Sunday, November 13, 2005

Address to the Hawaii Library Association on 11 November 2005:

Today I'll post the notes for the brief address I gave to the HLA at it's recent annual conference in Kona.

Boozhoo (hello), Hawaii Library Association,

Greetings to the planners of the HLA. Chi megwitch, thank you very much for this outstanding invitation.

I also thank the indigenous peoples of this land and send greetings to those of you who are here today. I celebrate with you your tenacity, your joy of life, and applaud your many efforts to maintain and sustain your indigenous lifeways.

I stand before you, an indigenous person.
I am Anishinabe. You also know my people as Ojibwe or Chippewa.
And, in accordance with Native protocol, I will identify my homelands, my tribal band, and my clan affiliation. I am enrolled on the White Earth Reservation and am a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. My mother is Pembina Band. My father was Mississippi band and makwa or bear clan.

Because I am with you on indigenous lands, I know that I can speak with all of you in ways that are self-sustaining, that come from a deep place in my being. And because I feel akin with you, I invite you to stand with me today and make history. Here, within this circle of land, we mark the start of a new journey for me and a new journey for the American Library Association. I am deeply honored and deeply humbled to be the first indigenous person to accept the nomination for the office of President of the American Library Association. And it feels right tolaunch this campaign today with you here in Hawaii.

Makwa or bear clan are those who protect and set things right.

I pledge to protect ALA’s Five Key Action areas—diversity, education and continuous learning, equity of access, 21st century literacy, intellectual freedom.

I vow to set things right as an advocate for
• free access to libraries, free expression of thought, and protection of privacy;
• equitable salaries and benefits for library workers;
• recruitment and retention of new talent into schools of library and information science;
• promotion of library work and workers to the citizenry at large;
• training and retooling of library workers to meet changing patron needs;
• including all peoples into the circle of knowledge through literacy.

My campaign theme is Celebrating Community, Collaboration and Culture. I hope that you will join our efforts.

I will carry my experiences here back with me, to my family and to the Student Circle who are involved in helping me with my campaign. Balloting starts on 15 March 2006. Please visit my current faculty Web site. You’ll soon see my campaign Web site at I have a blog,, where I post statements of concern, descriptions of my activities, identify key individuals, and provide a little reader’s advisory. And I can be reached through email at

Anishinabe people do not say goodbye. Instead, we say thank you, megwitch. I welcome your support. Megwitch.

Reading Circle:

I returned to Austin with several items from HLA's Silent Auction, including the following three titles:

1. Noyes, Martha H. Then There Were None. Honolulu: Bess Press, 2003. [survey of Native Hawaiian history]
2. Hall, Sandra Kimberley. Duke: A Great Hawaiian. Bess Press, 2004. [biography of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, Hawaiian Olympic athlete]
3. Desha, Stephen L. Trans., Frances N. Frazier. Kamehameha and His Warrior Kekuhaupi'o. Honolulu: Kamemameha Schools Press, 2000. [boxed set reprint of 174 articles published in the Ka Hoku o Hawaii between 16 December 1920 and 11 September 1924]

Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana
Ka po'e i aloha i ka 'aina.

Tell the story of the people who love their land.

Source: "Kaulana Na Pua" by Helen Keho'ohiwaokalani Prendergast, cited in Noyes.