(Posted January 22, 2018)

Courtesy: Douglas Herman

Courtesy: Douglas Herman

Huntingdon, Pa. – On Feb. 1, 2018, Juniata College’s Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies will host Douglas Herman, senior geographer for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, for a free, public lecture titled “Making Things Right: Hawaiian Approaches to Conflict Resolution.” The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in Neff Lecture Hall, von Liebig Center for Science.

“Ho`oponopono is one of the native peacemaking processes that pre-dates the arrival of the Europeans, survived through colonization even though it was suppressed, and continues today as a vital and resilient conflict resolution process,” says Polly Walker, Elizabeth Baker Evans Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and director of The Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata. “We welcome members of the Huntingdon community to this discussion.”

Herman’s presentation will give a brief overview of the structure and principles of traditional Hawaiian society. It will then examine two approaches. Both are called ho`oponopono which means “the act of setting things right.” The first is the traditional method, involving several members of the community and a facilitator to elicit the root of the problem and to develop a solution that is agreeable to all. The second is a modern revelation by the late kahuna la`au lapa`au (healing kahuna) Morrnah Simeona, which takes the traditional process to an internal level. Both reflect broader understandings of how humans should act in the world, the taking of responsibility for the effects of our actions and the permanent rectification of conflicts without lingering animosity.

Herman is a senior geographer for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). At the Smithsonian, he has served chair of the Smithsonian Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research and chair of the Smithsonian Congress of Scholars. He holds a doctorate in geography from the University of Hawaii and, in addition to his work at NMAI, he is the director of Pacific Worlds, a web-based Indigenous-geography education project for Hawaii and the American Pacific. Since 2001 he has held various offices with the Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. His publications include the forthcoming, edited volume Giving Back: Research and Reciprocity in Indigenous settings. He serves on the board of the journal IK: Other Ways of Knowing.

For more information about the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, visit www.juniata.edu/bakerinstitute.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.