Climate change is impacting communities globally and U.S.-affiliated islands and territories in the Pacific are disproportionately affected. Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are two different U.S. territories in one archipelago with a deeply connected history and cultural heritage. The islands are home to a diverse population, including a high percentage of Indigenous CHamoru, Filipino, and Micronesian residents. There are approximately 230,000 residents across the Mariana Islands and about 49,000 are school-aged children enrolled in the public school system. Guam and the NMI have consistently ranked low on U.S. standardized testing modules. These islands follow the U.S. National educational curriculum standards, but they do not reflect the lived experiences, environment, or specific challenges Indigenous communities are facing.
The climate crisis is an unprecedented storm that no other recent generation has navigated. The waves from the storm are already crashing onto the people of the Pacific islands, threatening their livelihoods. All youth are at the forefront, as they will be living through the destabilizing impacts, and need to be better educated on this issue.
The One Canoe Project educates and empowers youth for climate action and amplifies island voices. This project aims to teach the root causes of the climate crisis and encourage students to use ancestral wisdom to keep humanity moving forward. Pacific wisdom has vital lessons, and island kids need tools to connect to each other, strengthen the canoe’s hull, and interweave a sail to overcome the storm.
Pacific Island knowledge is critical to the global collective's development of cohesive plans for bold climate action. Right now, the Mariana Islands are on the frontline of the climate crisis but not much is being done to prepare island youth for the resulting changes. Grounding and localizing the concept of the “Just Transition” is critical to ensuring their survival and properly preparing youth to take leadership in navigating the future.
The One Canoe Project app is not profit-driven, it is community and future-driven. It hopes to create a resource that uplifts traditional Indigenous knowledge and transmit it to the next generation
Partnerships with Climate Justice Alliance, Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, Fanohge Coalition, University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability, Guam Green Growth Initiative, Guam Nature Alliance, Micronesia Island Nature Alliance, and 500 Sails.
Software development for a digital application.
Resources and technical expertise.
Guam, Northern Mariana Islands
Moñeka De Oro Just Transition Coordinator, Micronesia Climate Change Alliance (MCCA)