Delegations representing indigenous people from around the world were taken from Hawaii’s voyaging canoes this morning and paddled to the shores of Kualoa in a welcoming ceremony unlike any other seen at previous Healing Our Spirit Worldwide conferences.
After a sunrise chant, each canoe full of dignitaries was greeted with a chorus of conch shells.
“It was amazing, amazing,” said Maggie Hodgson, the “vision keeper” of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide, who is also a member of Canada’s Carrier First Nations. “We felt the wind spirit, the water spirit, the blessings of these lands, the blessings of these people.”
Hodgson founded Healing Our Spirit Worldwide as a movement focused on the alcohol and drug abuse problems plaguing indigenous communities. In the five previous conferences, which are held four years apart, the issues have grown along with the number of participants and the nations and countries they represent.