Dec 14, 2021
Michael Odegaard
Michael Odegaard

Michael Odegaard’s professional interest in ecology began as a college student in the early 1980ʻs after having coproduced a week-long OUTLOOK ʻ81 Environmental Fair at Orange Coast College. With studies of architecture, art, and land use planning, Michael began a 15-year career in community design and planning that included editing of the EARTHWORD JOURNAL of SUSTAINABLE LIVING, a career that took a new direction at the start of the Great Recession when his layoff created for Michael his long-desired opportunity to move to Hawaiʻi to complete his Hawaiian language studies at University. In the process, he translated the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom from English into Hawaiian, and he then authored the first children’s level urban design curriculum ever written in the Hawaiian language with a view toward ending the then apartheid relationship between the English and Hawaiian languages in Hawaiʻi. For a week at his familyʻs Waikīkī condos, Michael hosted Mick Dodson, Esq., the part-Yaruwu Australian law professor and principal author of the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and since then Michael has been a recognized advocate for the linguistic rights of indigenous, and especially Hawaiian-speaking, peoples. Michael has been welcomed as a visiting scholar at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and at the Harvard University Native American Program while earning his Master of Divinity degree at seminary, and Michael has been invited to speak as far away as India by churches, universities, and local San Diego indigenous groups, and even local Rotary Clubs in Oceanside on the topic of indigenous language revitalization. Michael is currently president of the Rotary Club of San Luis Rey, which is District 5340ʻs first Peacebuilder Club accredited by the Rotary Action Group for Peace.

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