WASHINGTON, D.C. — The iconic Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokulea and her crew were greeted with a welcoming ceremony Wednesday at the Washington Canoe Club on Water Street. White House dignitaries and members of the Hawaii congressional delegation were present to usher the canoe into the nation’s capital.
Hokulea arrived at the destination escorted by a canoe flotilla, as the traditional sounding of the conch and ohana chant were conducted by the Hokulea crew. The event also featured a cultural welcome of song and dance by students and educators from Kamehameha Schools and Halau O Aulani.
US Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono from Hawaii welcomed Hokulea and her crew to Washington, DC.
“When I think about Hokulea and her first journey to prove what Native Hawaiians were capable of, it’s an incredible story. Now we take that message and turn it into a global message of sustainability and malama honua,” Schatz said.
“Here we are in Washington, DC, the nation’s capital, with Hokulea with the message they are taking around the world. It’s the voice of Hawaii, and I am very proud of our crew and all of the young people who have been so involved in this voyage,” Hirono said.
Hokulea is scheduled to sail to New York City in June for World Oceans Day on June 8.