FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2022
Contact: Herb Lee, Jr., President/CEO, Pacific American Foundation
Launch of New Digital Waikalua Loko Fishpond Oral History Archive
Preservation stories told by cultural practitioners, scientists, teachers, and docents.
Pacific American Foundation, a Native Hawaiian educational nonprofit, announces its new online Waikalua Fishpond Oral History Archive. The curated collection contains video, audio recordings, and transcripts of interviews by the members of the former Waikalua Loko Fishpond Preservation Society (WLFPS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoration of the fishpond from 1995 to 2015.
The 11 acre, 400 year old fishpond was once a jewel of Hawaiian engineering and sustenance in Windward O‘ahu at the southern end of Kāneʻohe Bay. After 20 years of restoration work under the Preservation Society, a new nonprofit, the Pacific American Foundation Hawai‘i, Inc., transitioned in as the deed owner, continuing the stewardship work. They have established the fishpond as an outdoor community classroom, laboratory and aquacultural resource.
The Archive presents interviews of cultural practitioners, Windward Community College faculty, scientists, curriculum developers, archaeologists, and docents. Their stories describe how elementary, high school and college students came to the fishpond to learn, and how members of the community volunteered at workdays over a period of 27 years.
Those interviewed recount the ways curriculum developers and teachers translated the pond’s ecosystem and utilization into educational materials in science, math, social studies and language arts, offering meaningful ways to help solve problems within our community. To date, this vibrant outdoor community classroom has served over 120,000 students, teachers, families, and volunteers.
The purpose of the Archive is to document and perpetuate the legacy of the fishpond as a bridge connecting traditional Hawaiian knowledge to contemporary science and technology. We hope, as the Archive continues to grow, that it will inspire, prepare, and empower the community to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors, so that navigating and solving current problems may be informed by the wisdom of many generations of storytellers.
The Archive is the product of a collaborative partnership among The Pacific American Foundation, Windward Community College, ‘Ōlelo Community Media, and Cultural Surveys Hawai‘i. Grant funding was provided by The Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Hana Group.
Visit the Waikalua Fishpond Oral History Archive: thepaf.org/oralhistory
Downloadable PDF of Press Release: thepaf.org/press