The 2023 Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series

Hawaiian navigator and environmentalist Nainoa Thompson

This event has been canceled due to illness.

The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation is excited to announce Nainoa Thompson as the featured speaker for this year’s Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series to be held on Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. A Native Hawaiian, Thompson is a renowned master navigator, explorer, environmentalist, cultural revivalist, educator, and the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Founded in 2016, the Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series honors beloved Whidbey Island teacher and community leader Trudy J. Sundberg and her lifelong commitment to discover, explore, and exchange information, ideas, and opinions in an environment of respect and consideration.

Entitled “Finding Our Way: Moananuiākea, A Voyage for Earth,” Thompson’s presentation will focus on his impending four-year expedition circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean. The goal of the voyage is to ignite a movement of 10 million “planetary navigators” by developing young leaders and engaging communities around the world to take part in a healthy, thriving future. It’s a global educational campaign to amplify the vital importance of oceans and indigenous knowledge.

“We’re trying to reclaim our relationship to the earth and the destination is not ours,” said Thompson, “It’s whether this world is going to be healthy for our children.”

Thompson is best known as the first Hawaiian in over 600 years to practice the ancient Polynesian art of navigation, having navigated two double-hulled canoes (the Hōkūleʻa and the Hawaiʻiloa) from Hawaii to other island nations in Polynesia without the aid of western instruments.

“Presenting this series is a valued part of our work to bring lifelong learning opportunities to our communities,” said Christina Kourteva, executive director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. “We are delighted to have Nainoa Thompson’s visionary work at the center of this year’s event.”

Thompson has earned numerous honors for his work, including the Unsung Hero of Compassion, awarded by His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama, and the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal.

The Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series is funded by community donations and would not be possible without the continued generosity of individuals, businesses, and community organizations.

2023 Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series Sponsors

  • Whidbey Community Foundation
  • Friends of the Freeland Library
  • Whidbey Island Democratic Club
  • Dr. Gary Berner, DDS
  • Friends of the Clinton Library
  • Friends of the Langley Library
  • Goosefoot Community Fund
  • League of Women Voters of Whidbey Island
  • SaviBank
  • Whidbey Island Bank
  • Fox & Feather Printing
  • Oak Harbor Yacht Club
  • Terra Firma Wealth Management
  • Whidbey Island Kayaking