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May 2020

PPP's Latest News, Views, and Updates!



L-R, Samoan Elders Po & Savea, Kori from Eco Canada, April & Mua at Climate Connect Indigenous Youth Camp

Talofa Lava Friends,

We are in an historic moment in time, one that has the potential to change our lives forever. While we are impacted differently in each part of the globe, we share the opportunity to address systemic changes and challenges that can positively transform our world, if we act together.

Early this month Pacific Peoples’ Partnership (PPP) marked our 45th Anniversary by launching a campaign for our Pacific Resilience Fund. Donations through this fund are distributed equitably throughout the South Pacific, and most importantly, they support Islander-led processes at the community level. Our local partners continue to work together and build resilience even in the face of recent crises, including COVID-19 and Cyclone Harold, both of which you will see covered with stories in this issue. PPP stands in solidarity with our friends and neighbors in the South Pacific – will you join us and be a part of building this legacy?

Makere – a recent donor to the Pacific Resilience Fund – wrote in the Maori language: “Tena koutou ki a koutou katoa, he koha iti, engari he koha aroha tenei…”  “We are with you all. A little gift, but this is a love gift…”

This sentiment is shared by PPP’s Samoan-Canadian President Muavae Va’a, who passionately shared his own stories of resilience and urged your solidarity. “As a Pacific Islander, it is important to me to support our peoples back home… Let’s begin today…even small amounts will be helpful.”  We invite you to watch his 8-minute video message.

While the immediate challenges of the recent cyclone and COVID-19 crises may take up our days, we are all adjusting to this new reality. PPP and our partners continue to work in physical isolation, but please know that we are working hard to make an impact – even virtually!

Within this edition of Pasifik Currents, you will find feature stories on our 45th Anniversary, updates from the HELP Resources Papua New Guinea project Vendors Collective Voices, inspiring stories from up and coming young female leaders, plus more people, program and news updates.

Save the date: “Giving Tuesday” will take place on May 5th as an emergency response to COVID-19. This is a global day of giving and unity that demonstrates the power of our collective generosity. Look to hear from us and the communities we are supporting in the South Pacific.

Thank you for continuing this Pacific Peoples’ Partnership journey. We look forward to you standing in solidarity with us well into the future!

April Ingham

Executive Director  

Pacific COVID-19 Updates

According to The Guardian’s weekly briefing on the Pacific on April 15, infection figures for the Pacific, while still low, more than doubled from the previous week. While Fiji, French Polynesia, and New Caledonia cases levelled out after their initial rise, they could rise again rapidly should containment efforts fail. A virtual meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum on April 7 led to the establishment of the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway for the Pacific (PHP-C), which “provides political commitment to the movement of humanitarian and medical assistance to countries affected by Covid-19, particularly where normal transport routes have been impeded by border closures.”  READ MORE

Forty-five Years and Counting: A Reflection on the Many Accomplishments of the Pacific Peoples’ Partnership

By Art Holbrook with grateful input by Jim Boutilier, PPP’s President Emeritus and Founder of SPPF

Victoria Peace Walk-Nuclear Free Pacific by ©Belau-Jurgen Pokrandt

The Pacific Peoples’ Partnership, or the South Pacific Peoples’ Foundation (SPPF) as it was known from 1975 to 2000, was founded in Canada as an adjunct of a U.S.-based organization, the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific whose main goal was to protest the nuclear tests. The U.S. link brought suspicion on SPPF because of the American nuclear testing. Recognizing this challenge to SPPF’s identity and desiring more autonomy, the organization soon broke away from its U.S. parent and became an independent organization.

Even as social justice and environmental issues grew in importance in SPPF’s early years, the foundation remained responsive to military issues. It lobbied against Canadian military participation in naval exercises targeting a Hawaiian island sacred to the indigenous people there. It also became a partner with Pacific Islanders in the Pacific Campaign Against Sea-Launched Cruise Missiles. SPPF’s role in that campaign was to alert global peace committees that, while land-based cruise missiles were being curtailed in Europe, those missiles were making their way to Pacific testing sites. READ MORE

Ottawa Youth Forum for Young Women Across Canada


 Chesa (front left) with Fellow Delegates
By Chesa Abma
 
Early this year, after hearing about an exciting opportunity from PPP Executive Director, April Ingham, I found out I was selected by the BC Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) to go with the Inter-Council Network (ICN) youth delegation to attend the 64th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The delegation was comprised of eight fierce young women from across the country, all working in and passionate about areas related to gender equality. After connecting with my fellow delegates through webinars and navigating my way through the event schedules, I was full of excitement about what I would experience. My focus for CSW64 was issues related to justice and Indigenous rights.  READ MORE

PPP Program & Partner Updates

HELP-Resources Project in PNG’s East Sepik Province, Year 2
By Jill Akara Bosro, Manager, Help Resources

 









In 2017 Pacific Peoples’ Partnership and HELP-Resources planned a three-year project to demonstrate effective, district-level implementation of the Papua New Guinea’s Informal Economy Act, and associated government policy and strategy. Funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, this pilot project aims to facilitate education, information and training that will motivate and support emerging vendors organisations and their leaders to find their collective voice while influence planning and budgeting for effective development. 
READ MORE for year 2 project updates and about HELP-R COVID Responses.
 


RedTide Summit Postponed due to COVID-19

In 2018 PPP was part of a remarkable project that saw the birth of the RedTide International Indigenous Climate Action Summit. This was hosted by Toitoi Manawa Trust in May 2018 in Te Kaha, Aotearoa (New Zealand). Attending that first RedTide was youth activist Kalilah Rampanen from the Nuu-chah-nulth Territory of Ahousaht on Vancouver Island, British Columbia which became the designated location and host for RedTide 2020. Kalilah was named youth Chair of RedTide 2020, working diligently with her family with the expressed permission and support of her Hereditary Chief Maquinna, towards hosting the next bi-annual summit in July 2020.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that all travel is now restricted for the foreseeable future, as is entry into this small Indigenous community. It has been a difficult but necessary decision to postpone the event. The Summit team is now looking at the possibility of hosting virtual programming this summer, and the Summit on Vancouver Island next year.

If COVID teaches us anything, it is that we are indeed interconnected and must work together in solidarity to responsibly halt the spread and successfully bring this pandemic to an end.
 


One Wave 2020 – Rain, Shine, or Online!
by Jaimie Sumner, PPP Operations Coordinator


Yes, we are still planning for a great big beautiful One Wave Gathering this Fall!  In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to connect with each other, find strength in our cultures, and practice solidarity. These goals are central to us at Pacific Peoples’ Partnership and to One Wave Gathering, our main annual event.

Held each year on Lekwungen territories in Victoria, B.C., One Wave is an award-winning event series celebrating Indigenous and Pacific culture, knowledge, and arts. One Wave is about getting together, sharing traditions, and building relationships across cultures. It’s a month-long gathering full of smiles, learning, good conversation, and of course, lots of socializing!  And even though we don’t know what social protocols will look like this September, we are committed to bringing you One Wave again – rain, shine, or online!  READ MORE
 


Reviewing and Enriching PPP’s Essential “Community Toolkit”
By Cedar Luke, PPP Intercultural Research Associate 


Pacific Peoples’ Partnership (PPP) has inspired me to cultivate my abilities to serve something greater. My name is Cedar Luke, I began to work with PPP in the first weeks of 2020 as an intern by means of a continuing studies program in Intercultural Education at the University of Victoria. PPP seemed to align well with my previous engagement in Indigenous Studies, Social Justice and Latin American Studies which I pursued throughout my undergraduate degree.

My work with PPP has allowed me to synthesize years of research and academic pursuits by bridging the university with a larger community vision. April Ingham, the executive director of PPP, has been an incredible guide, focusing my efforts to the benefit of the organization as well as the greater movement towards equity, inclusion, and social justice.  READ MORE

Peoples & Passages

Please welcome Jaimie Sumner as PPP’s Operations Coordinator. Jaimie started with us mid-March 2020, and after only two days on the job, we had to begin COVID-19 remote work placements. Despite this challenge, Jaimie has quickly become indispensable to our Team, and has risen to the task of helping with our annual September One Wave Gathering, plus fundraising for our Pacific Resilience Fund and supporting our communications. Jaimie worked previously for Habitat for Humanity as a manager of a Restore and has a background in utilizing the arts to build intercultural understanding and solidarity. See Jaimie’s full profile on our Team page.
 
There has been another unexplained death of a fishing observer in the South Pacific. PPP is deeply saddened by the death of Eritara Aati Kaierua. He left the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia to work as a fishing observer on a Taiwanese tuna purse seiner heading south, and died mysteriously about five weeks later while on board the ship. The father-of-four is the tenth Pacific fisheries observer to die on the lawless high seas in the last decade. To learn more about how to protect these essential workers, check out these actions.
 

Pacific Pulse

Check our Pacific Pulse which is designed to share news and views about events currently happening in the countries of Oceania. In this issue, we bring you the latest curated collection of selected stories.

Pacific Peoples’ Partnership Featured Partner:  RIKA!


 

PPP acknowledges our long-time supporter and partner RIKA!

For over a decade, RIKA has donated his art and graphic design skills to support Pacific Peoples’ Partnership and our programs such as One Wave Gathering.
 
RIKA is an Oceanscape artist in British Columbia, Canada working in brushed inks, watercolor and metallic leafing. His subject matter is the ocean surrounding the land he loves, the Pacific Northwest. As a socially-conscious artist
, he also produces art and supports organizations that address environment and social justice issues especially as they pertain to Indigenous and South Pacific peoples, and our shared environment.

       

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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Pacific Peoples' Partnership
Suite 407-620 View Street
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Canada

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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