AHA 2021 Annual Conference presenters

Keynote address: New Light on the Polynesian Settlement of the Eastern Pacific, Including Hawai’i

9:10 am — 9:50 am

A flurry of new archaeological research in the islands of Eastern Polynesia over the past two decades has greatly refined our understanding of the timing and pace of Polynesian exploration and settlement of this vast region. Re-excavation and dating of key sites, along with refinements in radiocarbon dating and the new method of 230 Th coral dating, have resulted in a shortened chronology for this diaspora. The discovery of the remote islands of Eastern Polynesia, including Hawai’i, Rapa Nui, and Aotearoa, occurred over a span of just two centuries. Evidence also indicates that Polynesian canoes made it all the way to South America, returning with the economically important sweet potato (‘uala).

Patrick Kirch

Professor, Department of Anthropology,University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Patrick V. Kirch is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawai’i,
Mānoa, and also Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Born and raised in Hawai’i, Kirch received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. from Yale University. Kirch held positions at the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, the University of Washington, and from 1989-2014 taught at U. C. Berkeley. In 2019 Kirch returned to Hawai’i and joined the U. H. Mānoa faculty. Kirch’s research interests include the evolution of complex societies, preindustrial agricultural systems and agricultural intensification, and the dynamic interactions between human populations and their ecosystems. Kirch uses islands as “model systems” for understanding both cultural evolution and the complex dynamics between humans and their island ecosystems. He has carried out archaeological fieldwork in the Mussau Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Futuna, the Cook Islands, Society Islands, Mangareva Islands, and Hawaiian Islands. Kirch has published some 25 books and monographs, and more than 300 articles and chapters on the results of his research. He has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Among his other honors are the John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science (NAS), the J. I. Staley Prize (School for Advanced Research), and the Herbert E. Gregory Medal (Pacific Science Association).


Appearing acts/ Adaptability: Adjusting and Implementing a Preservation and Access Grant During a Pandemic

10:00 am — 10:50 am

Malia applied for a Hawaii Council for the Humanities Preservation and Access grant for the Ossipoff & Snyder Architects Collection and was notified that the award was fully funded for $7,000 in January, 2020. She had a student assistant, an intern, and volunteers lined up to support the physical re-housing of the collection – work was well underway when the library closed and help evaporated in March. Malia will talk about how she was able to carry out the grant commitments and create online access to the collection during the pandemic. Stacy will talk about working with Malia and other grantees on changes to their grants caused by the pandemic, such as staffing changes, ordering delays, shifting public presentations online, and grant extensions.

Malia Van Heukelem

Art Archivist Librarian, Jean Charlot Collection, , University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Malia oversees the Jean Charlot Collection, a large collection of artist papers, plus the Archive of Hawaii Artists & Architects at Hamilton Library. Previously, she worked in the Library’s Preservation Department, and has served as Collections Manager for the state’s Art in Public Places Collection and for ‘Iolani Palace.

Stacy Hoshino

Director of Grants and Special Projects, Hawai`i Council for the Humanities

Stacy Hoshino is Director of Grants and Special Projects at Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities where he manages the organization’s grantmaking program. Also, he has created public humanities programing with a focus on topics that are timely, and sometimes, challenging. He has been an active and proud supporter of HMA as volunteer Nominations Committee chair since 2015, and from 2010-2012 served as board president.


Resilience in Action: Adaptations when COVID foils your statewide program

1:15 pm — 2:25 pm

At the beginning of 2020, the Hawaiʻi Museums Association was awarded a contract from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority to conduct in-person cultural competency training as a framework for fostering meaningful relations between museum workers and the cultural practitioners that enrich our programs and institutions throughout the state. Although the planning committee initially planned for numerous in-person workshops, COVID travel and meeting restrictions required weekly change of plans and venues. In this panel, members of the Mākau Moʻomeheu planning committee will discuss how they addressed these challenges to deliver their intended content. Lessons learned will be shared in hopes that they provide concrete examples for other organizations on how to adapt programs through creative and resilient planning.

Helen Wong-Smith

Archivist for University Records, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 

Helen has over 35 years’ experience in library and archival collections in Hawaiʻi. With a B.A. in Hawaiian Studies and MLIS from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, she has held numerous positions including Hawaiian Collection Librarian at UH Hilo, lead archivist for the Pacific Island Network of the National Park Service and Librarian/Archivist for the State Historic Preservation Division. Helen has been sharing how cultural competency can advance the archival profession since 2015 across the country including an invitation by Harvard University in November 2019. Elected president of Hawaiian Library Association, Hawaiian Historical Society and twice of the Association of Hawaiʻi Archivists she is the recipient of the Agnes C. Conrad award and named a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists in 2016.

Halena Kapuni-Reynolds

Board Member, Hawaiʻi Museums Association  

Halena Kapuni-Reynolds (Kanaka ʻŌiwi) is currently a Ph.D. student in American Studies and Museum Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He was raised in the Hawaiian homestead of Keaukaha on Hawaiʻi Island and has a B.A. in Anthropology and Hawaiian Studies (UH-Hilo, 2013) and an M.A. in anthropology with a focus in Museum and Heritage Studies (Uni. of Denver, 2015).  His most recent publications include “Voyaging Through the Collection of The Denver Museum of Nature & Science” (Denver Museum of Nature & Science Annals, 2018) and “Nā Pana Kaulana o Keaukaha: The Storied Places of Keaukaha” in Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawaiʻi (Duke University Press, 2019).  He currently sits on the board of directors for the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management (Denver, CO) and the Hawaiʻi Museums Association (Honolulu, HI).

Dr. Tarisi Vunidilo

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo 

Tarisi Vunidilo has a MSc in Anthropology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Maori and Pacific Development, from the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts, majoring in Archaeology, Australian National University, Canberra, and a BA in Geography, History and Sociology, University of South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. She has published two books and several articles about Fijian pottery, language and archaeology. She was Programs Advisor, Pacific Arts, Creative New Zealand from 2007-2009; Collections Services Manager, Waikato Museum of Art & History from 2003-2007; Collection Manager (Registrar) of Pacific Collection at Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa from 2001-2003, and Director from 2000-2001 and Archaeologist and Head of the Archaeology Department from 1997-2000, and Graduate Trainee, Archaeology Department from 1994-1996 at the Fiji Museum. She is currently volunteering as Secretary-General for the Pacific Islands Museums Association (PIMA) and works between her office in Port Vila, Vanuatu and Hilo, Hawaii. She completed her Phd in Pacific Studies in January 2016- on the topic of “iYau Vakaviti-Fijian Treasures, Cultural Rights and Repatriation of Cultural Materials from International Museums”, at the Centre of Pacific Island Studies at the University of Auckland (New Zealand). 

Lisa Solomine

President of Hawai’i Museum Association

Lisa is Director of Administration at Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives.  She has made Hawai‘i her home for the last seven years and is a native New Yorker with a background in exhibition design, curation, and arts management. Lisa has curated several exhibitions in New York City, Berlin, Wiesbaden, and London. Both her B.A. in Visual Communication, and M.F.A. in Exhibition Design/Design were awarded by Berlin University of the Arts, Germany.

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