Afā 'Aikona

Advocacy & Justice Program Director

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Si’oto’ofa, I greet you in the language of my ancestors and the place of my birth,Tonga. ‘Amelia Leafaitulagi ‘Aikona (she/her/tokouso) is an Indigenous daughter of Moana (Oceania). Afā was raised in Tonga,Hawai'i, by the waters of Paa-Katetan (Utah Lake) to the Pia Paa (Great Salt Lake). Afā has returned to the Pia Okwai (Jordan River) and the Westside from being away on the ancestral homeland of the Lenape (Harlem-New York City), Yelamu (La Mission- San Francisco), Tonga, Sāmoa, Viti (Fiji) and Tongva (Los Angeles County). While away, Afā collectively worked in multimedia, film, organizing, climate justice, social justice work, youth and elders circles, healing and service.

Afā graduated from California State University, Northridge and studied at UCLA in the Native and Asian American Studies program. This year, Afā will graduate from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an MFA in Creative Writing.

I dedicate my role as the Advocacy & Justice Program Director to my first gardeners, my Dad and my great grandma Mele Lei, who placed my hands in the soil and ocean water and to my children, Pele and Tangata ‘o Lakepa and community for keeping my feet planted and watered.