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The 18th Tonga Research Association Conference

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About
Purpose
Theme
Important Information

Tonga Research Association (TRA) , Kautaha Fekumi ʻa Tongá, is a multidisciplinary association for the advancement of Tongan studies. The Tonga Research Association (formerly Tongan History Association) was established in Haʻapai, Tonga, 1989.

This four-day conference will be hosted at BYU–Hawaii to provide opportunities for scholars and community members to present their research on topics related to Tonga and Tongans. The last time BYU–Hawaii hosted this conference was in 1992; that is 28 years ago. This conference takes place biennially (every other year). The last conference was held in Nukuʻalofa, Tongatapu, Tonga in 2019.

The purpose of this conference is to encourage and inspire all students, especially Tongan students, and community members to do research and to return to Tonga communities to implement their research and provide service. The conference will also connect students with potential graduate schools, internships, and employment.

The overarching theme of this 18th biennial conference is Fataki Fonua: Sustaining Our Fonua in All Times and Spaces. "Sustaining Our Fonua in All Times and Spaces" is an invitation for all Tongans to create, recreate, and maintain our culture and history in all times and contexts (Tonga and abroad). Fataki Fonua brings to our memory Maui Motuʻa, a descendant of our matriarch Velesiʻi (Hina). Maui Motuʻa is a deified Tongan ancestor who resides in Lalofonua (Underworld) and is tasked with the fatongia (sacred responsibility) of shouldering the fonua, fataki e fonuá. Our Tongan ancestors believed earthquakes are caused by Maui Motuʻa when he falls asleep and neglects his responsibility of shouldering the fonua. This is why Tongans stomp the ground during earthquakes to wake up Maui. TRA 2021 Conference is a wake up call to all Tongans (descendants of Maui and Hina) and their allies to carry our fonua in all of its manifestations. This means caring and sustaining our nation, language, culture, history, people, placenta (mothers and newborns), land, ocean, environment, etc. In light of the current environmental crisis that we are facing, such as climate change, it is timely that we hold a conference about fonua.

Conference Registration


Full registration fee is $80.

One day registration is $40 (employed) and $15 (students).

(Currency based on your home country)

**Full registration fee includes conference dinner on Friday. The membership fee is not included in the registration fee.

Travel and Accommodation


Airport: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
300 Rodgers Blvd, Honolulu
HI 96819, United States

Hotel: Marriott Courtyard
Courtyard Oahu North Shore
55-400 Kamehameha Highway, Laie, Hawaii 96762 USA
+1 808-293-4900

Brigham Young University–Hawaii
55-220 Kulanui Street
Laie, Hawaii 96762-1293
+1 (808) 675-3211

Important Dates

  • Monday, December 21, 2020 — Abstract Submissions Open
  • Monday, February 22, 2021 — Abstract Submissions Close
  • Monday, March 29, 2021 — Presenters will be notified
  • Wednesday, April 14, 2021 — All presenters will need to confirm their participation in TRA2021.
  • Monday, May 10, 2021 — All presenters have registered for the conference to guarantee a place in the program.
  • Wednesday, September 22, 2021 — TRA 2021 Conference begin
  • Saturday, September 25, 2021 — TRA 2021 Conference closes
  • Sunday, September 26, 2021 — TRA Church Service

Submission Process


We invite Tongan researchers/practitioners/community members and their allies around the world to submit abstracts for consideration for inclusion in TRA2021. TRA’s vision is of Tongans and their allies who are looking forward into the past to guide and lead the present and future. Therefore, TRA has committed to a program that is led and designed by Tongans and their allies, and critically, ensuring that Tongans are engaged in research and decision-making in all disciplines and across all sectors of society. TRA recognizes that excellent Indigenous scholarship and vocation are critical to making significant contributions towards positive engagement for Tongan aspirations in Tonga and abroad, but equally for all Indigenous Peoples seeking knowledge and solutions to major challenges they face in their local and global contexts. For more information, please see The 18th Tonga Association Research Conference.

Abstract Submissions Open: Monday, December 21, 2021, HST.

Abstract Submission Deadline: Monday, February 22, 2021, 11:59pm HST.

Abstracts for TRA2021 must be submitted online through the submission portal below.

Abstract Submission and Registration Process   


Please read the abstract submission and pegistration process instructions carefully for details on submitting and preparing abstracts. Only abstracts that meet completeness checks will be considered. ALL abstract submissions should be in reference to work currently underway or completed within the last 12 months and submissions need to be clearly aligned with the TRA2021 conference themes (see below).

Abstract Submission Process

  • Submission Portal and Submission Guidelines
  • Due date Deadline Monday, February 22,  2021, 11:59 pm HST.
  • All submitted abstracts will be notified of the outcome in email beginning  Monday, March 29, 2021 (HST). If you do not have an abstract accepted, we still encourage you to register for the conference and participate in these important discussions.
  • All presenters with accepted abstracts must then confirm their participation no later than Wednesday, April 14, 2021 (HST).
  • When you submit an abstract, you are making a professional commitment to participate in the conference if your abstract is accepted.
  • Presenters must also register to attend TRA2021 by Monday, May 10, 2021 (HST).
  • Presenters are expected to be considerate and send their pre-recorded presentation on time. Detailed instructions and examples will be provided to presenters of accepted abstracts. If a presenter who has had their abstract accepted, but due to unforeseen circumstances, is not able to pre-record a  presentation by the deadline, please contact the conference organizers by email at tongaresearch2021@gmail.com as soon as possible. 
Submission Portal

Willing to Chair One or More Sessions of the TRAC 2021?