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Celebrating the Moananuiākea a Voyage for Earth: Chapter 2 Navigating the traditional waters of Southeast

Sealaska believes that a better future for people and the planet is within reach. Join us for a four-part video series exploring ocean health, navigating the waters of Southeast Alaska and the ways in which the ocean connects us to our relatives across the Pacific.

Byron Mallott at the 2019 Empowering our Traditions of Exploration Conference

In June, Southeast Alaska was honored to welcomed Hawaiian relatives from the Polynesian Voyaging Society to the traditional lands of the A’akw and Taku Kwáan people for their latest expedition: Moananuiākea, a voyage for earth. The voyage aims to inspire a new generation of navigators to face the coming storms, hoping to foster within them the resilience needed to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

As we prepared to greet our relatives from across the Pacific, we gathered a number of individuals with roots connecting them to PVS. The close relationship between Sealaska and PVS is long-standing and dates to the early 90’s, when a team of Sealaska leaders connected with PVS navigators attempting to build a traditional Hawaiian wa’a (canoe), eventually offering to donate the logs needed to craft the wa’a’s twin hulls.

Polynesian Voyaging Society recognized guiding elders in 2019. Pictured are Ernie Hillman (former Sealaska Lands Manager) and Judson Brown (former Sealaska director).

In the second chapter of this series, we reflect upon the strong leaders of Sealaska’s past, whose empathy, generosity and dedication to the spirit of fellowship forged a lasting relationship between Southeast Alaska and Hawaii. This connection between Sealaska and with PVS began with the leadership of Byron Mallott (former Sealaska President and CEO), Ernie Hillman (former Sealaska Lands Manager) and Judson Brown (former Sealaska director). Each is remembered for the legacy of kinship they created through this partnership.