National Geographic : 2002 Dec
frequently crew. Together they teach students and teachers how to handle the heavy steering paddles (above and right), make fast the mast (below), which carries the traditional crab claw sail, and work as a team. "We're trying to expose them to something positive," says Bertelmann, "something our ancestors did through thousands ofyears of migrations. And make them realize they should be proud of who they are." The plan seems to be working. While native Hawaiian students have the highest truancy and dropout rates in the islands, they can'tseem to get enough of the Makali'i, which is booked months in advance for school groups and teacher trainingsessions. "This was just a dream come truefor me," says science teacher Steven HanaloaHelela (right, in blue). "It'sa collective dream of the Hawaiian people. The whole idea of way-finding and navigation is a great metaphor for us as we struggle to revive our culture."