Around the world, the way we navigate every day has changed dramatically even in the last two decades. From maps and compasses, we now use GPS and smartphones. Today, the average American has more advanced navigational technology in their pocket than all of the Europeans of the Exploration Age combined. On sea and on land, we continue to develop new methods of finding our way, but don’t always think about the different attitudes or assumptions that shape the way we navigate. As students explore their connection to the environment around them, Hawaii is an incredible place to consider the tools we have, to better understand human ingenuity, and get to know different systems of innovation and wayfinding in our world.
Students will explore the methods of navigation that come from Hawaii juxtaposed with more "modern" or western alternatives. From telescope construction on sacred lands to land usage and development, we will look at key tension points between Native Hawaiian rights and mainland American culture. Importantly, we will question how navigation and our relationship with technology and place is built on diverse cultural systems.
Students will experience the Islands from many lenses: tourist and local, mainlander and Hawaiian to:
- understand issues of Native Hawaiian rights
- explore our connections to the environment around us
- look at key tension points between Native Hawaiian rights and mainland American culture
- understand the Hawaiian connection between land, volcanoes, water, and navigation and how that can be transferred to their home-view
Students will engage with native Hawaiian Islanders from the Polynesian Voyager Society, students from the King Kamehameha Schools and other native based youth programs to work on a wayfaring project and engage in culture-based activities.