Students of the Indigenous Peoples of Oceania (IPO)

IPO members at Indigenous Peoples Day Rally, 2024
About Us:
Founded by Joshua Ching (‘26) and Mikiala Ng (‘24), Students of the Indigenous Peoples of Oceania at Yale (IPO) is a student-led cultural, educational, and political organization uplifting Pasifika and Oceanic voices across the university. Formed in response to a rapidly expanding Pasifika student population, the 2022 repatriation of Native Hawaiian ancestral remains from the Peabody Museum, and belated reconciliation initiatives to address Yale’s history of missionization across the Pacific, IPO was born in a moment of reckoning, but more so, as a response to it–-to make Pasifika presence on-campus visible and permanent.
Since its founding, IPO has spearheaded a variety of events, activities, and initiatives centering Pasifika presence on-campus. Annually, IPO organizes celebrations for Fijian Independence Day, Lā Kūʻokoʻa, and Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, previously hosting speaker events featuring Ambassador Jesoni Vitusagavulu, Governor John Waiheʻe, Jon Osorio, and a panel of practitioners and experts of Hawaiʻi Sign Language. In tandem, we host intimate celebrations of Pasifika culture, through lei-making workshops, shared reading days, cooking events, oli and mele teach-ins, and movie screenings, tightening our community within a community.
Doubly, our organizing work aims to impact homeward. In early November, IPO organized a benefit concert supporting recovery efforts in the wake of the Lāhainā wildfires, raising over $3,500 for the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. Looking forward, in early April, in collaboration with the NACC, Chaplain’s Office, Yale Peabody Museum, and Andover Newton Seminary, IPO is hosting Yale’s first Pasifika Fest, a large-scale celebration of Oceanic culture, food, arts, and scholarship featuring guest speakers Lelemia Irvine and Ulise Funaki.
Meetings occur weekly in the NACC conference room on Thursdays from 5:00-6:00pm 
Contact any of our board members to learn more!
Board Members

Joshua Ching, ‘26



Connor Arakaki, ‘26

Co-director, Social Media


Emma Slagle, ‘26

Co-director, Social Media

Meera Mishra, ‘26 

Event Director,  Pasifika Fest

Helen Shanefield, ‘26

Event Director,  Pasifika Fest


Jairus Rhoades, ‘26

Event Director, Lahaina Benefit Concert coordinator

Amber Nobriga, ‘27


Stace Zhao, ‘27


IPO in the News