Ethics is a field that can be subject to unwarranted universality. Nonetheless, ethics is complex and subject to place-based specificity. In this article, we show through examples how Indigenous Solomon Islands ethics expresses group identity, structures collective intergenerational coherence, supports the productive navigation of new contexts, and provides a plank for the building of much-needed nationhood. Our aims are to provide food for thought to a wider audience regarding the way ethics is understood, discussed, and enacted, to honour the originators and practitioners of Indigenous Solomon Islands ethical systems, and to assert their value as a pattern for a good life.


Defining ethics is hard and can feel like ‘nailing jello to a wall’.¹ While the term ‘ethics’ may be accepted as referring to the codification of what is right and wrong, rightness and wrongness are contextual and a matter of subjectivity. In this essay, we look at ethics and social sustainability in Solomon Islands, an enterprise worthwhile for at least three reasons.  

Firstly, the specifics of ethics offer a salutary lesson to participants in fields such as educational research, in which a tendency to impose the ethics of one group upon another is evident.  

Secondly, since multiple voices are helpful in appreciating new possibilities, discussion of Indigenous Solomon Islands ethics may offer wisdom of value in wider contexts.  

Thirdly and most importantly, exploring Indigenous Solomon Islands ethics brings honour to the originators and practitioners of Solomon Islands Indigenous ethical systems, asserting the strength of Indigenous Solomon Islands societies as self-sustaining and able to cope with change by understanding the pattern for a good life on their own terms.  

In order to present our exploration, which draws on earlier research,² the narrative begins by eroding universalistic approaches to ethics. We then turn to ethics as an element of collective identity for the Gwailao clan from East Mala’ita, Solomon Islands. This theme is further developed through a research-based account of ethical education as a means to collective intergenerational coherence that describes how ethics are transmitted and reinforced amongst children and adults at the clan and village level. What follows next is a detailed examination of the relationship between ethical principles and change in the context of a rara’aba (a calming of nerves meeting). Finally, adopting a wider Solomon Islands nation-state lens, we consider the potential of school-based Solomon Islands citizenship education founded on the ethical responsibilities of being a wantok (literally a person who speaks the same language) through the work of Billy Fito’o.³

The ethics of specifics

Many global and Pacific voices have noted the way ethics have been imposed through research on Indigenous peoples. Linda Tuhiwai Smith, for example, notes how unequal power relationships between researchers and Indigenous peoples result in Indigenous individuals and groups becoming the subjects of research, made exotic in the process.⁴ In the context of Solomon Islands research, we have shown that a shift towards research partnerships between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Solomon Islanders has been slow, and that very little research has been framed in kastom (customary) terms.⁵ It is unsurprising, therefore, to find that a systematic neglect by research ethics committees of collective rights and community consent⁶ has resulted in the assertion of a Western-biased ethical system that assumes individual rights to be paramount.⁷

Under the guise of universalism, inappropriate ethical codes have therefore been applied when researching Indigenous knowledge.⁸ This has led to the disenfranchisement of Indigenous ethical processes⁹ and unethical encroachment on the knowledge systems of Indigenous peoples.¹⁰  Evidence from the Pacific of these issues includes the questioning of the cultural validity of ethical decisions made by professional and university research organisations,¹¹ the imposition of potentially misplaced ethical principles such as autonomy, beneficence, and non-maleficence,¹² and the inappropriateness of non-Indigenous ethical frameworks to capture unstated Indigenous knowledge.¹³

Two immediate challenges arise from this situation.

First, Indigenous peoples are challenged to reclaim their Indigenous knowledge and ethical systems from the exoticised positions to which these have been relegated in and by the academy, establishing their rightful places within a global knowledge economy. In the Oceania region, the taking up of this challenge can be seen in the works of Māori¹⁴ and Islander scholars.¹⁵

Second, there is a challenge to Western research institutions to recognise the value, contributions, and legitimacy of Indigenous knowledge systems and to negotiate research approaches that are ethically appropriate, dignified, and respectful and which honour the wisdoms of all those who are involved.  

This article makes contributions in both areas. We unequivocally assert the value of Solomon Islands ethical systems as complete and effective in their own right to describe and support the patterns of a good life in context. We do this by providing specific examples, making visible to the academy those things which should be valued in research (and other fields), thereby providing both the matter and model for honourable encounters. In writing this paper, Kabini could be described as an ‘insider’ researcher, being a Gula’alā person of the Gwailao clan who acknowledges personal responsibility for any limitations of description, interpretation, or execution of this new area of Indigenous Oceania scholarship. Martyn could be described as an ‘outsider’ researcher whose role has been to provide a sounding board to support the construction of discussion. We advance this scholarship through our relationship, understanding matters of inside/outside to be relational,¹⁶ focused from our different socialisations and perspectives on a common good which we both embrace.

Solomon Islands

Diversity characterises the Solomon Islands. An archipelago of over 900 islands, Solomon Islands lies between Papua New Guinea to the west and Vanuatu to the southeast. Although the term ‘Melanesian’ is often applied to the Solomon Islands population, some groups who reside there have ancestral links to Polynesian and Micronesian groups. Around 80 languages are spoken and multiple cultural groups make up the nation-state.¹⁷ Pijin, a Melanesian creole,¹⁸ provides mutual intelligibility across Solomon Islands and within Melanesia as a whole. English is the official language, a consequence of Solomon Islands’ status as a British Protectorate prior to independence in 1978. Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal is the capital. Few other urban settlements exist, although Auki, the provincial capital of Mala’ita province, is one.

Solomon Islanders generally recognise three domains of influence. Formal institutional life is a domain that includes government bodies, systems such as formal education, and diverse other statutory bodies and activities. The church domain is focussed on the many Christian denominations that form part of the social fabric. Kastom is the domain of practices and understandings that are customary, well-understood, and tested by time. The three domains compete for influence but are generally thought of as significant in ascending order as listed.¹⁹ Consequently, kastom ethics are influential across domain borders, and activities in the formal domain such as school leadership or research are unlikely to profit from running counter to kastom.²⁰ Thus, we pay attention to kastom ethics through the example of the Gwailao clan from East Mala’ita as an example of ethics as a contributor to identity.

The Gula’alā of Mala’ita

Mala’ita Island is the most populated part of the Solomon Islands archipelago. It is rugged and mountainous with dense tropical forests, deep harbours, and has lagoons in the west, southwest, and northeast. The island is divided culturally and linguistically into Toabaita, Baelelea, Baegu, Lau, Fataleka, Kwara’ae, Langalanga, Kwaio, Dorio, ‘Are’Are, Sa’a, and Gula’alā. Anthropologically speaking, Mala’ita cultures are patrilineal and egalitarian, although clan groups in ‘Are’Are and Sa’ embrace a more structured chiefly system.  

The linguistic group which we describe is the Gula’alā, an Indigenous people at home on the east coast of Mala’ita Island. The Gula’alā are made up of seven clan groups, all of whom speak the Gula’alā language, one of twelve linguistic entities on Mala’ita Island. The Gula’alā number 1,800 people and live in seven villages in the Kwai and Uru harbours of east Mala’ita. Although their ancestral religion is a form of animism, the Gula’alā are now Christians. Gula’alā people continue to live a subsistence lifestyle, following customs and ethics of communitarianism. The Gula’alā clan of interest here is Gwailao. Gwailao understandings, ethics, and practices are rendered through Gula’alā terms.²¹

Ethics and identity in Mala’ita

Mala’ita tribes are theocratic and ruled by priests. The tribes’ Indigenous religious system involves paying homage to ancestors’ spirits. As in other Melanesian societies, Mala’ita tribes are socially egalitarian, with no clear hierarchical chiefly system. Instead, the fata’abu baita (high priest) oversees the tribe’s affairs.  Other spiritual (wane foa), civic (aofia /alafa), and war (ramo) leaders exist in Mala’ita tribal settings. However, among the Gula’alā, the fata’abu holds most power over certain things and people. Under Christianity, the majority of Mala’ita tribes do not have practising fata’abu. Exceptions include communities in Kwaio, Baegū, and the Lau regions. The absence of fata’abu rule, however, has not restricted the influence of Indigenous Mala’ita. Each tribe is an integrated community, with daily living and the sense of a good life primarily anchored in the tribal theocratic belief system.    

The Indigenous Mala’ita ethical system is living. Tribes as kastom collectives and as contemporary communities are organised through complex sets of tagi (Gula’alā for a system of morality), categories, and levels of conventions, laws, benchmarks, and associated processes. These separate right from wrong and good from bad, and frame rewards and punishments. Mala’ita society has clear dispositions and seeks to influence its members to behave accordingly. Tribal groups in Mala’ita have specific character traits for resolving moral dilemmas and cultivating virtue. Today, this ethical system operates daily with and beyond the systems of a nation-state, Westminster democracy, as well as multiple Christian denominations. Since each tribal unit is enmeshed with its religious system, there is a high level of integration between socio-economic, political, ethical, and religious worlds which overlap into a single whole. Consequently, being good or bad and doing well or doing ill has the potential to affect the survival or death of the tribe. Morality is directly linked to Mala’ita belief systems. These are not just human and physical but spiritual, and metaphysical as well.²² Unethical conduct by a member of a tribe can be fatal for the entire collective.  

Integration is a key feature of Mala’ita ethics. In Mala’ita society, there is an overlapping relationship between personal and societal ethics such that private and communal morality are indistinct. Often, communal tribal ethics mandate and obligate the ethics of individuals. The privileging of the group reflects Mala’ita ontological, epistemological, cosmological, and axiological assumptions about nature.²³ The Mala’ita individual is a principal vehicle of representation for the tribe; one is not dialectically opposed to the other.  

In Indigenous Mala’ita ethics, abu (holiness, also tapu in some Polynesian societies) is a unifying principle. Abu is the glue that binds the Indigenous Mala’ita ethical system together, is the culmination of integrity, and is a central normative piece in Mala’ita ethics.²⁴ Abu refers to being set apart in behaviour, action, and worship. It reflects goodness, rightness, and credibility to honour horizontally and vertically. Abu mediates and measures what is deemed fair, correct, and just. Abu explains the state of relationships, protocols and spaces of purpose, connection, and separation between tribe members and their neighbours in the natural world. Abu places constraints on humans to stop them being ‘bad’ and mediates against absolute power or the abuse of power. Through restraint, abu points people to spirit-gods or God. In Mala’ita cosmology, abu compels people to relate to others as co-dependents in a complex, wide, and holistic universe.

Indigenous Mala’ita ethics privileges the principle of rō lā (obedience) more than other significant values. In theocratic Mala’ita, rō lā is worship, a means of submission and demonstrating loyalty to the other, particularly to authority. This is because to be obedient is right doing. Particularly when loyalty to spirit-gods is at issue, obedient action by a clan member is an ethical outcome. The Indigenous Mala’ita ethical system does not privilege other important principles. If obedience to tribal interest is weighed against fairness, obedience as loyalty is privileged over fairness. The privileging of obedience over fairness explains the old kastom ‘random’ killing of individuals, the powerful conversions to Christianity that have occurred, and the desecration though not discarding of tribal shrines by former tribal members who have become Christians.

To summarise, an Indigenous Mala’ita ethics such as that of the Gula’alā is an integrated social-economic-political-religious system, a key aspect of collective identity. Mala’ita people’s theocratic orientation means that Indigenous ethics is fundamentally linked to the tribal religion. The underpinning understandings of this system of ethics suggest that Mala’ita ethics is predominantly deontological, with aspects of teleological and virtue-based ethics.  

Ethics and intergenerational coherence

The transmission of ethics to support intergenerational coherence can be explored in the Gula’alā context by drawing on different data sources.²⁵ These include sili (creative genres by expert knowledge-holders which are spoken or sung); fānanaua (specific teachings, intended to shape character); fānanau lā ‘inatō (concentrated teachings on ethics, usually focusing on key principles or virtues) and alā lā kini (intentional, focused discussions) with expert knowledge guardians. We give examples of these forms in practice.²⁶

Ethics education in Gula’alā starts early. For example, an adult might sing a sili about an admired ancestor. When performed for a group of youth, the sili exalts the ancestor and provides a moral compass:  

‘Oe ‘o adomia ai ‘oro (You, a helper of many)
Ai ana malutā (A cultured one)
Ai nē ‘e kwaimani (A loving one)
Ai nē ‘e ‘abero (A caring one)
Ai ‘e aroaro (A peaceful one)
Ai ‘e rō (The obedient one)
Ai ‘o manata sulia ta rau ‘oko adea fana toa (One who instigates plans to serve people).

Fānanau lā (ethics education) sessions for adolescent boys might address restraint behaviour; obedience to or respect for adults; industriousness or willingness to participate; the honouring of or respect for women and girls; the honouring of and respect for clan sisters; the importance of openness about girls of interest; care for widows and or orphans; and truthfulness in life in general.

Faānanau lā for girls might focus on personal character and relationships:

Rarī nau ‘ae, kosi leka ‘i rara tei fili ‘oe. ‘Oe leka nō mone ‘abitana tē ‘oe. (My daughter, in undertaking your food gathering chores in the garden, ensure you’re accompanied by and traveling in your mother’s shadows.)    
‘Oe ai ana madakwa lā, ‘o gonia rau ‘oe kini fāsia tō tatagafolo lā. (You, a girl of the light, keep your domestic tools/equipment together. Never live untidily.)  
‘Oe wela geni rari, kosi gouru siana maiwane ‘oe. (You, an adolescent girl, never sit together with your brother.)²⁷
In addition, ethics education includes abu la (holiness). Examples of girls being ethically socialised to keep themselves pure include:
Rari nau ‘ae, ‘oe goni tei ‘oe. ‘oe abutai ‘oe. (My daughter, keep yourself contained. Keep yourself holy.)


‘Oe wela geni fi baita, fāsia tō nuinui lā. (You, an adolescent girl, are not to live uncleanly.)²⁸

For Gula’alā, cleanliness extends beyond the physical to embrace a spiritual state of well-being and discipline.

For both boys and girls in their teenage years, fānanau lā can deal with the shaping of character, citizenship, and the promotion of virtuous living, expressed across a range of topics. These include promise-keeping, transparency, generosity, and blamelessness:

Fata alangai lā rau baita. Alangai ko adea mala ta rau. (Promise-keeping is a big deal. A promise made must always be kept.)
Na wela mamana ‘e ade madakwa ana rau nia kini. (A credible child is transparent in their deeds.)        
‘O sasae fana fanga lea la ana kwatea ‘oe kini. (Learn to be generous/open-handed/hospitable with your gifts/blessings/privileges.)
‘O tō, adea ta maefatā ka toe ‘oe nā. (Live your life above reproach, beyond the reach of verbal attacks.)²⁹

Ethics education does not stop at children, however. Ethical continuity and coherence are reinforced in teaching such as through fānanau lā for adults. Men may be encouraged to listen as leaders, be morally upright and honouring to their wives. Examples of fānanau lā subject matter recorded for women include restraint in speech and child discipline, and honourable relationships with in-laws. Sanga recorded instances of fānanau lā to men and women that emphasised character reshaping in contexts such as forgiveness and wisdom:

Maea ‘e masi ‘oe, leka ‘oe kosi raufanatā ana ta wane ‘amoe ko ogarasu ma’amu. Wane mamana kasi fali ma’ana fana maea. (The end of the road of unforgiveness and anger is death. A person of character does not walk to his/her death.)  
‘O rongo, ko ada ma ko fali ana kali’afu lā. Bōngia luma ‘oe ana liotō lā. (Listen, look, and walk wholesomely. Set the foundation of your family with wisdom.)³⁰

Ethics education is particularly significant for Gula’alā because of the collective nature of clan life and thought. Within the holistic and integrated social-economic-political-religious system, identity is collective as much as it is individual, and coherence supports sustainability across generations. This means that the young need to be socialised into clan ethics and adults need to be guided to remain consistent in their ethical practice. Adults who fail in this are likely to be ineffectual in supporting new generations to learn appropriately because modelling appropriate character-shaped behaviour itself has educative outcomes. Since the action of the individual affects collective wellbeing, the consistent ethical behaviour of one is a benefit to all.

Ethics and change

The Mala’ita ethical system is living and therefore equipped to cope with changed circumstances. Political change has visited Solomon Islands in the form of inter-ethnic strife.³¹ Climate change is also a vital issue.³² Here, we turn to how Mala’ita ethics mediate technological change in the form of the publication of a book of clan knowledge.³³

In Mala’ita society, three kinds of knowledge can be identified. We have argued that public knowledge is available to almost everyone.³⁴ This includes knowledge about food, farming, fishing, and some medicinal information and is knowledge required for daily survival. Faka (introduced) knowledge, learned in school, from the media, or the Church is also deemed public.  

Specialised knowledge such as some medicinal or some trade knowledge (as used by master fishermen or hunters), some social-spiritual knowledge (relevant to secret societies and sorcerers), and all clan genealogical knowledge falls into this category in Mala’ita. Such knowledge can be held by secret societies or coded in secret language so that access is restricted. A certain kind of qualification is needed to gain entry. One aim of restricting secret specialised knowledge is to maintain its purity and power.

A third category is sacred knowledge. This is about the day-to-day but maintains spatial and temporal links with spiritual dimensions in time and beyond.³⁵ Sacred knowledge preserves spiritual continuity within the theocratic clan structure of Mala’ita. The names of clan-tribal ancestor spirits, physical, and verbal forms of knowledge repositories that are associated with tribal religious ceremonies and certain ritualistic utterances or invocations are examples. The category also includes that which sustains holy living and uprightness of moral character. Access is limited to those who are qualified so that the sanctity of the knowledge is maintained.  

When knowledge is organised in these ways, ethical issues surround the boundaries of knowledge and its access. The publication of Fānanau lā i Gula’alā,³⁶ a book of secret and sacred Gwailao clan knowledge rendered in the Gula’alā language, provided an opportunity to see the clan mediate between apparently contradictory ethical principles: technological change in the form of the book on the one hand and social change in the form of migration away from the village on the other. In effect, the rara’aba (calming of nerves meeting) that provided resolution addressed the ethics of the movement of knowledge between domains.

In communitarian Mala’ita, a person’s identity can be both individual (‘I’) and communal (‘We’). Consequently, when an individual plays the role of exercising the ethics of knowledge guardianship, they act as an individual and as a family or clan representative. Two principles exercised in the rara’aba show how ethics in Indigenous Mala’ita knowledge responds to change.

The principle of ‘ado lā ana rau lea fainia tōa or stewardship promotes the value of sharing good things with others. Since knowledge is assumed to be good, it is worth sharing now and in the future. Knowledge guardians have ethical responsibilities to care for the content and status of the knowledge. In addition, ‘ado lā or stewardship operates through nao-nao lā or seniority. Thus, ethical questions in the matter of the publication of Fānanau lā i Gula’alā invoked decisions that appreciate guardianship in relation to the knowledge, and sensitivity about a speaker’s position in relation to others. The rara’aba was intended to develop these understandings.  

Seniority in Gula’alā can be a complex matter that includes the examples of garangi, guardianship vested by virtue of a direct line to the first custodian of the knowledge; gender and age such as through futa lā and wane ma geni; and blood relations as in futa lā ana tē ‘abu. We discuss other forms of seniority elsewhere.³⁷ Dimensions of seniority might seem fixed, but the strength of Mala’ita ethics is revealed by the fluid negotiation possible when faced with innovative circumstances such as the production of a book of restricted knowledge.

During the rara’aba, secrecy itself was not at issue. Debate addressed the nature and scope of secrecy. A time-based thread presented opportunities to examine how the origin of the knowledge in question affected its secrecy. Genealogical questions were asked to probe where and when the originator obtained the knowledge, drawing attention to the way transmission occurs through clan structures and extending to prior generations the parameters of secrecy. In this way, the rara’aba eroded unequivocal claims about the type and level of secrecy relevant.

In addition, the movement of knowledge through space was discussed. For example, women bring knowledge to a clan through marriage. Consequently, the origin and distribution patterns of secret knowledge are less clear than might be assumed. An ethical question relevant here is whether knowledge is held in expressions of wisdom or the teaching that the wisdom embodies. If embodied wisdom is visible, the boundaries of secrecy are more inclusive than exclusive. As a result, further transfer is possible by learning through action. Thus, secrecy may not be as intense as some might think, and the status of immediate guardianship deserves reconsideration. Interrogating knowledge transfer through space questions the relevance of certain principles of seniority since the way people relate to knowledge deemed secret is not always predictable.

The application of principles of knowledge guardianship in the rara’aba reveals much about Indigenous Solomon Islands ethics. First, ethics involves the application of known and agreed principles, but complex situations require sifting through principles to arrive at a conclusion. Indigenous Solomon Islands ethics for the Gula’alā are not absolute but contextual. In the rara’aba, clan members’ intersecting contributions resulted in a decision by and on behalf of the clan through peeling back layers of the ethics of the context to reveal the quality, intensity, and significance of secrecy.

In the case of the publication of Fānanau lā ‘I Gula’alā, the ethics of both secrecy and decision-making led to the book being published for the education of future generations, since the transfer and therefore existence of the knowledge was deemed more significant than its secrecy and the role of guardians in preserving this. By negotiating ethical principles to meet the new circumstances of publication technology and migration away from the village, unity was preserved by the rara’aba process and sustainability protected by its decision.  

Ethics and nationhood

Solomon Islands is a multi-ethnic nation state. Formal education is largely centralised and administered from Honiara. School teachers may find themselves in ethical dilemmas when Indigenous ethics seem to be contradicted by policy or practice.³⁸ Given the recent history of inter-ethnic tensions, it is important for nation-building that Indigenous Solomon Islands ethics inform the citizenship curriculum. One way to achieve this is to develop a curriculum of wantok-framed citizenship.³⁹

Taken literally, a wantok is a person who speaks the same language. Paliaima Aiyery Tanda explains that the ‘wantok system is a relationship of sharing, supporting, protecting, providing, and caring that reaches out to meet the needs, wants, and desires of individuals and groups, who are related. It is a system that focuses on maintaining kinship relations…’.⁴⁰

Fangalea writes of ‘a system that places high value on people, related biologically, linguistically, culturally, and regionally’.⁴¹ Originally centred on language groupings, discussion of being a wantok has extended to fields such as sport,⁴² religion,⁴³ and resilience in the face of natural disasters.⁴⁴ While some see wantokism as primarily negative and associate it with corruption,⁴⁵ being a wantok involves ethics of reciprocation and care that are relational strengths associated with the communitarian understandings that a person’s identity can be both individual (‘I’) and communal (‘We’), and that the benefit of the group and the protection of the collective are everyone’s responsibility.

Fito’o argues that a ‘wantok-centred framework for understanding citizenship is significant for the stability of the Solomon Islands; it draws from Indigenous cultures, modern democracy, and Christianity as guiding principles’.⁴⁶ This is particularly true in a context where, unlike in Western societies, citizenship is understood through morality and spirituality, reflecting indigenous ethics and theocratic traditions. Fito’o found that Solomon Islanders’ ideas of citizenship included people’s engagement with communal activities such as sharing, working together, providing security, caregiving, ethical leadership, and peace-making.  

A wantok-framed citizenship curriculum recognises these ideas of citizenship and places the ethics of coherent relationality as a core way to strengthen Solomon Islands citizenship through local beliefs, values, and aspiration. In ways that are congruent with the three domains of influence that we have ascribed to the Melanesian mind,⁴⁷ the framework developed by Fito’o recognises that culture (kastom), spirituality (church), and modern institutions (institutional) are aspects of life that should be complementary. This is because they are inter-related, simultaneous and affect people in varying ways. Kastom may hold sway if these domains are placed in competition, but at the nation-state level the ethics of democracy derived from politics and law must negotiate productively with the relational and emotional values of the church and the relational ethics of kastom. In this way, a balance may be struck between the ethics of legal rights and wantok-framed responsibilities. The significance of Indigenous Solomon Islands ethics to wantok-centred citizenship is a base for the development of the nation-state founded not on top-down introduced thinking, but on Indigenous appreciations of life focussed on the well-understood ethics of being a wantok.  


Diversity is a hallmark of Solomon Islands. Consequently, this article has provided a limited snapshot of Indigenous Solomon Islands ethics. We have attended to the way ethics contributes to collective identity for the Gula’alā, illustrated some ways the Gula’alā maintain intergenerational coherence through the transmission of ethical understandings, provided a window into how ethical principles are negotiated to productively navigate change, and pointed to the way Indigenous relational ethics can compete through citizenship education at the nation-state level. All these aspects of the discussion undercut universalist approaches to ethics and add nuance to notions of contextualisation for those such as educators, development professionals, and researchers who wish to benefit Solomon Islanders.⁴⁸ Indigenous Solomon Islands ethics provide a pattern for a good life lived in sustainable, communal, and peaceful ways. Since sustainability, unity, and peace sometimes seem in short supply at the global level, there is scope to honour those who have developed Indigenous ethics over millennia by seeking to learn from their values and practices.