Pasifika Village Council

Pacific Islander Advocacy Coalition

Pasifika Village Council is our commitment to advocacy for the unique and diverse health & wellness priority needs of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities across Washington State.

We are committed to supporting policies that reduce barriers for NH/PIs to thrive while creating civic education opportunities to cast a wide net to help NH/PIs politicize their values and their voice.    

Our Washington Pasifika Village Council works in partnership with the National NH/PI Policy Council to drive national priorities from the local and state level. We are made up of a broad coalition  of NH/PI trusted community-based leaders and organizers who are concerned about the well-being of our NH/PI communities and are galvanized to advance the threefold mission of PICA-WA: advance NH/PI wellness, build community power and nurture cultural home together. 

Our Village Council Members

Our Wellness Policy Priorities

Currently, there are no Pacific Islanders that hold any political office in WA. Many NH/PIs aren’t able to vote due to COFA/US National/undocumented status. We stand with efforts to build up civic education and power within oppressed communities in helping them in getting a sense of their own power politically. We believe in full voting suffrage for Pacific Islanders who have made the US their home

Food is at the center of our wellness and and also our unhealth. Pasifika communities have traditionally accessed their lands and oceans to provide sustenance for their families. Through environmental racism, many in our communities are now exposed to colonized diet that is disembodied from land and from culture. Access to healthy foods is critical for Pasifika well-being. We support food sovereignty movements that elevate localized food justice solutions.

NH/PIs in the State of Washington are five times more likely to experience homelessness than their white peers according to the One Night Count in 2020. Many NH/PIs facing housing insecurity often do not engage with housing service providers due to institutional paternalism and prescriptions, linguistic racism, and culturally irresponsive services that are not aligned with Pasifika cultural values. PICA-WA champions housing solutions that doesn’t break our families apart  and lean on the family for the solutions.

Xenophobia goes hand in hand with white supremacy and has littered the ways that our national and local government systems continue to dehumanize the lives of those who are undocumented through policies that enforce an economic embargo in immigrant communities of color. Pacific Islanders who are undocumented face enforced poverty and a broken system that locks them up in detention centers. PICA-WA supports immigration policies that create pathways to citizenship/residency and policies that offer immediate economic relief.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the devastating fact that NH/PIs face the worst health disparities compared to all other racial groups – intersections of COFA, US National, undocumented status, and chronic low wages in employment fields where NH/PIs work have all led to a significant part of the community lacking healthcare coverage expounding negative consequences in health outcomes for NH/PIs. PICA-WA combats these harms by fighting for accessible and culturally responsive healthcare.

We know too well the plight of our Pasifika peoples in facing systematic state violence historically in their Oceanian homelands and in North America. We support the decriminalization of our NH/PI communities and restorative justice solutions that center community leadership in co-designing rehabilitation that centers the liberation of our incarcerated Pasifika family. We champion healing practices that restores harmony where those who have harmed and victims of harm are given real pathways to healing. 

Pasifika communities have suffered under policing policies that are birthed from anti-Indigenous and anti-Black sentiment. We are in alignment with restructuring our policing systems so it reflects the values of the communities they serve. We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Movement and call on the defunding of harmful policing systems while investing in public safety methods based on restorative justice principles.

The harmful lumping of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders under the “API” label have led to the erasure of NH/PIs in the past decades in aggregated data but it has also led to the decades of political and funding disinvestment in NH/PI community infrastructure. PICA-WA is determined to fight for full data sovereignty not just for NH/PIs but for other Indigenous communities who are overlooked in data collection methods. We are committed to decolonizing data collection.

PICA-WA is aligned with all Indigenous Pasifika movements struggling to regain control over the stewardship of Pasifika soil, oceans, waters and mountains. We align with West Papuan liberation efforts, Pacific-led climate justice efforts, the fight to protect water and mountain and also the struggle of Indigenous Pasifikans to be free of military occupation and nuclear poison from their traditional homelands

PICA-WA believes that our Pasifika youth and their families are the best stewards of their educational journey – Pasifika youth suffer from the highest rates of suspension and expulsions according to OSPI data reports. Explicit racism from faculty who know little of our youth have led to dismal outcomes for our youth. We support educational policies that is rooted in cultural identity development and resourcing poor schools through equitable funding solutions.

We believe in the full integration of our queer & trans Pasifika siblings including Mahu, Fa’afafine, Fa’atane, Leiti, Vakasalewalewa, Gela and other Two-Spirit identities within Oceania that reflects our Indigenous references and commitment to decolonizing Christian and Western notions of the gender binary that continues to harm members of our communities.

Pasifika languages retain cultural and spiritual traditions and protocols rooted in right stewardship with the Earth. We believe that the technology that is our Indigenous languages need to be nurtured and perpetuated for generations to come. Our languages point back to the Pasifika soul – without it, we lose our soul. We lift up language justice and language access for all of our Pasifika languages.

Interested in learning more or getting involved?