HONOLULU, HI – On April 18, the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) launched a virtual canoe, Waʻa Honua (waahonua.com), that will accompany the iconic Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe, Hikianalia, as they sail on this spring’s Kealaikahiki Voyage from Oʻahu to Tahiti and back. Designed and maintained with support from the Nakupuna Foundation, Waʻa Honua allows audiences around the world to follow PVS throughout the Kealaikahiki Voyage and in preparation for the Moananuiākea Voyage around the Pacific that will begin next year.

Conceived as a digital canoe that carries the skills and values essential to Polynesian wayfinding, Waʻa Honua will also feature content and educational resources for learners of all ages to develop and apply the “navigator mindset” to make better choices for the planet. The site will give visitors an opportunity to connect with PVS’s mission and history through new videos and interactive content that will be released in combination with regular crew member updates as they sail. Educational partners, including Kamehameha Schools, University of Hawaiʻi, Arizona State University, and Bishop Museum are working in concert with PVS on the development and curation of learning tools and other resources that will make waahonua.com a platform for a new generation of navigators.

“The Nakupuna Foundation is humbled to help bring PVS’s vision of a virtual canoe to fruition,” said Lindsay Ah Loo, Executive Director of the Nakupuna Foundation. “There is a growing recognition that indigenous knowledge can help address contemporary global challenges. Waʻa Honua will be a vessel for the values and lessons that can help communities navigate to a healthier future while connecting them to the values inherited from the lineage of PVS leaders and our kūpuna.”

Site visitors can expect regular updates from the Kealaikahiki Voyage through mid-June, when the Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia return to Oʻahu.