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Empowering communities through cultural heritage

Edward Halealoha Ayau at CEU
Thursday, February 24, 2022, 3:00 pm – 4:20 pm

About this conversation

For the last 32 years, Edward Halealoha Ayau has been searching for stolen or looted iwi kūpuna (Hawaiian ancestral skeletal remains) and moepū (funerary possessions) and persuading the world’s leading museums and other institutions to repatriate the artifacts to the Native Hawaiians. His activism resulted in returning over 6,000 remains and funerary possessions. In this conversation, Mr. Ayau will talk about the cultural and heritage values that guide his work as a representative of traditional communities and his way to become a leader in the sense of representing these values and communities. He will share his experiences on working with various stakeholders guided by often opposing interests and navigating the repatriation processes through complex legal, moral, and ethical situations.

Event details

This online conversation will consist of a 15-minute presentation by Edward Halealoha Ayau, followed by a 60-minute Q&A facilitated by Alisha Sijapati, CEU MA student.

About the speaker

Edward Halealoha Ayau is the exExecutive Director of Hui Mālama I Nā Kūpuna O Hawai‘i Nei, a group that has repatriated and reinterred thousands of ancestral Native Hawaiian remains and funerary objects from the collections of museums and institutions worldwide. He held numerous leadership positions in for-profit, non-governmental, and governmental organizations such as the U. S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Land & Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division, Honolulu.