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ETAK - an [un]traditional Micronesian navigation chant

ETAK, Film image still, Photo credit Futsum Tsegai

Image Description: The silhouette of a Matao person in white flowy pants stands with feet in the water. They hold something in their hands in front of their body that can not be seen. They have their head positioned in such a way that it looks like they may be gazing into the water or perhaps out to sea. In the distance there are tall mountains slightly lit by the setting sun that reflects deep blue colors into the clouds above.

On March 12th PST, we will premiere the teaser for the short film, Etak: an [un]traditional Micronesian Navigation Chant with a very special live Zoom engagement featuring performance, artist talks and storytelling presented by artists, cultural bearers and scholars with global ties in Indigeneity, tuning in from Micronesia and throughout North America including; Cannupa Hanska Luger, Monaeka Flores, Ojeya Cruz Banks, Gabriel Teodros, Vince Díaz and Dakota Camacho.

Etak (pronounced Eh-tack) loosely translates as moving islands, a form of triangulation and is a Micronesian seafaring technology, used in relationship to understanding the ocean-going vessel’s relationship to the movement of space and time. Etak is built upon the ethos in Micronesia that the canoe is stable and the universe moves around the canoe, this is a vessel for traveling through space and time, through the world as an Indigenous person who is of a global community yet from a specific place.

This gathering will be a digital space for the co-creation of Indigenous knowledge and the understanding of our relationship to each other, as if all our canoes, waters and lands are moving in relationship to one another.

This program invites us into contemplation of our belonging: How does an Indigenous body exist with the land and the water? How do we exist with it instead of extract from it? How do we remember our ceremonies? Where do we go to regenerate our Indigeneity (outside of our ancestral lands).

Tickets are available here.

Access information: The live event will include live captioning on the zoom event. There will be limited tickets inside the zoom room, which are available through the Eventbrite. We have also reserved tickets for those who need captioning. If you have any questions or access needs please do let us know by emailing hoi at

More about the artists engaging in the LIVE event:

STTLMNT project concept artist Cannupa Hanska Luger is a multi-disciplinary artist of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota descent. Using social collaboration and in response to timely and site-specific issues, Luger produces multi-pronged projects provoking diverse publics to engage with Indigenous peoples and values apart from the lens of colonial social structuring. He exhibits, lectures and participates in projects globally.

Monaeka Flores (Familian Kabesa) is a queer CHamoru artist and daughter of Guåhan. She has worked in ceramic, metal, glass, painting, and mixed media and curated and coordinated a number of exhibits including Guam’s first Pride Month Art Exhibit in 2018. Monaeka is a member of dynamic community organizations that focus on CHamoru self-determination, environmental justice, and the protection of sacred sites: I Hagan Famalåo’an Guåhan, Prutehi Litekyan – Save Ritidian, and Independent Guåhan, all of which are members of the Fanohge Coalition.

Ojeya Cruz Banks (PhD) is an Associate Professor of Dance at Denison University. A dancer anthropologist, her research, dancemaking and film is grounded in her Pacific Islander (Guåhan/Guam) and African American heritage. For over a decade, she worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago in Aotearoa/New Zealand. This is where she developed an interest in indigenous contemporary dance and Black Pacific dance intersections. Cruz Banks calls her teaching, choreographies and publications decolonial interventions that include topics such as Black/African and Pasifika creative processes, pedagogies, spiritual well-being, ethnography, and epistemologies of performance.

Gabriel Teodros is a musician and writer from South Seattle who first made a mark with the group Abyssinian Creole, and reached an international audience with his critically-acclaimed solo debut Lovework. He has been setting stages on fire ever since, all across the US, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Ethiopia and South Africa; often in combination with workshops on creative writing, music, history, science fiction and media literacy.

Vicente (Vince) M. Diaz, a Filipino-Pohnpeian scholar and writer from Guåhan, is an interdisciplinary scholar (History, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Comparative and Global Indigenous Studies) who specializes in critical indigenous studies in North America and the Pacific Ocean region. He is the founder and director of The Native Canoe Program, housed in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. This program uses traditional Indigenous watercraft and Indigenous water-based ecological knowledge and technology from across Oceania and the Native Great Lakes and Mississippi River to advance community-engaged research, teaching, and service.

This event is hosted as part of the online project

STTLMNT: An Indigenous Digital World Wide Occupation

Conceived as a month-long Indigenous led encampment in Central Park, Plymouth, UK, Settlement was to take place summer of 2020 within the context of the Mayflower 400 commemoration events. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and with over two years of planning, we have pivoted away from onsite engagement. In the spirit of survivance, we have reimagined this monumental site-specific project as STTLMNT, an innovative year-long Indigenous Digital Occupation. Participating artists have gracefully adapted their projects as a succession of online artworks, performances, artist discussions, social engagements, and films. Presented for one year, this new work invites global audiences to have meaningful interaction with the Indigenous people of North America and the Pacific. -STTLMNT WEBSITE


This event is supported in part by STTLMNT, API Chaya, 4Culture, & the National Performance Network (NPN).

MALI’E’ | ETAK is supported in part by a National Performance Network (NPN) Documentation & Storytelling Fund grant. The Documentation & Storytelling Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. For more information, visit

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