Aloha mai kākou, o Kamaka‘ike koʻu inoa. Hello, my name is Kamaka‘ike. I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. I am of Kanaka Maoli (indigenous Hawaiian), Cantonese, and German heritage.
This fall quarter I will be beginning my third year at University of Washington, Seattle campus. I am currently working towards my Bachelor of Arts. My majors are Public Health and Medical Anthropology & Global Health. I am going into my second term as Vice President of External Affairs for the Polynesian Student Alliance on campus. I am currently employed as a student ambassador of Multicultural Outreach & Recruitment and a student assistant for Intellectual House. I am also a student researcher for the Research Family, a Pacific Islander research group based at the Burke Museum. Our work includes using our resources at the museum to educate our campus and each other about our cultures, as well as use our position in higher education to support our local Islander diasporas. It is important for us to help better museums’ treatment of heritage communities of the objects it houses as well as bring our communities in to maintain relationships to objects.
I am thankful to be a part of this study abroad experience because it connects back to the kind of work I hope to do within my own community. As Pacific Island cultures, the Māori community has many similarities to Hawaiians. Due to our common heritage, our cultures share many aspects and values. Our colonial experiences also have many parallels. It is important that communities share with and draw ideas from each other so we can best strengthen our respective efforts. During this journey I hope to learn more about Māori culture, environmental policies, and community efforts. My main passion is agricultural and environmental work, so I am looking forward to learning from my relations on this topic. I look forward to the adventures, lessons, experiences, and connections to come on this beautiful, vast indigenous land.