UH School of Social Work receives OHA grant

University of Hawaiʻi
Peter Mataira, (808) 956-6127
School of Social Work
Posted: Dec 12, 2006

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi School of Social Work was awarded a $51,207 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to assist in the planning and hosting of the 2007 conference, "Indigenous Voices in Social Work: Not Lost in Translation," planned for June 4-7, 2007 at the Makaha Resort on the Waianae coast. This inaugural conference is already attracting the attention of indigenous practitioners, scholars, and researchers from North America, Canada, Hawaiʻi and from Asian and Pacific Island countries such as Aotearoa, Australia, Fiji, Guam, Malaysia and Taiwan.

The purpose of the conference is to question and explore the changing contours of social work and affirm the importance of indigenous and cultural processes in reshaping conventionally held western notions of research, education, and practice. The conference represents the culmination of two years of planning by the School of Social Work‘s kupuna council, educators and researchers, as well as Hawaiian social workers, cultural practitioners, and indigenous social work leaders from around the globe.

"OHA‘s support for this conference recognizes and reaffirms the valued role social workers play in improving the social, economic, cultural and spiritual lives and conditions of Hawaiian families and communities," said Jon Matsuoka, Dean of UH Mānoa‘s School of Social Work.

"Delegates will have the opportunity to share, honor and exchange knowledge and traditions in healing and alleviating problems affecting indigenous peoples including those of family violence, child neglect and abuse, substance abuse, psychological and social impacts of natural disasters, and in learning about positive ways to strengthen communities and implement culturally appropriate research," added planning committee co-chairs Drs. Lana Kaʻopua and Peter Mataira, who applied for the grant.

Conference organizers hope this gathering will lead to a greater strengthening among indigenous social workers and promote ongoing gatherings of this type.

The OHA grant will also be used in part to provide assistance and scholarship funds to Native Hawaiians and to support conference activities. For more information, contact the School of Social Work‘s office at (808) 956-7182 or visit the conference Web site at http://vrchawaii.org/IVSW/index.html.

For more information, visit: http://vrchawaii.org/IVSW/index.html