Note: Hale Pai is no longer being published. These archives of passed issues will remain available as long as there is interest. - Courtesy of San Jose Web


Hale Pai
Pacific American News Journal

Mei-May 1996 Volume 2 Issue 5

The Voyage Home

Hawai`iloa's Northwest Voyage

On Saturday, April 6 at Kane Hall on the University of washington campus, the premier of "The Voyage Home", Hawai`iloa's Northwest Voyage was held. This documentary by Williams Productions follows the journey of the Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Hawai`iloa, up the Northwest's Inland Passage. The spruce logs used to build the two hulls of Hawai`iloa came from the Northwest Native - owned SeAlaska corporation and were a gift to the Hawaiians when the search for logs in Hawai`i yielded nothing large enough. This voyage was to thank the Native peoples, and to show them how the logs were used. It became a powerful and moving interaction between two indigenous peoples.

The Voyage Home, Hawai`iloa's Northwest Voyage is a one hour documentary and will be shown on KCTS-TV Channel 9, Thursday May 30 at 8 PM.

The premier was a benefit to thank the people involved and to help defray the costs of the production. Dignitaries from the Hawaiian and Pacific Northwest First Nations were present including Judson Brown of SeAlaska (who offered the logs), and Ernie Hillman of SeAlaska Corp. Representatives of the Suquamish, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Swinomish, Lummi, Tsimshian, Haida, Tlingit peoples attended as well as Canadian First Peoples and Hawaiians. Iwalani Christian and Colin Kippen acted as masters of ceremony.

The premier began with a prayer and chant by Gene Jones, spiritual leader of the Suquamish people, and an oli (chant) by Iwalani Christian and her halau Na Lei O Manuakepa. Iwalani and Colin recognized and thanked the dignitaries and sponsors including those listed above and the Bishop Museum, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Wayfinders of the Pacific, City of Seattle Parks Department, and the Makana 'Ohana.

Ellen Ferguson of the Burke Museum was introduced and she briefly discussed the Hale Naua (House of Hawaiian artists) an exhibit which will be at the museum this October through February. The exhibit, which originated in San Diego, showcases traditional and contemporary Hawaiian art and artists.

Colin introduced Karin Williams of Williams Communications as the producer and director of "The Voyage Home". Ms Williams acknowledged the people who helped her on the project. She then introduced the representative of Pacific Islanders Communications who showed a 20 minute video synopsis of the work P.I.C. has recently done in the Puget Sound area.

After the video, Ms. Williams came back and introduced "The Voyage Home". The documentary was an hour in length and showed footage of the voyage beginning in the Puget Sound area and ending in Haines, Alaska. All along the route Native Americans and Hawaiians met, celebrated, and shared. Brother Noland and Tony Conjugacion provided the music for the film. The film was well received with a terrific ovation. Comments ranged from "It gave me chicken skin" to "absolutely amazing".

After the showing people had a chance to visit the exhibitors and attend the reception upstairs where they were able to meet the principals and enjoy cake and punch.

Pila Laronal commented on the make up of the crowd -- it was about 60% non-local and 40% local, showing an amazing community-wide interest in the story of the canoe.

The premier was considered by all principals a tremendous success and a fitting tribute to an amazing canoe and the bonds it forged between two native peoples.


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Copyright 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998

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