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Celebrations For Utah's 9th Annual Pacific Island Heritage Month Start Saturday


Utah’s ninth annual Pacific Island Heritage month kicks off on Saturday with celebrations in Salt Lake City. 

Susi Feltch-Malohifo’ou runs the nonprofit Pacific Island Knowledge 2 Action Resources and is in charge of plans for Utah Pacific Island Heritage Month. She said the month is meant to celebrate Pacific Island heritage and to educate the community.

“I had my whole life without Pacific Islanders in my life," she said. "How incomplete I was without knowing those cultural roots. And once I was able to ground and anchor myself in my ethnicity, then the rest of the identity of who I am came together.” 

Feltch-Malohifo’ou was adopted by a white family at the age of three, and did not spend much time with other Pacific Islanders when she was young. A big part of why she said Pacific Island Heritage month is important is because some Pacific Island youth don’t know much about their background.

“I don’t want to see the younger generation of Pacific Island kids and people wondering where they fit in," she said. "I’m too white to be over here and I’m too brown to be over here.” 

Utah Pacific Island Heritage month kicks off on Saturday at the Pacific Heritage Academy in Salt Lake City. 50,000 Pacific Islanders call the state home.

Feltch-Malohifo’ou said the various events that will take place across Utah in August will represent many different Pacific Islands and include things like traditional foods, singing, dancing and more.

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Harley is a news reporter at UPR. She covers a bit of everything, but especially news dealing with education and updates from the governor. She has always loved both writing and public speaking, so radio is perfect for her. She is a student at USU studying journalism, sociology, and criminal justice. Outside of work and school, she loves running, hiking, and exploring National Parks.