Comments about ‘Polynesians encouraged to mentor, set high expectations for Pacific Islander youth’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 21 2011 10:52 p.m. MDT

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Kitenoa
Salt Lake City, UT

Great Conference, a gathering of the "choirs" folks. Nothing surpringly new was presented in the discussions. We again confirmed what young parents 20 years ago worried about with regards to their children's future.

Fast foward, today the question is "what's next?". We talk a lot with little result benefiting our children.

For one (myself an avid observer over the last 30 years), I believe we Pacific Islanders are following the wrong "stars": (movies stars, popular personality stars, millionaire stars, TV stars, rock stars, and atheletic super stars as exclusive models for our fragile and vulnerable young children, either by commission or ommision or abandonment.

For a begining solution, FIND A FIX STAR as our ancestor did, consistently positioned in the sky with proven successful outcomes to be our guide in the jouney of life.

I'll leave that navigation decision up to you, for we as a people collective find "change" difficult to adjust to in our personal lives.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Last week I tutored my niece in physics on skype.

There is a recipe that certain parents will do and their kids will all get 4.0s. Turning off the TV and making it a rule not to watch TV during weekdays. Some parents don't understand the school work that their children are taking, but they will sit at the table just to make sure their kids are doing the homework.

Old time Polynesians were great learners. It may have been stars, or genealogies or legends or poems, but they had this view that knowledge gives people magical power. The Polynesian concept of mana, (supernatural power) is identified in some legends as simply being a higher form of knowledge above common sense and what you may learn in college.

A Micronesian navigator told a Westerner once, "Some people know more talk about stars and currents and waves than I do. But I am a better navigator, because I know the talk when I am tired, hungry and cold."

So. Cal Reader
Escondido, CA

Hmmm. I was not at this meeting. I can only respond to what's written and what I read. "As Polynesians, we cannot allow our youth to navigate alone. That is not who we are as a people." I'm not Polynesian, but I know I cannot allow my children to navigate alone. That's why I, as a parent, take a very proactive, involved role in helping, loving and assisting my children. I want my wife and me to mentor our children, with other good people of all walks of faith & dispositions to assist. As I grew up, my parents were my primary mentors and they still are in their advancing years. But I also have many other mentors of all different persuasions. The key was similar morals. Vai's approach with his own children is exactly the point I'm trying to make. Curious why a Poly Conf needs to be held and sponsored by DN to help drive this point home.

TO'A59676
Sandy, UT

Sounds like this was an awsome conference to have attended wish I'd heard earlier. I love history at one time was going to major in history ( U.S. ) after graduating from high school my ship was gonna take me to a destination I was very familiar with U.S. history. I had major change of course I asked myself this question? What do I know about the land of my ancestors in my case Tonga. Nada, but I had been trained, educated how to map my new course, and where to find it. The Library's had that knowledge, there was nobody at the time the early 90's, nobody was being as pro active as they are now to help our poly youth , what's happening is what historically has happened to every culture that's come to the U.S. for their piece of the apple pie. ASSIMILATION, it historically in this country is the root of the problem. We're melting into the pot, ,what sets us apart is being blurred in our children's eyes. Our kids aren't looking back, blending the old with new each generation gets further away from Havaiki. We need to help each other keep looking back.

FMEMEA
WAIPAHU, HI

I didn't need a conference to tell me that Education in my children's lives is very important. It was important enough for me that offers of more gainful employment was not important as being involved in my children's Education, sports activities, recreation, church, scouting, all the positive things that help grow a healthy child into a productive individual. We sat down as a family and set house rules, and set consequences for not following rules , all agreed on the rules and consequences. Because I was a single parent, I reached out to community resources for additional help; police youth bureau, counseling, parks and recreation. One will graduate in the Spring of 2012, and my youngest is in her 3rd year at Cal State University - Eastbay, CA., I set high standards for them even before they were born, and following them through is the KEY to keeping off the streets, gangs, drugs, and the list go on.

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