Presentations, a Celebration and Lamentation

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Kumu (n. 4. Reason, cause, goal, justification, motive, grounds, purpose.)

Photo: Sylvia Hussey

Aloha mai kākou,

My mother was a lauhala weaver and, growing up, I would often watch her work. As I reflect now upon that process – from collecting and preparing the leaves, to designing and weaving each piece – what stands out in my mind was her intentionality.

Mom was intentional about every piece she made. She thought about its purpose, and considered its user. She crafted each item envisioning the finished product being used by the person for whom it was intended and, in doing so, endowed each piece with her aloha and her mana.

OHA’s new strategic plan, Mana i Mauli Ola (Strength to Wellbeing), presented for the first time in this issue of Ka Wai Ola, was created with that same kind of intentionality and purpose with the needs of our lāhui as our greatest consideration.

A summary of the 15-year plan, enlivened with artwork by Nelson Makua, is included here as a special insert. OHA’s three foundations – ʻOhana, Moʻomeheu and ʻĀina – and our four directions – Educational Pathways, Quality Housing, Health Outcomes and Economic Stability – represent the intentionality of our work for the betterment of our lāhui. Implementation of OHA’s new strategic plan has begun and additional details will be shared in future issues of Ka Wai Ola, and on our website.

Also noteworthy, our cover story this month provides a preview of OHA’s Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) for OHA’s 511 acres in Wahiawā that surround Kūkaniloko. Read about the history of the area and our planning process to learn more about OHA’s approach to land management and stewardship. OHA’s plans for these Wahiawā lands are intentional, purposeful and designed with our lāhui at the forefront.

In keeping with this theme of intentionality, this month OHA celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Papakilo Database. With a vision to be “the database of databases,” Papakilo has more than 65 unique collections and over a million records, and houses an extensive array of kūpuna ʻike including Māhele records, Hawaiian language newspapers and other high-value resources to meet the research needs of our lāhui and to consolidate, store and protect this irreplaceable ʻike. Be on the lookout for future webinars that will introduce new users to this hidden gem and provide site navigation tips.

Finally, on the subject of intentions, I am reminded that not all intentions are good.

Last month OHA was excited about a bill in the state Senate that would remove residential prohibitions on OHA’s land at Kakaʻako Makai, allowing OHA to help address Oʻahu’s housing shortage while generating millions of dollars to expand our programs to benefit Hawaiians.

The bill passed in the Senate by an overwhelming majority, only to die six days later in the House without a hearing.

My disappointment that the bill did not even get a fair hearing is overshadowed by my disappointment in the politicization of our self-determination.

Regardless, we must draw upon the resilience of our kūpuna and resolve to ourselves to be pono with our kumu – our intentions and purposes – even if others are not.

Sylvia Hussey Signature

Sylvia M. Hussey, Ed.D.
Ka Pouhana/Chief Executive Officer