‘Ulu’ulu crew attends International Conference on Indigenous Archives, Libraries & Museums (Palm Springs, CA)

Palm Springs, California ~ sunny skies and 100 degree weather

Palm Springs, California ~ sunny skies and 100 degree weather

Two of our ‘Ulu‘ulu crew, Shavonn Matsuda and Koa Luke, attended the International Conference on Indigenous Archives, Libraries & Museums in Palm Springs, California last week. The annual conference is organized by the Association of Tribal Libraries, Archives, & Museums. It brought about 600 librarians, archivists, museum specialists, cultural practitioners and others from around the world together to discuss current challenges and successes related to developing and sustaining the cultural sovereignty of Native Nations. Topics included preservation, collections care, digitization, documentation, access protocols, project management, education, academic outreach, language revitalization, funding, and more.

Shavonn and Koa met people from all over, including Alaska, Canada, Washington, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Washington D.C., California, and the Philippines. Shavonn even got to listen to a presentation by a Maasai woman who traveled all the way from her home in Africa to share about her tribe’s effort to create a Maasai Culture Heritage Center to “inspire the community to preserve indigenous knowledge for generations to come.”

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Still, it wasn’t just ‘Ulu‘ulu that was in attendance from Hawai‘i… some of ‘Ulu‘ulu’s partnering institutions also attended and presented – Hula Preservation Society (Kahikina Whittle and Keau George), Office of Hawaiian Affairs (Kale Hannahs), Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies (Pi‘ilani Ka‘aloa and Kauwela Valeho-Novikoff), and Bishop Museum (Noa Dettweiler-Pavia) – along with other Hawai‘i organizations, like the Hawaiian Historical Society, Kanu o ka ‘Āina Learning ‘Ohana, Papahana Kuaola, and Nā Hawai‘i ‘Imi Loa. So, in addition to being able to share about all the awesome work being done here in Hawai‘i with others from around the world, the conference provided a chance for our ‘Ulu‘ulu crew to get together with representatives from these local organizations and talk story about the work we are doing and the importance of forums like these that engage information professionals and cultural practitioners alike.

And, Koa and Shavonn didn’t just attend and network at the conference, rather they took advantage of the opportunity to present about the work they do at ‘Ulu‘ulu, at the University of Hawai‘i, and in our communities.

Koa Luke presenting his poster

Koa presenting his poster

Koa presented a poster titled “I Ka Wā Ma Mua, Ka Wā Ma Hope (The Past Guides the Future): Cataloging Native Hawaiian Content” covering the work we do at ‘Ulu‘ulu, mainly the creation of a Hawaiian Language Subject Index.

Shavonn co-presented two separate sessions. The first, “Ka Waihona: Repository of Ways of Knowing,” offered insights into how a modern special collection retains generations of ancestral ways of knowing and expands its offerings through ongoing knowledge generation.

'Ulu'ulu's Shavonn Matsuda (middle) with co-presenters Pi'ilani Ka'aloa (left) and Kauwela Valeho-Novikoff (right) from Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies presenting on Waihona

Shavonn (middle) with co-presenters Pi’ilani Ka’aloa (left) and Kauwela Valeho-Novikoff (right) presenting on Waihona

The second, “Ho‘okele Na‘auao: Navigating Collaborative Partnerships to Advance Indigenous Stewardship,” detailed the goals, planning process, and challenges and successes of the Hawaiian Librarianship Symposium hosted by Nā Hawai‘i ‘Imi Loa, Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, and the UH Mānoa Library & Information Science program last September; mainly focusing on the partnerships and collaborative tools that made it such a well-attended event.

During these presentations and throughout the conference, Koa and Shavonn connected with people working on similar issues across the globe and are hopeful that their expanded network (of friends and colleagues) will provide an avenue for support in the work we do at ‘Ulu‘ulu and the work being done in tribal and other indigenous communities. They also hope to be able to visit the awesome people they’ve met in the near future 😉 … and offer an invitation to each of them and to the ATALM community as a whole to visit us here at UH West O‘ahu anytime!

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