2016 Symposium

Le Fetuao Symposium

2016 Fono o le Gāgana Samoa
2016 Samoan Language Symposium

“Ia ō gatasi le futia ma le umele”
“Language & culture are intrinsically linked”

The 2016 Samoan Language Symposium was held in Hawaiʻi on Friday, August 12, 2016 & Saturday, August 13, 2016 at Hālau o Haumea Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. It was a wonderful gathering of people from across the globe that are dedicated to indigenous language perpetuation. The symposium is a concept developed by Le Fetuao Samoan Language Center (Le Fetuao SLC) as part of its sustainability plan to further enhance its community-based Samoan language and culture program.  The mission of Le Fetuao SLC is to increase literacy of the Samoan language among our community’s children, youth, and parents while also contributing towards the understanding of Samoan culture and the development of Samoan identity.

Symposium Goals

Spearheaded by Le Fetuao SLC, and co-sponsored by the Administration for Native Americans, University of Hawaiʻi’s Samoan Language and Literature Program, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, and Center for Hawaiian Studies, the purpose of the symposium is three-fold:

  1. To increase the number of Āʻoga Samoa (Community-Based Samoan Schools) that teach the Samoan language and culture.
  2. To provide a space to build strong collaborative relationships between new and existing Samoan language programs throughout the United States and the Pacific.
  3. To promote the Gagana Samoa (Samoan language) and its importance in the 21st century.

Symposium Format

The symposium took place over two days at Hālau o Haumea at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus. On Friday, the symposium featured a series of hands-on workshops geared towards utilizing interactive techniques to teach the Samoan language. The workshops focused on the perpetuation of Measina o Samoa (Cultural Treasures of Sāmoa) such as siapo (tapa), lalaga (weaving), and tatau (tattooing).  The workshops also featured hands-on lessons on using art, music and dance, traditional food preparation, and technology to teach Gāgana Samoa. On Saturday, participants heard from successful Samoan and Pacific community language programs in Hawaiʻi and gain insights and perspectives from keynote speakers and panel discussions from Samoan language educators in the United States and the Pacific region.

Individuals and groups interested in starting their own Āʻoga Samoa were invited to attend. The symposium brought together Samoan church communities in Hawaiʻi and the United States, educators with experience teaching Samoan, community groups, students, artists and cultural practitioners in order to help create learning environments for Samoan youth that perpetuate the language and culture of Samoa.

Learn about our Symposium Theme

Comments are closed.