Hōkūleʻa Update | May 18, 2016: Washington DC Arrival
On Wednesday evening, the iconic Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa and her crew were greeted with a welcoming ceremony at the Washington Canoe Club on Water Street. White House dignitaries and members of the Hawai‘i congressional delegation were present to usher the canoe into the nation’s capital.
Christy Goldfuss, director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, announced the sighting of the Hōkūle‘a and briefed the audience gathered at the canoe club of the welcoming event.
Hōkūle‘a arrived at the destination escorted by a canoe flotilla, as the traditional sounding of the conch and ‘ohana chant were conducted by [the Hōkūle‘a crew]. The event also featured a cultural welcome of song and dance by students and educators from Kamehameha Schools and Hālau O ʻAulani.
Along with Goldfuss, other White House representatives who were present included US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith.
“What you are doing here with the [Worldwide Voyage], what you are doing here with the culture is something that will live on for generations to come. So we are enormously proud of the leaders, the crew, the volunteers, and supporters of this epic journey,” said Secretary Jewell.
US Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono from Hawai‘i along with US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island were also present and provided remarks to welcome Hokulea and her crew to Washington, DC.
“When I think about Hōkūleʻa and her first journey to prove what Native Hawaiians were capable of, it’s an incredible story. Now we take that message and turn it into a global message of sustainability and mālama honua,” remarked Senator Schatz.
“Here we are in Washington, DC, the nation’s capital, with Hōkūleʻa with the message they are taking around the world. It’s the voice of Hawaii, and I am very proud of our crew and all of the young people who have been so involved in this voyage,” said Senator Hirono.
After engaging with the community in Washington, DC, Hōkūleʻa is scheduled to sail to New York City in June for World Oceans Day on June 8.
More than Adventure
Beyond a daring expedition, the Worldwide Voyage is quite possibly the most important mission that Hawaiʻi has ever attempted. As people of Oceania, we are leading a campaign that gives voice to our ocean and planet by highlighting innovative solutions practiced by cultures around the planet.
We could not have begun this great journey without your support, nor can we continue to its completion.