Native Delegation Greets Hokulea Historic Voyage

Native youth participate in World Youth Congress, welcome home historic voyage of the Hokule’a and Hiianalia. Photo credit:

As depicted in the Disney movie Moana, sailing on a canoe with navigation by the stars has been a part of indigenous life for centuries.

In real life, after three long years, the legendary Hokule’a and and Hikianalia canoes will complete an historic voyage sailing nearly 50,000 miles around the world, to 28 countries and 85 international ports; the voyage represents a “lei of hope” around the globe.

“The voyage of the Hokule’a is historic; it represents the strength and wisdom of indigenous practices for thousands of years,” states Larry Banegas, MSW, Barona Elder and founder of who is participating in the World Youth Congress 2017.

Banegas continues, “We honor and recognize the life work of Marc Chavez, founder of Native Like Water, who tirelessly coordinates these unique annual indigenous immersion education events. Attending the Hokule’a homecoming with the InterTribal Youth Delegation is extremely important to sustaining traditional indigenous knowledge.”

InterTribal Youth delegates include:

• Tristen Pena, (15) Santa Ysabel Ipai Kumeyaay Nation, Miss Kumeyaay 2017, InterTribal Youth Ambassador
• Harmony Sigler, (15) Sycuan Kumeyaay Nation, InterTribal Youth Ambassador
• Traveling Wolf Weber (16), Viejas Kumeyaay Nation, InterTribal Youth Ambassador
• Kyra Jenkins (15), Alaska-Ahtna Nation, InterTribal Youth Ambassador
• Shuluuk Leo, (16) Viejas Kumeyaay Nation, InterTribal Youth Ambassador
• Amon Chavez, (17) Belize / Xicano Nations, InterTribal Youth Ambassador
• Trinity Galindo,(17) Agua Caliente Cahuilla Nation, InterTribal Youth Ambassador
• Justice Galindo, (14) Agua Caliente Cahuilla Nation, InterTribal Youth Ambassador
• Tenay Banegas, (16) Barona Kumeyaay Nation, InterTribal Youth Ambassador
• Huumaay Banegas, (14) Barona Kumeyaay Nation, InterTribal Youth Ambassador


• Larry "Moto" Banegas, Barona Kumeyaay Nation, Professor Kumeyaay Community College, InterTribal Youth Honored Elder
• Charlene Worrell, Sycuan Kumeyaay Nation, Tribal Leader (Female Chaperone)
• Marc Chavez, Xicano/Nahuatl/ Mexicano Nations. Founder/Director InterTribal Youth
• Denise Mahaffey,, Press and Media

A recent media report indicates that nearly 50,000 will be on-site to greet the sailing teams; voyaging canoes from the Hawaiian islands will arrive June 17th between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. followed by two canoes from the Pacific voyaging community at 8:30 a.m. and finally escort vessel Hikianalia and the Hokule’a at 9:00 a.m. A homecoming ceremony will start at 10:30 a.m. and hoolaulea celebration featuring island music runs from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

World Youth Congress 2017 activities include:

• June 17 in honor of the Hokulea Ceremony (open to the public),
• June 18th Youth Summit at Hawaiian Convention Center (registration/ some aspects for public),
• June 19th Inspirational Speakers Series featuring Nainoa Thompson, others. (registration only)
• June 20 for the World Youth Congress (registration only), University of Hawaii, Manoa.
ITY Ambassadors present the World Premier of their youth film "Native Like Water: We are Still Here" to the entire World Youth Congress with delegates of 150 youth, representing over 50 nations.
• June 18-22/25 World Youth Congress Sessions, Planning Works, Community Site Visit

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