Patricia Tupou

New Zealand Project Support, 2017

This year’s Winks Award went to Patricia Tupou, who is pursuing a Master’s degree in Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. As a member of the Tongan community, Patricia is interested in how Indigenous narratives about the environment shape discourse about climate change and influence resource management and sovereignty movements. She believes that including indigenous perspectives in the global conversation about climate change will help facilitate the implementation of meaningful political action. Funds from the Roth Endowment will help Patricia travel between the eight islands that make up Hawai’i, allowing her to conduct field research with a diverse range of Indigenous communities and better understand broader regional narratives about the environment. Her future plans include entering politics as an advocate for the Pacific diaspora community in New Zealand and as a proponent for more effective climate change policies.