Sacred sites in Rotuma are the physical location and foundation for our people’s stories and rich cultural heritage. These stories and the sites where they took place form a network of roots that new generations of Rotuman people can trace. In many cases, these locations also hold profound spiritual significance.
The Rotuma Project is committed to the following values:
- We acknowledge the inherent mana of our ancestral homelands, surrounding waters, and sky;
- We acknowledge the roots of new generations of Rotumans are traced directly to specific sites, waters, and areas in the sky (astronomy).
- In the process of producing all our content, we ask for permission to film and document from both the local indigenous chiefs and caretakers for the lands and waters where we navigate;
- We aim to leave no trace (pack in and pack out);
- We are dedicated to the protection and conservation of sacred indigenous sites;
- In the distribution of our virtual tour and related documentary films, we will never reveal the exact physical locations of the sacred sites of Rotuma that we document;
- Our platforms, communications channels, and contents are copyrighted materials and we will legally defend that content against any malicious uses that inhibit or harm the ability of the indigenous peoples of Rotuma to self-determination.
- We ask for grace as we continue to learn new elements of our culture and protocols and are dedicated to prioritizing respect and thinking of generations that come after us as we work to bring this project to life.
Finally, we believe that the use and protection of sacred sites is a human right. We cite and encourage others to follow Article 25 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides that:
“Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.”
At The Rotuma Project, we realize that we now serve as gatekeepers to important knowledge and cultural information. It is our goal to wisely balance sharing AND protecting. We appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers as we balance those values.