Native American and Indigenous Studies Association

The premiere international & interdisciplinary professional organization for scholars, graduate students, independent researchers, and community members interested in all aspects of Indigenous Studies.


In September 23 - 27, 2015, two hundred fifty (250) cultural experts, practitioners, and community members from the Hawaiʻi Islands and the Pacific came together at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus to share contributions their practices can have on climate change solutions through the Kaulana Mahina, which is the Hawaiian Moon Calendar.
The ʻAimalama Conference focused on the use of the Kaulana Mahina methodology. This methodology is a place­based environmental literacy practice. It is based on practices affiliated with moon cycles and the data collected by generations of observers who made correlations between each moon phase in order to optimize the outcome of their efforts.
Lunar practices are fundamentally based on ancient wisdom that predates the migrations of the Pacific peoples. This ancient wisdom traveled with our ancestors, guiding them efficiently through their daily activities and also with adaptation to new or changing environments.

With the conference starting in just over 10 day, the Local Host Committee wanted to update attendees about a few things.

1. There is parking available on campus but we strongly encourage folks to utilize the shuttle service provided by NAISA Council. The NAISA shuttle begins at 7:30am at Ala Moana Hotel and runs continuously to UH Mānoa Campus Sinclair Circle. We will have volunteers directing you to Campus Center, the hub for the conference. If you must drive the lower campus parking structure costs $5.00 per day. You can pay for hourly parking in green stalls. More information about where to park and prices are available at this link:

If you have a handicap hang-tag and plan to drive, you are allowed to park anywhere on campus. I recommend parking in or around Varney Circle. Attached is a campus map for your reference.

2. If you need extra assistance or have vision, hearing, or mobility needs, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. We are striving to be a low waste conference. Whenever possible we will be using biodegradable plates, cups, and utensils. We are also arranging to have food waste composted at the UH ag labs and recycling whenever possible. We are asking you to bring a water bottle/thermos that can be refilled throughout the day. We will have water stations available at each building.

4. Finally, because the weather can be a little unpredictable in Mānoa we recommend bringing sunscreen, an umbrella and/or a hat. The local host committee stressed bringing an umbrella because Mānoa is notorious for its sun, rains and rainbows.

Volunteers for staffing registration
The success of our NAISA annual meetings rely on the time, talents, and enthusiasm of our membership, so please consider volunteering your time at our upcoming annual meeting in Hawai'i! For those members willing to contribute five or more hours to volunteering, we can offer a handful of complimentary conference registrations.
If you're interested in volunteering, please take 10 minutes to complete the volunteer form: by April 30th.
If you have questions, please email the volunteer committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The deadline for booking with the negotiated rate for the conference at the Ala Moana Hotel has passed. However, if you have not already booked a room, you can still contact them to see if they are willing to honor the conference rate, although they are not obligated to do so.

We also have secured some overflow rooms at the hotels below. (Conference attendees also are free to pursue other options if those seem preferable.) When booking, please note that you're with the NAISA conference.
- Aqua Palms Waikiki – 1850 Ala Moana Blvd -- 30 rooms at $134 per night – cutoff date of May 3 – reservations at (808) 947-7256
- Pagoda Hotel – 1525 Rycroft St. – 30 rooms at $117 (single/double) and $142 (triple) --cutoff date of May 3 -- reservations at (800) 472-4632 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reducing waste
In order to reduce the environmental footprint of the conference, we request that attendees consider bringing water bottles and mugs, to cut down on the amount of trash.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Honolulu!

In the recent election that concluded April 18, a majority of NAISA membership voted to amend the NAISA Constitution as follows:

Article IV, §4.  After the existing sentence, add the following: “In the event of the death, incapacity, or resignation of the President, the President-elect shall become Acting President for the remainder of that presidential term, at the end of which he or she shall become President for a regular one-year term.  In the event of the death, incapacity, or resignation of the President-elect, a President and President-elect shall be elected in the next regularly scheduled election.”

The School for Advanced Research is excited to announce that Kelli Jo Ford was awarded the Lannan Indigenous Writer-in-Residence Fellowship for 2016. Ms. Ford will join other scholars on the SAR campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico this summer. For more on Kelli and her project please go to