On 2 March 2012, CPIS MA student Ebil Matsutaro joined Angela “Änghet” Hoppe-Cruz, Darlene Rodrigues, Michael Tun’cap, MA‘O lead intern Shea-Lan Kama, and MA‘O Youth in “Empowering Pacific Youth” a Native Voices Reading and Lecture Series talk-story roundtable. CPIS affiliate faculty members Craig Santos Perez and Brandy Nālani McDougall organized the roundtable discussion to address the challenges that Pacific youth face and opportunities and programs to support them in Hawai‘i and the continental US. CPIS cosponsored the roundtable.
Tarcisius Kabutaulaka (CPIS) joined the Australian Consul General Scott Dewar and Mr Richard Baker (EWC) on 5 March 2012 for the lunchtime seminar “Shakeup in Canberra: Interpreting the Gillard-Rudd Rivalry and the Implications of Recent Political Developments in Australia.” The panel discussed Kevin Rudd’s resignation as Australia’s foreign minister and his subsequent parliamentary challenge to Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The speakers provided an overview of the current political climate in Australia as well as observations as longtime observers of Australia’s current affairs. The seminar was cosponsored by CPIS and PIDP/East-West Center.
During a visit from Majuro, RMI, Dr Transform Aqorau, Chief Executive Officer, Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) gave a lunchtime presentation, “Shifting Currents in US-Pacific Islands Fisheries Relations,” on 6 March 2012. Dr Aqorau discussed the Treaty on Fisheries between the Governments of Certain Pacific States and the Government of the United States of America, and how it has affected US-Pacific Island relations. He also addressed the issue of demands for new approaches to tuna development and the establishment of strategic investment partnerships as well as the potential influence of Chinese investments in the region. The seminar was cosponsored by CPIS and PIDP/East-West Center.
On 9 March, Richard Taylor, University of New South Wales, Australia, presented “The Epidemiological Transitions and the Double Burden of Disease: International and Pacific Island Perspectives.” He discussed the “double burden of disease” by comparing the previous circumstances in countries such as Australia and the United States with the present situation in Pacific Island states. The seminar was cosponsored by CPIS and the East-West Center.
CPIS MA candidate Keola Diaz presented Basic Health Hawaii: Broken Spirits, Healing Souls on 20 March. Keola independently filmed and produced the documentary as part of his MA project to investigate the Hawai‘i State Department of Human Services’ “Basic Health Hawaii” health insurance program for Micronesian immigrants. The presentation launched a lively discussion among the audience of UHM students and faculty as well as community members who congratulated Keola for addressing such an important yet difficult topic. The presentation was cosponsored by CPIS and PIDP/East-West Center.
While conducting migration surveys on O‘ahu for the Federated States of Micronesia, Dr Michael Levin, Senior Census Trainer, Harvard University Center for Population and Development Studies, School of Public Health, presented the seminar “What the Micronesian Migrant Surveys Tell Us about Conditions of Micronesians in Hawai‘i” on 4 April. Dr Levin shared experiences and data from more than 30 years of research on migration and population surveys in Micronesia. The seminar was cosponsored by CPIS and PIDP/East-West Center.
On 10 April, Alex Su‘a, a human rights advocate and lawyer from Sāmoa, spoke to UHM students about his roles as a founding member and former president of the Sāmoa Fa‘afafine Association and founding member of the first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex working group in Sāmoa. The intimate group was able to learn about the challenges Alex has faced in efforts to enact social change. Alex was visiting UHM to take part in the Rainbow Rising Symposium “Community, Solidarity & Scholarship: A Symposium on Sexuality & Gender Expression in Asian-Pacific Law & Policy.” The presentation was hosted by the Samoan Language Program and cosponsored by CPIS and TASSO (Tinumasalasala A Samoa Student Organization).
Marata Tamaira, doctoral candidate at the Australian National University and CPIS alumna (2008), presented her current research during a lunchtime seminar on 24 April. “Visual Sovereignty and Indigenous Countervisuality: Picturing Contemporary Kanaka Maoli Art Practice in Hawai‘i” highlighted how Kānaka Maoli have vigorously contested US colonialism in Hawai‘i and have resolutely defended and affirmed their sovereignty through political, cultural, and artistic means. The seminar was cosponsored by CPIS and PIDP/East-West Center.


  • Marata Tamaira presenting  “Visual Sovereignty and Indigenous Countervisuality: Picturing Contemporary Kanaka Maoli Art Practice in Hawai‘i”
During a visit from Tahiti, Dr Sémir Al Wardi (University of French Polynesia) gave a seminar titled “Democracy in French Polynesia” on 25 April. Dr Al Wardi discussed how political instability has become one of the defining characteristics of French Polynesia with frequent changes in leadership as well as the possibility that French Polynesia can one day obtain its independence, which is affecting French Polynesia’s relations with France. The seminar was cosponsored by CPIS and PIDP/East-West Center.