transmission of mythology, legend, history, esoteric knowledge, customs and protocols for ethical behaviour. This workshop describes an initiative undertaken by researchers and whānau of Ngāti Tiipa, from the Waikato region of Aotearoa, to develop from scratch their own cloud-based digital archive centred around the establishment of historical whakapapa (genealogical) and whenua (land) databases. There are three key parts. The first focuses on the development of a whakapapa database focused on the identification of 19th century Ngāti Tiipa tūpuna (ancestors). We describe the process of data repatriation and triangulation used to collect information from state and church archives, land courts, vital data sets (e.g, births, deaths) and historical newspapers, and how these data have been repurposed by Ngāti Tiipa, drawing on our own mātauranga (customary knowledge), whānau whakapapa collections and kōrero shared in marae-based gatherings. The second part describes the ‘by whānau, for whānau’ approach taken to recording the oral histories of Ngāti Tiipa kaumātua (elders) to bring to life our ancestral stories and connections. We discuss the way Ngāti Tipa are developing our own oral history research practice and how we see its long term value to our people in the future. The third part describes the development of tikanga and kawa (ethics, processes, principles) that will be used to guide access and use of information in the digital Ngāti Tiipa archive, drawing on emergent principles of Māori and Indigenous data sovereignty.

Launched in 2018 for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and National Women’s Health Week, the Haumea initiative explores exemplary assets, strengths, and wisdom of Native Hawaiian wāhine according to traditional Hawaiian culture. Haumea translates research and data using a cultural and social determinants of health framework. More than one hundred policies, practice, and programming recommendations were compiled from community action planning and culturally-informed best practices. Grounded in the Kūkulu Hou Methodology, this report explores the role of wāhine in Native Hawaiian society before forced assimilation; going on to describe current post-colonial barriers inhibiting the empowerment of their well-being today. This report analyzed numerous national surveillance systems and state population surveys to produce the most comprehensive disaggregated data set for Native Hawaiian females across the lifespan in social, cultural, environmental, and political contexts. Native Hawaiian women and girls experience severe inequities across every generation. Major content is organized into six chapters, each with a consistent framework while presenting stories from wāhine change-makers by means of testimonials. Direct recommendations for equity efforts across all sectors, in all policies, should lead a movement which prioritizes women and girls in Hawaii while simultaneously honoring their indigeneity. This report is a call to action in order to improve the health of our next generation of wāhine: we must continue to advocate for better methods of integrating cultural values and resiliency across government agencies, uplifting community-based programming and create expert coalitions across beneficiary named trusts. Several successful policies, programmatic and community development programs have resulted from this initiative and will be presented during this session as one way to measure its impact.

The growing presence of Maori knowledge (matauranga Māori) in psychology represents a trend to resist the dominance of Western psychology as a universal paradigm of wellbeing for Maori. The desire to provide alternative solutions, within an Indigenous worldview, to address inequities in health and wellbeing outcomes are also drivers for change. Indigenous psychology, as that alternative, is premised on social, spiritual, and ecological connections that emphasise an interrelated, cultural-self, and flourishing, collective wellbeing. These relational concepts contrast against individualism and mind-body, reductionist psychologies inherent in western psychology. Using a Māori-centred, theoretical lens, this paper describes the results of research conducted with Indigenous psychologists who, upon graduating from mainstream psychology training, reclaimed traditional healing knowledge. Each practitioner highlighted the unique dimensions of wellbeing as being intimately tied to family, place, language, the creative and performing arts, the environment and spirituality. By uncovering our cultural epistemologies as legitimate cornerstones to building our Indigenous psychology, we have stepped closer to enabling aspirations of self-determination, transformation and equity for our people. The growing presence of Maori knowledge (matauranga Māori) in psychology represents a trend to resist the dominance of Western psychology as a universal paradigm of wellbeing for Maori. The desire to provide alternative solutions, within an Indigenous worldview, to address inequities in health and wellbeing outcomes are also drivers for change. Indigenous psychology, as that alternative, is premised on social, spiritual, and ecological connections that emphasise an interrelated, cultural-self, and flourishing, collective wellbeing. These relational concepts contrast against individualism and mind-body, reductionist psychologies inherent in western psychology. Using a Māori-centred, theoretical lens, this paper describes the results of research conducted with Indigenous psychologists who, upon graduating from mainstream psychology training, reclaimed traditional healing knowledge. Each practitioner highlighted the unique dimensions of wellbeing as being intimately tied to family, place, language, the creative and performing arts, the environment and spirituality. By uncovering our cultural epistemologies as legitimate cornerstones to building our Indigenous psychology, we have stepped closer to enabling aspirations of self-determination, transformation and equity for our people.

Connecting the sky and ocean, sails provided the means by which our Polynesian and Māori ancestors traversed Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean). Held in the British Museum collection, Te Rā, is an intriguing piece of Māori technology. It is a traditional Māori sail woven in native plant material and the only known sail of its kind in existence today. Although Te Rā was closely studied by early ethnographers, its cultural context, has been largely overlooked. We propose to discuss Te Rā as indigenous researchers; one a weaving practitioner, the other a museum professional. In this paper we seek to give voice to how taonga ‘instantiate’ deep beliefs about a Māori view of the world by exploring Te Ra’s woven techniques employed in the construction, and the cultural values she embodies. The challenge for us today is to ensure that this integral part of our culture as a seafaring people remains not as a relic in a museum. but as a signpost for how we might reclaim embodied ancestral knowledge of restorative and healing values for Māori and indigenous communities

Early findings will be presented on the hula tradition of Joseph Kealiʻiakamoku ʻĪlālāʻole-o-Kamehameha (1873-1965) with emphasis on the analysis of the kuhilima of ʻĪlālāʻole or ʻĪlālāʻole hula motions and its relationship to the Hawaiian language text of eighteen hula chants. The analysis of the motions and the text will provide insight into the hula motions of ʻĪlālāʻole, a native Hawaiian language speaker of Puna, Hawaiʻi.