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Celebrating the Moananuiākea Voyage for Earth: Chapter 1 Navigating the traditional waters of Southeast

Sealaska believes that a better future for people and 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.

A young navigator explores supports the crew of the Hōkūleʻa. The Hōkūleʻa is a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe.

In June 2023, Southeast Alaska was honored to welcome Hawaiian relatives from the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) 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.

The first chapter of this series explores this shared history and our collective identity as navigators and people of the ocean. We were honored to sit down with navigators from near and far to reflect upon our combined history, focusing on the leadership from Sealaska that helped shape this powerful relationship that spans oceans, decades and even death itself.