Recently Mua (Muavae) Va’a President of PPP and I went to an inspiring talk organized by our partners at CIRCLE that featured Dr. Noenoe Silva & Dr. Noelani Goodyear-Ka’opua. Both women are highly respected Hawaiian scholars and were presenting on the efforts of several Hawaiian women, all heroes who fought to keep their languages, cultures, teachings and lands intact for the generations to come.
Noelani was reading from a book she edited entitled Nā Wāhine Koa: Hawaiian Women for Sovereignty and Demilitarization about four of these women. Following the presentation, an audience member asked about the effects of tourism on the Polynesian peoples within Hawaii. This led to a spirited discussion around greed and globalization. The question: well, what can we do about this… was beautifully addressed by a quote Noelani shared from this book:
“We gotta fight. Why do we have to fight every bloody day? Every fricken day, we need to fight and fight and fight, just to keep our place in this world today. I see this, and then I look at our children. They’re so far away from us. Their culture, their thinking, their attitudes. We got to fight.” — Maxine Kahaulelio.
This past few months have been ones of much reflection and celebration on the power of women and the importance of solidarity to hold up these courageous warriors, fierce mothers, peace makers, and all who strive to make a difference in their families and world. Pacific Peoples Partnership (PPP) has been honoured to host several programs this spring featuring such women changemakers.
For International Women’s Day this past March, PPP hosted a luncheon, Artist talk and mini-workshop featuring visiting Australian Erub Arts Group Artist Florence Gutchen (Torres Strait) and Australian Arts Administrator Lynette Griffiths. It was incredible to spend time with them both and learn about how this women’s collective transforms fishing net marine debris that litters their shorelines, into works of art that portray ocean creatures, while educating about the impacts of global consumerism, food security and our collective waste. It was an immersive experience to learn from them as I created my very own sea turtle from fishing nets, some of which were collected off our northern Pacific coastlines. Please visit a full background article on the art initiative of the Erub Arts Group from our March 2019 issue of Pasifik Currents.
PPP is truly fortunate to be working in support of women in Papua New Guinea who work in the informal markets within the project Vendors Collective Voice. Our lead partner for the project implementation is HELP-Resources, they are now fully engaged in year two of the three-year Commonwealth Foundation funded program recently reported in our winter edition article titled: “HELP Resources and Pacific Peoples’ Partnership Collaborate to Strengthen Sepik Women Market and Street Vendors’ Collective Voice in Shaping Informal Economy Development.” We are pleased that our long-time respected partner and project technical adviser Elizabeth (Sabet) Cox, has officially joined the team as an Australian-sponsored volunteer to provide capacity support for the HELP-Resources Team. The growing team (as noted in the Peoples & Passages section) will develop training opportunities, tool kits, and resources to support the women market vendors as they advocate for more just market conditions. In addition, we are preparing to expand the program vision as it is our hope to build upon this program to ensure its sustainability and success well into the future for the benefit of the Sepik women and their families.
Last but certainly not least, within a week 7000+ women from around the world will be descending upon Vancouver for the Women Deliver international conference from June 3-6, 2019. PPP is excited to announce that along with our key partner the BC Council for International Cooperation and Mobilization Canada, we have received the permission of the Squamish Nation, Musqueam Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation to install four temporary Longhouses from our 2017 award winning public program within their shared traditional territories.
The Longhouses will be installed together once again as a village to honour women and provide community-accessible hospitality and dialogue space within Harbour Green Park, which is a short 5 minutes walk from Canada Place – the main event venue for the Conference. Check out the Longhouse Dialogues if you are in Vancouver, as the Longhouses will be installed from May 31 – June 5. Help us welcome the world’s women!
Hope to see you there!
April Ingham, Executive Director
Pacific Peoples’ Partnership
PPP needs your support! During the month of June, we will be running a special fundraising campaign called the Great Canadian Giving Challenge. Every single dollar donated through our Canada Helps donation portal, will qualify PPP for one entry into a draw for $10,000 towards our work. Please consider donating this June in support of our work!