“Whatever we produce must not be a version of our existing reality…it must be different, and of our own making. We should not forget that human reality is human creation. If we fail to create our own, someone else will do it for us by default.” – Epeli Hau’ofa, “A Beginning,” A New Oceania, 1993:128-9).”
With the increasing number of Micronesians migrating to Hawai‘i, it has become evident that these recent immigrants face many challenges after arriving in Hawai‘i, including assimilating to Hawaiian and American culture and accessing available services, without losing their home traditions and values. Sponsored by the Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity serving disadvantaged Native Hawaiian communities throughout the State, We Are Oceania (WAO) is a collaborative project aimed at centralizing the support system for all Micronesian communities, families and individuals in Hawaii. The goal is to open a WAO One-Stop-Micronesian Center dedicated to the development, implementation, and management of initiatives aimed at addressing various Micronesian community needs. A core team of Micronesian leaders and stakeholders mentored by the PIDF will lead the WAO project in its planning and implementation phases. Read more>>
We Are Oceania’s mission is to empower our Micronesian community to navigate success while honoring the integrity of our diverse heritage.
We Are Oceania (WAO) is led by a Core Team of Micronesian leaders in Hawai’i guided by an Advisory Council of leaders and partners in the community in partnerships with the Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF). Together, they will seek community-based support and funding and navigate the WAO initiative with the end goal of establishing an actual center with a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization status. Meet the Team>>
We are grateful to all of our major sponsors and partners. Mahalo! Mesulang! Kinisou Chapur! Si Yu’os Ma’ase! Komol Tata! Kalahngan! Kammagar! Kulo! Sa Hagichichig! Thank you! View>>
The name, We Are Oceania (WAO), is rooted in the history of the indigenous people who navigated the vast North Pacific known today as Micronesia. They used outrigger canoes (wa’a in Hawaiian) and their traditional way-finding knowledge, resources, etc…none more beloved in Hawaii than the late Papa Mau Piailug from the Micronesian island of Satawal in Yap State, FSM. Spanning thousands of open water, the Micronesian region is home to three sovereign US-affiliated island nations known as the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau (ROP). In a recent published Biography of Tosiwo Nakayama, Key member of the Compact Of Free Association Nations building core team: “Making Micronesia”, the author, David Hanlon described the late Nakayma’s expanded vision of Micronesia compare to the worldview of “Micronesia.” It is Nakayama’s indigenous vision making Micronesia “Macronesia”, and honors the role of the ocean which binds these islands together rather than separates them, and provides abundant resources for these islands instead of isolates them. WAO also means “The Canoe” in Chuukese, one of the languages of Micronesia.
Through the leadership of the Pacific Islander Student Center at UH Hilo, the Pacific Islander students at UH Hilo and Haw CC have composed the appropriate song called We Are Oceania which appropriately communicates the hopes and aspirations of the Micronesian people in the United States to be proud of their cultural heritage and peace and harmony. Listen Now>>