In early April 2019, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) Native Hawaiian Program Specialist Kalani Quiocho (pictured far right, with symposium participants) visited American Samoa to support and participate in the first-ever Fautasi Heritage Symposium, co-hosted by the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) and the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office, which was held a the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center.
The two-day symposium highlighted Samoan heritage of the fautasi watercraft and included perspectives about Hawaiian canoe heritage to carry an overall message that the canoe is the vessel that contains our cultural values and continues to empower our communities in the Pacific.
Through this exchange, and having culture at the forefront, PMNM and NMSAS staff were able to discuss ways that our sites could support one another and experience firsthand by meeting with NMSAS partners such as the National Park of American Samoa and the village community of Aunuʻu Island, which is part of the NMSAS Aunuʻu Sanctuary Unit.
For more information, contact Kalani.Quiocho@noaa.gov , Native Hawaiian Program Specialist.
Significance: Fautasi heritage in American Samoa is part of a larger cultural seascape that is rooted in Pacific Island traditions that allow our communities to access healthy and sustainable pathways for people and place. Through these collaborative site exchanges we connect to our vast ocean heritage.