On the first Saturday of each month the Te Taki will host our entire community for an outdoor language opportunity and celebration. We’ve named these gatherings taumaka, which means “to go back and forth,” a reference to the tacking sailing method on a boat or canoe. We chose this name because it emphasizes charting a new course for our community’s future by changing direction (for example moving our classroom activities outside, focusing on our elders to make our children fluent speakers of our language) but nonetheless moving forward toward our community goals of speaking our language together.
At the beginning, Taumaka will focus on the construction of our ocean-going canoe - using the opportunity to gather the community to work together and to learn from the expertise of the Master Carver and his assistants.
Once the canoe is completed, ONCE A MONTH, we will move Saturday school sessions of Te Lumanaki to the beach where we will create an outdoor classroom
At our Taumaka Community Intergenerational Learning Days we will teach about the marine environment, fishing techniques, traditional values such as inati, the equal distribution of the fish to the entire community. We will learn traditional crafts and will engage in communal work to prepare for the sharing of food when the day’s activities are completed. Our third Saturday events will be held at the public Alii Beach Park in the town of Haleiwa, which is accessible, with restrooms, freshwater sources, and easy access for our elders and other community members challenged by mobility.
We envision Taumaka Community Intergenerational Learning Days as opportunities for cultural exchanges with other Native communities in Hawaii and as an opportunity for our Tokelauan community to gather together to celebrate, every month. We intend to not only share a meal together, but to incorporate many aspects of traditional fiafia parties such as traditional dancing, singing, and storytelling. Our fiafias will be an opportunity for multiple generations to interact with each other, for community members who have been intimidated or deterred by the classroom setting for language learning to have access to our language in a new environment.
Through the Taumaka Community Intergenerational Learning Days we want to emphasize the joy in being a part of community, the joy in sharing our culture with each other, and the joy in being able to come together to speak our language. We hope these monthly outings will be events that the whole community looks forward to.