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WiPC:E thoughts

As a part of a presentation group, I was fortunate to be able to attend the World Indigenous People's Conference on Education (WiPC:E), May 19 - 23, 2014. The 'Aha Wahine was also held on May 23, and I attended that as well. In addition, I worked on KS' committee to support WiPC:E efforts, and coordinated and regularly stocked the free informational table WiPC:E coordinators gave to KS.

WiPC:E is an international conference, and so it was a real treat to see indigenous efforts around the world. Here are a few thoughts:
1. So many of the other indigenous groups had not integrated technology into culture as fully as Hawaiians, and especially Kamehameha Schools denizens, have, both in the classroom (eg, only seeing the use of basic presentation and storytelling software) and in everyday life (eg, many participants only had use of clamshell-style, pay-as-you-go cell phones). For me, it really put in perspective both how blessed we are here, and how important it is for us to be technological innovators, in order to inspire others.

2. Because all presentation proposals were accepted, there was a real mix of presentation types: dance demonstrations, academic and doctoral work presentations, program summaries, hands-on workshops, and more. It was good to see, because both culture and education need to exist in multiple arenas in order to thrive.

3. The 'Aha Wahine was also very interesting, and one of my favorite presentations of the entire week was by Ku Kahakalau and her daugthers, about pre-Christian Hawaiian spirituality that families could practice at home. Women, from teenagers to kupuna, attended. I feel that one of the goals of the 'Aha Wahine is to support women of all ages, as they look for ways to support, inspire, and nurture their families and communities, and this presentation was definitely representative of that sentiment.

4. Many of the presentations that I attended at both WiPC:E and the 'Aha Wahine had a lot to do with personal journeys, and storytelling. A Torres Strait Islander woman who had written an biography about her grandfather showed us this song lyric someone had written about the man. To me, it symbolizes so much of what my WiPC:E experience: technology, narrative, journeys, and a connection between indigenous peoples and the natural world:


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