Empowering Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship


By Huliauapaʻa Staff

Huliauapaʻa is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to grow Hawaiʻis communities through culturally based forms of innovative learning, leadership development, and collaborative networking in wahi kūpuna stewardship. To learn more about Huliauapaʻa workshops or our organization please visit www.huliauapaa.org.

In collaboration with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), Huliauapaʻa recently concluded two virtual community empowerment workshop series:

  • Kuʻu Ēwe, Kuʻu Piko, Kuʻu Iwi, Kuʻu Koko – centered around engaging and empowering those with kuleana to mālama i nā iwi kupuna, and;
  • ʻĀpana ʻOhana focused on building capacity in caring for kuleana and ʻohana heir property lands.

These workshop series stemmed from the priority focus areas identified by the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective, in which Huliauapaʻa currently serves as the backbone organization. The Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective is a community of practice of advocates in wahi kūpuna stewardship that was created in 2017 to organize our shared ideas, resources and strategies to build capacity and take collective action in safeguarding Hawaiʻi’s wahi kūpuna. Through support and funding from OHA, this workshop series was able to come to fruition.

“The care and protection of iwi kūpuna and kulāiwi are integral components to the health and wellbeing of our Lāhui. In alignment with our new Strategic Plan, Mana i Mauli Ola 2020-2035,” said OHA Land, Culture & History Research Manager Pūlama Lima. “OHA has collaborated with Huliauapaʻa in an effort to strengthen and increase community capacity and literacy in wahi kūpuna stewardship practices.”

Kuʻu Ēwe, Kuʻu Piko, Kuʻu Iwi, Kuʻu Koko

Kuʻu Ēwe, Kuʻu Piko, Kuʻu Iwi, Kuʻu Koko was a six-part workshop series that ran from May to December 2020. These workshops were aimed to build community capacity and equip and empower participants in developing proficiencies in a variety of foundational topic areas related to this kuleana. Over 200 community members participated with 830 total participation hours. Practitioners and topic area experts graciously shared their ʻike and experiences in the following areas:

  • Reaffirming the Importance of Caring for Iwi Kūpuna
  • Conducting Moʻokūʻauhau Kanaka Research
  • Conducting Map Research and Connecting Moʻokūʻauhau to ʻĀina
  • Navigating State Process for Protecting Iwi Kūpuna
  • Navigating Federal Process for Protecting Iwi Kūpuna
  • International Repatriation Efforts

A number of new and informative resources were developed as part of this workshop series. These resources are housed on the Huliauapaʻa website and include:

ʻĀpana ʻOhana

ʻĀpana ʻOhana was a five-part series that ran from September to November 2020. The purpose of these workshops was to educate and empower Hawaiian and local long-time ʻohana struggling to mālama their kuleana and ʻohana heir lands. Speakers shared their expertise and led discussions on important topic areas such as:

  • The Importance of ʻĀina Research
  • Property Tax
  • Foundations of Access
  • Easements, and Right of Entry
  • Quiet Titles and Adverse Possession
  • Estate and Trust Planning

Over 194 people/ʻohana participated in this workshop series with 388 total participation hours. As part of this workshop series, a number of new and innovative resources were developed by Huliauapaʻa. These resources are housed on the Kīpuka Kuleana website and include:

Overall, feedback from workshop participants concluded that the majority felt that each of the workshops were useful, educational, and valuable to their ʻohana and communities. Participants agreed that they gained new knowledge applicable to their individual and ʻohana needs, and planned to apply what they learned in the workshops. The majority also noted that they were very interested in participating in future workshops.

We appreciate and mahalo our funders, guest speakers and participants for their time and dedication. It was an honor to build pilina with each other and reaffirm the importance to mālama iwi kūpuna and kuleana and ʻohana heir property lands. The support given, insights shared, and conversations that have arisen from each of these workshops has helped to contextualize important themes in these topic areas, equipping us with the ʻike and tools to better navigate these situations as they apply uniquely in our own lives and kuleana.