August 2020

Pasifik Currents August 2020
Executive Letter

Members of the 2020 One Wave Gathering team explore collaborations with the Legacy Gallery's Reef Net Exhibition. L to R: Tana Thomas, April Ingham, Lisa Kenoras, Jeff Corntassel and Zachary Fenn.

Talofa Lava,
Pacific Peoples’ Partnership’s (PPP) annual One Wave Gathering was designed to engage and build community and inspire stewardship of our shared lands and waters while upholding and celebrating Pacific and Indigenous elders, artists, cultural leaders and knowledge keepers. As detailed in this edition of Pasifik Currents, the theme of this year’s program is resilience and allyship, both essential building blocks for solidarity as we address COVID-19 here at home and across our shared Pacific Ocean. Throughout September, One Wave Gathering will offer attendees safe spaces to reflect on these themes through a diverse program of online and in-person Indigenous and Pacific film, music, dialogue, and workshops. We hope to see you there!
This is a moment where our collective innovation is required as we navigate these rough waters together and envision our route forward. Our goal is to ensure a future that is more just, sustainable, and equitable for all. One that does not endorse false or dangerous economies that pit people’s health, lands, and waters against dangerous extractive practices, such as land-based or deep-sea mining, or in hosting tourists amidst a pandemic.
This is a time where we must embrace our youth as agents of change and support grassroots community programs. In service to these goals, PPP is so excited to share that we are hosting a new Pacific Islander and Indigenous youth committee that is exploring Stories of Resilience with their communities. This project will serve as a pathway for personal learning and a means to share cultural teachings and inspirations. Watch for this developing program in the months to come. PPP is also thrilled to announce our new partnership with the Women and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC) of Tonga, funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. WCCC will provide essential remote island COVID-19 mobile counselling support and services to help eliminate violence against women and children.
Given these challenging times, PPP is proud to officially mark our 45th Anniversary with the installation and dedication of the Pacific Peace House Post. Two years in the making, this 10-foot yellow cedar post was carved by local Lekwungen carver Bradley Dick and Ake Lianga, a Solomon Island artist living in Victoria, Canada. This Post honours Hereditary and Elected Lekwungen Indigenous leaders and will be permanently perched above the Pacific Ocean near the entrance to Victoria’s inner harbour at Macaulay Point. This stunning carving also commemorates our historic relationships across the Pacific, and we look forward to sharing this with you once it is officially dedicated.
In the meantime, we invite you to join us at all our upcoming events and to help celebrate our 45th anniversary by donating or volunteering towards our partnered work and future sustainability. We are deeply grateful to all friends of PPP who have stood with us along the way.
Yours in peace and solidarity,


April Ingham

Executive Director  

One Wave is Back in September …
with many Online and In-Person Events!

By Jaimie Sumner,
PPP Operations Coordinator & One Wave Program Coordinator

Pearls of the South Pacific Dancers at One Wave 2018. Credit: Heather Tuft

It’s September, and our 13th annual One Wave Gathering is once again brightening the streets of Victoria, BC in beautiful Lekwungen territories!  One Wave is a free, family-friendly celebration of Pacific Island and Indigenous cultures organized by Pacific Peoples’ Partnership each year.  This year’s gathering is focused on the themes of resilience and allyship and will feature arts and culture events including Indigenous opera, digital media, theatre, film, workshops, and more. [Read More.]

David and Goliath on the Sepik River

By Art Holbrook,
PPP Board Member and Chair of the Communications Committee

Aerial view of Sepik River in the lowlands of Papua New Guinea.  ©Arthur Holbrook

The Sepik River is the longest river in Papua New Guinea.  It originates in the central highlands of the country before finding its way onto the flatlands of the northeast coast of the country.  There, it takes a meandering course through the homelands of the Iatmul people, one of the largest language and cultural groups on the river.  The Iatmul are only one of a number of cultures depending on the river, home to some 400,000 people. [Read More.]

Deep-Sea Mining in
Tonga, Nauru and Kiribati

By Peter Boldt,
PPP Multi-Media Coordinator

The Patania II used to collect polymetallic nodules from the seafloor in the Clarion Clipperton Zone. Image: DEME Group
Deep Sea Mining – Not the silver bullet we are searching for

Deep-sea mining has been lauded as a worthwhile economic opportunity, particularly for Small-Island Developing States (SIDS) whose economies rely heavily on tourism. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many national governments are struggling to provide employment and have implemented austerity measures to soften economic shocks. Desperation has intensified the pressure to grant DSM licenses as transnational corporations seek to take advantage of the uncertain economic climate to push their agendas.

[Read More.]

Pasifik Pulse News Brief

COVID-19 in the Pacific and a Concert to Unite
Prepared by Andy E. Nystrom, PPP Archivist & Research Assistant

As of early September, Tonga has no confirmed COVID-19 cases, and entry
restrictions prohibit most travellers from entering the country. Credit: Tonga
Tourism Authority

A universal truth in 2020 is that everyone has to deal with COVID-19 in some form or another, even if you live in one of the few locations left in the world with no cases. Although remote, many areas in the Pacific Islands have been hit with the virus. [Read More.]
“A Paradise Teeming with Life”
New Guinea’s plant diversity the greatest in the world
Prepared by Zachary Fenn,
PPP Development Coordinator

New Guinea man canoes under palms. ©Art Holbrook

A new study suggests that New Guinea holds the greatest plant diversity of any island in the world, as reported recently in an article from The Guardian. This title was previously attributed to Madagascar, which is now thought to have 19% less variety than New Guinea. To arrive at this conclusion, 99 scientists from 56 institutions and 19 countries have scanned through countless samples, some of which were catalogued by early European travellers in the 1700s. Unlike Madagascar, which was catalogued in large part by 2008, biological research in New Guinea has been slower due to the island’s rugged terrain. [Read More.]
Palm Oil and Food Insecurity in Papua
Prepared by Tana Thomas,
PPP Arts and Culture Coordinator

Merauke and Boven Digoel, the districts in southern Papua
where oil palm estates are concentrated.

In Papua, Indonesia’s largest and easternmost province of Indonesia, large scale palm oil plantation developments are not only threatening animal and plant species, but also the caretakers that have sustained these species for thousands of years. Sophie Chao, an anthropologist at the University of Sydney, has spent years working with the Indigenous Marind people of southern Papua. In her powerful article, she sheds light on the severe impacts that new palm oil plantations are having on the region. What she has discovered in her in-community work is that the Marind people are increasingly unable to obtain their traditional foods and are suffering from malnutrition. [Read More.]

Peoples & Passages

A New Home for a Local Pacific Family
Prepared by Jaimie Sumner,
PPP Operations Coordinator

The Savea family in Victoria, B.C. is excited that Habitat for Humanity is
helping them invest in their family's future.


We are thrilled to share the news that a local Indigenous / Pacific Islander family, Tina and Niu Savea and their 3 kids, is getting a new home! The Savea family has Cree and Samoan roots and has been working toward a house of their own for years. Earlier this year, they found out that their dream was to come true through a partnership program with Habitat for Humanity Victoria. [Read More.]

Update on the Health of Sepik Master Carver, Teddy Balangu
Prepared by Carol Mayer

Carol and Teddy Balangu 2017 Carol Mayer

Last Fall, PPP and Friends were disturbed to hear of a medical crisis facing long-time friend Teddy Balangu, a master carver in the Sepik Region of Papua New Guinea.  Several of his Canadian friends took a collection to help with travel and medical interventions necessary for his treatment.  After a long delay without response, PPP was delighted to receive a call from Teddy last week noting he is back in his home village and in remission. He expressed gratitude to all his friends, including PPP Board Member and Museum of Anthropology Curator Carol Mayer...[Read More.]
Johnny Edmonds, A Champion of Indigenous Tourism
Prepared by Dani McDonald,
Communications/Media, New Zealand Māori Tourism

We learned with heavy hearts that our dear friend and colleague, Johnny Edmonds passed away in May 2020. Johnny was a stickler for detail and flag bearer for the development and strengthening of indigenous tourism. For Johnny, tourism was a vehicle for indigenous people to tell their own stories. It is because of his foresight that New Zealand Māori Tourism exists today.
[Read More.]

Pacific Peoples’ Partnership
Featured Partner: 
MediaNet FLUX Gallery

MediaNet is a non-profit organization in Victoria that offers local community members access to the tools and training to create and present their own digital art and media. We acknowledge their long-time partnership with PPP including support of our annual One Wave Gathering, and other programs designed to respectfully encourage the creative vision and voices of Indigenous and South Pacific artists.

MediaNet has collaborated with PPP in many ways, offering access to film and video equipment to record educational events; providing training in media technology to our staff, volunteers and program participants; plus they have extended us the generous use of their creative studio and FLUX Gallery. Be sure to check out our latest collaboration at the FLUX Gallery, the digital media and art show Together / As One from September 3-18.

Since 1975, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership has supported the aspirations of South Pacific Islanders and Indigenous peoples for peace, environmental sustainability, social justice and community development.  

Based on Lekwungen territory in Victoria BC, Canada, we are Canada's only non-profit organization and registered charity focused specifically on the island nations of the South Pacific. Our programs reach members and supporters in more than 35 countries worldwide.

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For over forty years, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership has supported the aspirations of South Pacific Islanders and Indigenous peoples for peace, environmental sustainability, social justice and community development.  

Situated (guests) on Lekwungen territory in Victoria BC, Canada, we are Canada's only non-profit organization and registered charity focused specifically on the island nations of the South Pacific. Our programs reach people in more than 20 countries worldwide.


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