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August 5, 2019 | by  | in Editorial |
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Editorial – Wan Solwara

“We sweat and cry salt water so that we know the ocean is really in our blood.” – Teresia Teaiwa. 

 

We dedicate this issue to our fiery canoe, the late Dr Teresia Teaiwa. 

 

A champion for our peoples. 

 

Wan Solwara—the name of this edition is pidgin for ‘one salt water’, meaning one ocean. This was a message shared by Teresia in reference to the Pacific ocean that provides a foodsource, a home, a space and a common heritage to all of our Pacific people.  

 

In 2016, the editors of Salient came to Laura Toailoa—then secretary of PSC and budding writer—asking if Pacific students would like a weekly column in Salient. This year, Victoria University’s Pacific community have been blessed to have our very own edition. Five brown, bold, and beautiful women have been brought together by a Mana Wāhine from Tokoroa to create a collaborative body of art that represents us all—people of the ocean. 

 

Often, our identities are written and politicised for us. In this edition, we represent and speak for ourselves and our people. We, as indigenous writers, have an inherent commitment and a right to share the stories of our ancestors—to speak for our land, and express our cultures. This edition is resistance. It is reclamation. It is shared pain, but it is shared healing too. To be able to have this platform to pour our stories, our experiences, our thoughts and opinions into this magazine has been a privilege. 

 

We would like to sincerely thank each and every person who has played their part in weaving this together. You have incorporated so much of your own voice, heart, passion, and soul into this edition. We would like to reiterate that your voice IS important. Thank you for being a part of the first ever PACIFIC-led, PACIFIC-centred edition of Salient. You have shown vulnerability, creativity, pawa, and beauty in your work and we could not be more grateful for your contribution. 

 

As the editors of Wan Solwara, we are the products of Pacific and Māori bloodlines that have extended in the land of Aotearoa. We are children of the migration who have crossed oceans in search of opportunity and prosperous futures to reach our full potential. Our full potential sees us addressing the problems our people face at present, utilising the knowledge we have gained in union with our precious indigenous ways. This edition is a demonstration of the potential of the Pacific student voice. This is the foundation for the voices of future Pacific students at Victoria University. 

 

We are storytellers. Our voices bend through the waters of our ancestors. Our stories bind us together as Micronesians, Melanesians, and Polynesians. Wan Solwara is a haven for different voices, of different ancestral backgrounds and heritages. We hope that each and every voice offered in words in this edition are proffering life to a fearless generation of storytellers. We hope this edition continues annually. We hope the stories of our Pacific people will continue to be shared.  This is simply a stepping stone to creating more indigenised spaces on campus for Pacific people. In the words of our fiery canoe and our compass in the making of this edition:

 

“You can’t paint the Pacific with just one brush stroke.’   

 

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