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University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, East-West Center hosts Indigenous museum cohort

zoom meeting for Weaving a Net of Care for Oceanic Collections
Noelle Kahanu
Bi-weekly zoom meetings with the Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander museum cohort began on Jan 24, 2022.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of American Studies and East-West Center is hosting a cohort for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders working at museums and cultural heritage centers from around the world

“Weaving a Net of Care for Oceanic Collections” provides training on collections care, conservation and exhibition development for Oceanic exhibits.

What was meant to be a six-week in-person museum training in 2021 pivoted to a six-month virtual class because of the pandemic. The online classes spanned over seven different time zones. The cohort included representatives from Guam, Fiji, and Samoa.

Noelle Kahanu from the UH Mānoa Department of American Studies is the program director. She says, "You know, the standard, maybe best practices in a western context doesn't always fit when you're in Samoa, you know, or when you're on Lanaʻī."

"And this program has been in response to that need to really think about Indigenous decolonial practices in our museums and how can we assist staff and professionals in responding to the unique needs of their community and their museums," Kahanu told HPR.

The members will gather in person in July to set up a museum exhibit at the East-West Center that will be open to the public.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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