WE ARE THE OCEAN
An Indigenous Response to Climate Change
On view through November 12, 2017 (closed Mondays)
Global temperatures are on the rise. Coral reefs are slowly dying. Islands are now gradually disappearing due to rising waters. Storms are increasing both in frequency and in strength. The Pacific Ocean is now filled with plastic debris.
These are just some of the issues facing our ocean today.
At this exhibit, explore how indigenous communities are responding to the ways climate change is affecting our waters and our lives. Listen to stories that have traveled from Guam, Pohnpei and Yap, from Tonga, Hawai’i and Alaska, from people who both know and love the ocean. Hear their words as they speak about the legacy we are leaving for our children, and the ways we are building a world for those after us. Hear their thoughts as they reflect on the sacredness of salt water, canoe journeys and sunlight on crystal blue seas. Hear their voices as they navigate rising oceans, and how the phrase, “We aren’t drowning, we are fighting,” spurs a movement to save and conserve.
These are some of the stories of those who call the Pacific home. It is a place of great immensity, full of mysterious power. It is also full of healing and wonder, deserving of respect.
No matter your thoughts on climate change, know that our oceans are hurting and our waters are changing. But also know that we all have an important role in caring for this place that has given us so much.
It is our duty, our legacy, our kuleana (responsibility). For ourselves, and every generation after us.
“We sweat and cry salt water. The ocean is in us.” – Professor Teresia Teaiwa