First Traditional Navigation School in Fiji

I came across very interesting news on the Fiji Sun Website. There was an article written by Wati Talebula about how indigenous Fijian DruaI Vola Sigavou captain, Setareki Ledua, is aiming to start Fiji’s first traditional navigation school.

He said that there was a need for youths in Fiji to know, practise and understand their history especially in building and sailing canoes.

He will be reaching out to villages in the maritime islands to get their views on his plans to establish the school. “We want to harness this knowledge and experience to build the school, so we can teach our youths and the next generation to build, sail and tackle their own ocean in their own canoes,” Mr Ledua said.

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Fijian Drua, I Volasigavou, photo by http://www.druaexperince.com

He added that it could also generate a livelihood for island communities especially in the tourism sector. “We believe getting to know this history, and understanding who we are, is something to be proud of.” We will be sailing to Lau to lay the foundations for our vision for a traditional navigation school here in Fiji.” He added that they will be focusing more on the youths of these outer islands and also getting ideas from village elders.

University of the South Pacific Scientific and Technical Advisor at the Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transport, Peter Nuttall said the traditional navigation school was a good idea. “In 2011 when we went to the Lau group to do the first recording of this we found that just a handful of old people who were alive still could remember Drua and we want our next generation to be able to look back and say that Fiji did an incredible thing by bringing the Drua to the world,” he said.

“It is important that we do not lose that knowledge and so a traditional navigation school will not only be the chance to catch the history but also to give youths a chance to learn about something they can be proud of.”

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