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Culturally Sustaining Leadership: A Pacific Islander’s Perspective

Mary Therese Perez Hattori
Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 1890 East-West Road, Moore 212, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(1), 4;
Submission received: 1 November 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 5 February 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016


Social justice in educational settings can be advanced through culturally sustaining leadership development programs for indigenous students, faculty, and administrators. The state of Hawai‘i has been a fertile ground for culture-based development experiences for emerging leaders from islands throughout the Pacific. These opportunities arise from the recognition of dissonance created by customary leadership programs which often give little or no attention to native cultures of the Pacific islands and prioritize other models. This essay highlights elements of my Chamoru culture that form the foundation of a culturally responsive leadership praxis within the context of American educational institutions. I offer this as an example that may help others develop their own culturally sustaining practices and inspire creation of leadership development programs which honor native cultures while facilitating effective professional practices in mainstream settings.

1. Introduction

I am a native Chamoru from the island of Guåhan (Guam). The word Chamoru refers to the people and language indigenous to the Marianas archipelago which is comprised of Guåhan and Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas (the northern islands of the Marianas). In the writing of this essay, I will use Chamoru terms followed by English translations provided parenthetically rather than italicizing the indigenous word; a convention that unnecessarily privileges the colonial language (English). I will also use diacritic marks, e.g., the glota (glottal stop) and lonnat (ring), which reflect contemporary spellings and promote proper pronunciation.
I am of the clan Familian Titang born to Fermina Leon Guerrero Perez of the village of Chalan Pago and Paul Mitsuo Hattori who moved from the state of Hawai‘i to Guam when he was a child. I moved to Hawai‘i in the 1980s to attend the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa (UHM) where I completed a baccalaureate degree in Secondary Social Studies with a concentration in Pacific Islands History, a Professional Diploma in Secondary Social Studies, a Master’s degree in Educational Technology, and an Educational Doctorate degree in Professional Educational Practice.
I have served in a variety of educational leadership positions and currently hold the position of Outreach Director for the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at UHM. I am also affiliated with three graduate programs at the university—the Learning Design and Technology’s Certificate in Online Learning and Teaching, the Doctorate in Professional Educational Practice, and the Political Science Department’s Indigenous Politics Specialization.
I have engaged in both mainstream and culture-based leadership development programs, as participant, observer, designer, and teacher. Mainstream leadership training promotes ideals and customs of the dominant culture while ignoring or conflicting with native cultures of the Pacific islands. Some examples include promoting individualism over collectivism, competition over collaboration, and valuing accelerated, situational decision-making above more deliberate, tradition-honoring actions. Over time, I developed a leadership and teaching practice grounded in Chamoru epistemology, ontology, and axiology called på‘å taotao tåno‘ (ways of the people of the land). Mobilizing my Chamoru identity in an effective leadership practice has enabled me to realize Paris’ ideal of culturally sustaining pedagogy [1] in leadership, respecting both my native culture and that of my organization. In his 2012 essay, “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: A Needed Change in Stance, Terminology, and Practice”, Paris advocated the ideal of culturally sustaining pedagogy in education:
The term culturally sustaining requires that our pedagogies be more than responsive of or relevant to the cultural experiences and practices of young people—it requires that they support young people in sustaining the cultural and linguistic competence of their communities while simultaneously offering access to dominant cultural competence.
Here I use the term culture as presented by Hammond:
Culture, it turns out, is the way that every brain makes sense of the world. That is why everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, has a culture. Think of culture as software for the brain’s hardware. The brain uses cultural information to turn everyday happenings into meaningful events.
This essay is a personal reflection highlighting elements of på‘å taotao tåno‘ that inform my professional work. I present this as an example that may help others develop their own culturally sustaining leadership practices. It may also inform creation of new kinds of leadership development opportunities for indigenous students, faculty, and administrators. Culture-based leadership development provides a path to authentic expressions of one’s culture, while enabling competence as leaders in mainstream society. By offering a development approach that honors cultures often underrepresented in leadership positions, these programs can be a strategy to advance social justice and equity in educational settings.

2. Authentic Leadership

Authenticity is both the quality of being truthful to oneself and the capacity to embody the true self in such a way that it is perceived as truthful by others [3]. Authentic leadership development is the root construct underlying all positive forms of leadership and its development. Authentic leadership involves positive internal and external conduct stemming from self-awareness and self-actualization [4]. Self-awareness is mindfulness, defined by Boyatzis and McKee as “the capacity to be fully aware of all that one experiences inside the self—body, mind, heart, spirit—and to pay full attention to what is happening around us—people, the natural world, our surroundings, and events” [5]. Raffo notes a connection between mindfulness and reflection: “the leader’s ability to be self-reflective and mindful helps encourage greater authenticity. Self-reflection leads to mindful attention to one’s identity, values, strengths and weaknesses, purpose, and core beliefs. This mindful attention allows a person to be authentic and develop a deeper clarity that becomes wisdom” [6], to speak from this place of self-knowledge, using your own voice rather than mimicking the voices of others [7]. Authentic leaders catalyze authenticity and well-being in followers [4]. Authentic leadership for a Pacific islander like myself, means identifying, articulating, and practicing Chamoru culture in leadership. Bringing my Chamoru identity to the fore of my leadership has allowed me to live out a traditional proverb: I irensia na‘lå‘la‘ i espiritu-ta (Our heritage gives life to our spirit) and to achieve greater levels of authenticity.

3. Authentic Chamoru Leadership Rooted in På‘å Taotao Tåno‘

På‘å taotao tåno‘ is a highly nuanced, multidimensional system of Chamoru beliefs, values, and practices. På‘å taotao tåno‘ stems from direct lived experiences in our spaces and promotes an ethos of harmonious, interdependent, mutually beneficial relationships among people, land, animals, and spirits. På‘å taotao tåno‘ recognizes the connectedness of all things natural and ethereal, past, present and future. It reflects our ontology that originates with a cosmology of connectedness. In our worldview, the universe and the Chamoru people are the products of selfless acts of divine siblings, Puntan and Fu‘una. As he approached the end of his natural life, Puntan instructed his sister to take apart his body and create the world. One of his eyes would become the sun, the other, the moon. His eyebrows would become rainbows and his torso would become the earth. Fu‘una used kåhna (spiritual energy) to bring to life the parts of Puntan’s body that now formed the world. With her power, she made the sun shine and the earth blossom. Wanting to make life from her own being, Fu‘una threw herself into the earth and created Fouha Rock, also known as Creation Point. Out of this rock in Umatac Bay in southern Guåhan, the first people emerged [8]. This story speaks of connection, generative selflessness, sibling harmony, and the relational nature of the universe. It is the foundation of our identity and ways of being, and informs our ways of knowing.
This association of ontology and epistemology is noted in Moya’s statement, “What we ‘know’ is intimately tied up with how we conceptualize the world and who we understand ourselves to be in it” [9]. This holistic worldview is echoed by Kincheloe and Steinberg’s finding that “many indigenous peoples have traditionally seen all life on the planet as so multidimensionally entwined that they have not been so quick to distinguish the living from the nonliving. The positivist use of the term environment, for example, implies a separation between human and environment” [10]. No such separation exists in the Chamoru worldview. Chamoru people bear a collective responsibility to the land from which our ancestors came, and to everything in nature because we originated from the same source. We will always be linked to the natural world, even after the death of our physical bodies when we enter the supernatural realm.
På‘å taotao tåno‘ shapes my leadership vision which is rooted in reciprocal relationships and connections—I envision a future in which faculty, staff, and students enjoy rich collaborative and productive relationships across the institution. These dynamic alliances cultivate awareness of and attentiveness to the needs of a diverse population. Cooperative initiatives are encouraged to deepen relationships with our colleagues, students, and communities. Many of my professional accomplishments are the result of helping others make connections to the information, resources, decision-makers, and skills they need to realize their objectives and contribute to the achievement of organizational goals. This leadership paradigm is realized through features of På‘å taotao tåno‘ such as belonging, reciprocity, respect, the Chamoru conceptualization of time, and importance of place.

4. Chamoru Values in Leadership

Aligning values with actions is a key to authentic leadership. Speaking those values is also important as advised by Aponte-Moreno, “Leaders need to look for values in their own life stories and make them explicit so that they can share them with their followers” [3]. På‘å taotao tåno‘ is comprised of cultural imperatives that sustain Chamoru axiology as well as ontology and epistemology. Leadership development researchers Michie and Gooty note that
self-transcendent values (e.g., universal values, such as social justice, equality and broadmindedness; benevolent values, such as honesty, loyalty and responsibility) and positive other-directed emotions (e.g., gratitude, goodwill, appreciation and concern for others) play a fundamental role in the emergence and development of authentic leadership.
Many facets of på‘å taotao tåno‘ are self-transcendent, benevolent, and other-directed ; they have proven effective in my leadership experience and enable achievement of the cultural ideal of inafa‘maolek (harmonious interdependence). The term literally means “to make good” and prioritizes action for the good of the community rather than individual benefit. In this essay I highlight some of these aspects of på‘å taotao tåno‘, specifically social protocols and values such as inimi‘di (belonging), chenchule‘ (reciprocity), and respect for manåmko‘ (elders).

4.1. Inimi‘di (Belonging)

Like many indigenous Peoples, the Chamoru are oriented toward a communal identity which imbues all beings with a sense of recognition and belonging. From the moment of conception, a human being enters the world in a state of union and belonging with another, bonded to one’s mother, as well as her immediate and extended family, the clans of both parents, the spirits of the ancestors, and ancestral places. When attending certain gatherings, it is assumed that I represent not only myself, but my immediate family, my extended family, and the larger clan. I embody the sum total of our collective experiences, aspirations, and knowledge.
Inimi‘di means there is no need to earn a place in your family or community. Each person is a valued member of society simply by virtue of being born. This sense of belonging and societal recognition is a dominant part of other island cultures in the region of Micronesia and described beautifully by Hezel:
Everything is personalized in island society. Everyone has a face and a history. Even if you’re a foreigner, you can’t remain on an island for very long and expect to retain your anonymity; for an islander it’s well-nigh impossible. Life on a Micronesian island, then, is the sum total of a series of interpersonal encounters with people who know one another. There are no shadowlands in which large numbers of nameless people can find refuge from these close encounters, no crab holes into which persons can crawl to escape recognition. There is no faceless crowd anywhere in Micronesia. Everyone, islander or foreign-born, has a name, a social status, and a link of some sort to everyone else in the community.
The esteemed British-American Neurologist Oliver Sacks visited Guåhan and was struck by our expressions of inimi‘di. Dr. Sacks was investigating a severe degenerative neurological disorder known to islanders as Lytico-Bodig. The disease is endemic to the island and was the leading cause of adult death between 1945 and 1956. In an interview with Allan Gregg of TV Ontario recorded in 2010, Dr. Sacks noted an “immensely different and moving sense of belonging,” saying
One of the horrors of disease in American communities, especially with those who have severe degenerative diseases, is that one gets isolated, abandoned, stigmatized, marginalized and falls out of the world. On Guam, I never saw that. People would remain completely part of the family and community, a full person right to the last. If they had to go to the hospital, the whole family would go with them. The hospital was like a village. Everyone is integrated all the while, even before Lytico-Bodig. In this way, they are much more civilized than we are.
Italian philosopher, Yann Dall’Aglio, in a Valentine’s Day TED Talk entitled Love—you’re doing it wrong, said
Modernity has led to the biggest identity crisis of humankind. The anxiety of contemporary man is an obsession with questions of worth and in response he hysterically collects symbols of desirability. This consumption is materialistic. We collect things to make others love us.
A similar dilemma is expressed in the book, Status Anxiety by Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton, who defines this phenomenon as
a worry so pernicious as to be capable of ruining extended stretches of our lives, that we are in danger of failing to conform to the ideals of success laid down by our society and that we may as a result be stripped of dignity and respect; a worry that we are currently occupying too modest a rung or are about to fall to a lower one.
These existential problems of society cited by Dall’Aglio and de Botton are rooted in a lack of and struggle for recognition and belonging. They are uncommon in environments steeped in a spirit of inimi‘di; perhaps this principle is an antidote against these social woes. In my classroom and workplaces, I employ strengths-based and appreciative inquiry approaches to teaching and management. I utilize community-building activities to promote a communal identity, employ teams and mentoring arrangements to foster collaboration rather than competition, acknowledge every person, and cultivate feelings of belonging and recognition. While we recognize and celebrate individual achievements, there is a strong community ethos.
In many classes, I group students based on individual areas of expertise such as visual arts, performing arts, research, oral communication skills, and written communication skills. Students may assume roles that elicit specific strengths such as team leader, organizer, note-taker, and speaker. These kinds of intentional groupings promote a type of collaboration that reflects life in small islands wherein different people possess distinct skills and assets, and all members are valued and necessary for the community’s success. After experiencing belonging and success in these kinds of strengths-based teams, students are more open to addressing their weak areas and now are connected to others who can assist them. Involvement in such groups promotes belonging, teamwork, and appreciation for the contributions of others.
Similar approaches are used with faculty such as those developing online courses. In these instances, a faculty member is placed into a team comprised of professional staff and student employees. The faculty member serves as subject matter expert while other group members possess expertise in areas such as multimedia technologies, instructional design, and student support. Instructional faculty without technology or distance learning expertise feel better equipped to move into these new modes of teaching when surrounded by a supportive team. Stronger relationships between students, staff, and faculty were facilitated through these experiences and over time, faculty members’ technology skills were enhanced. In many cases, faculty members were empowered to lead colleagues into online modes of instruction and student support. Technology-averse educators thus transformed into technology-promoters, expanding educational opportunities for students across our state of distant islands.
I also host student interns and volunteers, accepting students not only for what talents they have to offer, but for the knowledge, skills, and abilities they lack and could gain through professional mentoring. Students who might not be accepted at private sector internships can flourish when immediately accorded belonging, provided guidance, and presented challenges in a nurturing environment.
Fostering inimi‘di among students, staff and colleagues can be a source of empowerment, transformation, and healing of wounds caused by mainstream society’s lack of acceptance; this is particularly true for those who have been marginalized.

4.2. Chenchule‘ (Reciprocity)

Chenchule‘ is fundamental to på‘å taotao tåno‘. It a complex set of protocols wherein people contribute to the care of others with priority being the good of the community rather than the individual. Reciprocal care and giving of innumerable types of support (material, emotional, spiritual, professional, financial, temporal) ensures that our people and places are sustained now and into the future. Inafa‘maolek (harmonious interdependence) is achieved through chenchule‘. Mutual generosity of spirit; acts of charity; sharing time, talent, knowledge, and wealth; and similar other-directed behaviors are model qualities which advance inafa‘maolek.
The tenet of reciprocal care can be extended to the physical and natural environment—the ocean and land from which we originated, and which provide the means for our survival. We are guided by a sense of stewardship rather than ownership. As a leader in an educational institution, I maintain the attitude that I am a custodian of the university’s resources, be they material, financial, or human. I strive for equitable distribution of assets and sustainability of efforts, mindful that present-day decisions and actions will impact future generations.
As a leader, chenchule‘ is also expressed through supporting and nurturing members of the organization, working to cultivate and develop talents, skills, and knowledge in others who will invariably respond in ways that benefit the institution. Reciprocity is encouraged through actions such knowledge-sharing. In the distance learning course development teams cited previously, professional staff have been enriched by learning about food safety from culinary instructors, healthy eating from a human nutrition lecturer, and important greetings from a Hawaiian language professor, while instructional faculty gain valuable technical knowledge.

4.3. Respect for Manåmko‘ (Elders)

Elders are valued by Chamoru society because they possess cultural knowledge and wisdom. They are responsible for sustaining and transmitting Chamoru traditions, customs, and values; serving as essential links from the past to the future. They are treated with respect, as evidenced by deferential forms of greeting specific to manåmko‘. They are often consulted in family and community decision-making processes and their opinions and judgements are respected. One’s age may be more important in determining social power than economic status or professional rank.
Youth is not prized over age and there is acknowledgement that in times of rapid change, wisdom borne of experience and time can provide stability. Older people can help us use the past as an anchor during dynamic present-day developments. We encourage students and staff to seek out elders and solicit family, community, and institutional stories from which valuable insights can arise that help us all shape the future. Aging and death are not feared or detested but accepted as natural parts of our existence. Good leaders accept responsibility for anticipating succession and preparing younger generations to lead the institution.
In Chamoru culture, our family elders continue to guide us after the demise of their physical bodies when they become taotao mo‘na (spirits), “the people of before”. Taotao mo‘na occupy places in nature such as jungles and upon entering these spaces, respect is shown by uttering phrases such as “Guella yan Guello, dispensa ham låo kåo siña ham manmanbisita gi tåno‘-miyu?” (Grandmother and grandfather, excuse us. May we visit your land?).

5. Chamoru Temporal Intelligence

Temporal intelligence is an awareness of time and an understanding that time is a socially constructed phenomenon, experienced differently by different people [15], and clock time or linear time, although an important time management tool, contributes little to time mastery [16]. As a leader one must recognize the importance of understanding how different cultures perceive and experience time. Success in American spaces requires honoring those norms about time, such as punctuality and meeting deadlines. However, indigenous norms around time have helped me achieve success as a leader because it empowers an authentic culturally sustaining praxis.
For Chamoru people and many other Pacific islanders, time is not quantifiable, not something one can possess, not a commodity. We have no sense of wasting or killing time, no notion of forcing or rushing time. Time is not linear, nor is it finite. Time is not separate from space and not separate from the spiritual world. Life is not a linear progression, but a circle, where those who passed on return to us and those who came before are still with us [17]. Life and time are experienced and conceptualized as flow, as emerging patterns, as resonance and rhythm.
This conceiving of time as cross-currents of past, present, and future, what might be called temporal depth and temporal focus, are powerful leadership skills [18]. The present is filled with echoes of past and future, as expressed by Rainer’s statement, “Just as memories of the past exist in the present, so do seeds of the future” [19]. Gilmore and Shea note that leaders can help their institutions envision potential futures through the lens of past experiences, to make wise decisions in the present. They facilitate contemplation of possible futures in constructive ways that enable people to connect their fears and passions to alternative futures [20]. Through this temporal intelligence, Chamoru people uphold a sense of tradition that contains a moral imperative to transmit a legacy into the future.
This awareness of potential future implications of present-day actions imbues our decision-making process with a necessary intentionality and deliberateness that can be misinterpreted by outsiders as laziness or apathy. With a view of life and time being circular, and one’s existence continuing beyond the life of the physical body, there may be a lack of urgency and rapidity that is often present in mainstream society. Of this hurried pace of existence, poet David Whyte notes
A normal reaction to stress is to speed up your velocity. This approach means that after a short while, you cannot recognize anyone or anything not travelling at your velocity and become a stranger to the slower paces of existence. You become afraid of stopping and become resentful of those who are moving slower than you. There is an existential impatience and lack of generosity which comes from this stressful approach to work.
The naturally deliberate and unhurried pulse of my Chamoru mind reels at Whyte’s characterization of many workplaces in America. Relating my Chamoru temporal intelligence to leadership means that I maintain a steady rhythm in response to stress and whenever possible, seek to generate a manageable pace within my workplace. I ascertain the natural tempo and patterns of any environment in which I work and communicate them to those I manage or teach. The patterns and pulses of an organization emerge between the eddies and tides imposed by forces such as grant deadlines, academic school calendars, accreditation cycles, fiscal or accounting calendars, etc. Awareness of these currents and cadences at work provides a greater sense of agency and enables us to move in synch and with the natural flows rather than becoming inundated or upended from moving against the currents.

6. Primacy of the Natural Environment

Our land and surrounding sea are integral to our identity. For example, I can be referred to as hagan Guåhan (daughter of Guam); the words literally mean blood of Guåhan. I am not “from” Guåhan, but “of” Guåhan, drawing identity not only from parents, but from the island and ocean, as taught by the history of Puntan and Fu‘una. The natural environment of Guåhan is also a source of knowledge; this is powerfully expressed by Perez’ statements, “I Mañamoru (the Chamoru People) have many histories in these ancestral homelands we know as the Marianas. The land, seas and heavens have a memory of their own that is revealed though the Chamoru mind and senses” [22].
Chamoru often employ what westerners might call intellectual biomimicry—the understanding of human phenomena as mimicking natural phenomena; our way is to learn from nature, not only about nature. The natural environment offers lessons that can be applied to other facets of life. One such lesson is the Chamoru ethos of resilience. As we see in nature, every decimating typhoon is followed by regeneration of the land. Likewise, we are certain that every destructive political, social, or economic event will be endured and followed with revitalization of our people. There is an understanding that just as the face of the earth is constantly being changed by the flow of water and action of the wind, the earth remains; changed, but always there.
Despite centuries of colonization by Spanish and Americans and violent occupation by the Japanese, taotao tåno‘, the people of the land, endure and all that comprise our being—our land, ocean, language, ancestors, and customs—persist and thrive. Our people have and will survive the waves of foreign invaders and visitors which like all waves, are temporary while the shores on which they land remain permanent. This is a source of cultural pride and a disposition that informs our responses to negative events. As a leader in challenging times, I apply what på‘å taotao tåno‘ teaches about resilience, permanence and change. I do this by maintaining and articulating a confidence that things will always get better, even in the face of reduced resources and increasing demands. I continually convey this positive vision and show others ways we can collaborate to surmount challenges.

7. Closing

The crystallization of a leadership praxis gounded in på‘å taotao tåno‘ led to attainment of deeper authenticity, increased self-actualization, a richer professional life, and greater well-being. This culturally sustaining leadership enables me to honor my cultural heritage while achieving success as a leader in mainstream society. It permitted me to shed a protective but inauthentic shell and assert my identity as a Chamoru, representing a path toward inafa‘maolek and demonstrating the transformational possibilities of indigenous knowledge [10].
The great diversity of cultures in our society is not visible in the leadership of our schools; islanders are underrepresented in such positions. Culturally sustaining development programs are one avenue for attracting and supporting indigenous leaders. The state of Hawai‘i has been a fertile ground for culture-based development efforts for emerging leaders from islands throughout the Pacific. These opportunities arise from the recognition of dissonance created by customary development programs which pay little or no attention to indigenous cultures and privileges leadership models from the dominant society. Our institutions have seen an increase in the number of native Pacific islanders moving into leadership positions after completing culturally appropriate professional development programs. Empowered by the recognition of our own cultural heritages as a valid leadership base, we are able to mobilize the diverse identities of our students and staff, utilizing this rich epistemic resource [9] for institution-building. Culturally sustaining leadership development programs for indigenous populations can thus be an effective strategy for addressing social inequities and injustices. These programs promote self-actualization and as Maslow asserts:
the empirical fact is that self-actualizing people, our best experiencers, are also our most compassionate, our great improvers and reformers of society, our most effective fighters against injustice, inequality, slavery, cruelty, exploitation (and also our best fighters for excellence, effectiveness, competence.
På‘å taotao tåno‘ has enabled my development as a leader and facilitates growth in those I lead. It contains essentials for growth identified by humanistic psychologists: “for a person to ‘grow’, they need an environment that provides them with genuineness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance (being seen with unconditional positive regard), and empathy (being listened to and understood)” [24]. I offer this personal reflection as an example that may help others develop their own culturally sustaining practices and inspire creation of leadership development programs which honor native cultures while facilitating their success in mainstream settings.
In closing, I share the words of a chant written by Chamoru educator Leonard Iriarte (Familian Yåyi) who founded the group, Guma‘ Pålu Li‘e‘—I Fanlalai‘an (The House of the Seeing Mast—The Place For Chant) [25]. This chant, Ini Na Latte‘ (This Latte) is about the latte‘ which form the foundation of traditional buildings in the Mariånas. A latte‘ is comprised of two stones, a haligi (pillar) quarried from the earth and a tasa (capstone) mined from coral beds on the ocean floor. The tasa is secured atop the haligi to create a single latte‘. Latte‘ measure anywhere from a few feet to 25 feet tall. Homes and other structures were built upon parallel rows of latte’ stones.
Ini Na Latte‘ embodies several aspects of this essay. This chant is a metaphor for the Chamoru people and perhaps a metaphor for all Pacific islanders. It speaks of the alutong (strength) of this stone and the union of acho‘ (stone) from the tåsi‘ (sea) and acho‘ (stone) from the tåno‘ (land ). In this union of earth and sea, taotao (the people) are made strong. This chant calls us to connect to our lands and our oceans, to stand united as a people and to be strong.
  • Ini Na Latte
  • Ini na latte‘, i haligi
  • This latte, the house post
  • i acho‘ alutong gi gima‘ ulitao
  • Hard is the stone of our men’s house
  • I acho‘ tåno‘ i acho‘ tåsi‘
  • The stone of the land, the stone of the sea
  • Acho‘ alutong i taotao-måmi
  • Hard stone are our people
  • i taotao, i taotao-måmi
  • The people, our people
  • Fanaiguihi, fanaiguihi
  • Become like that, become like that
  • Nā‘ matatnga i mane ‘lu-mu
  • Encourage your brothers.
  • Hu‘!

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.


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Hattori, M.T.P. Culturally Sustaining Leadership: A Pacific Islander’s Perspective. Educ. Sci. 2016, 6, 4.

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Hattori MTP. Culturally Sustaining Leadership: A Pacific Islander’s Perspective. Education Sciences. 2016; 6(1):4.

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Hattori, Mary Therese Perez. 2016. "Culturally Sustaining Leadership: A Pacific Islander’s Perspective" Education Sciences 6, no. 1: 4.

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