Maui on Our Minds and in Our Hearts

0
158

On Friday, October 20, I welcomed nearly 100 participants to our first-ever Hawaiian Homestead Maui Recovery Roundtable.

Originally, we scheduled that weekend to be our first in-person Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations (SCHHA) Leadership Conference since the pandemic. However, we postponed our full conference to focus solely on Maui’s recovery from the devastating wildfires and hurricane winds of early August.

My message to the participants gathered was: “Maui, you have been on our minds, in our hearts and in our prayers since day one. We are here today, with humility and fervor, to hear from you and learn from you.”

I asked folks to speak up throughout the day and to share their manaʻo by writing it down on post-it notes at four different easel stations: 1) What’s working for our people on Maui?; 2) What’s not working?; 3) What Should Be Happening That Is Not Happening Now?; and, 4) What Else Would You Like To Share?

Based on registrations, we had 13 homestead associations, three churches and 24 organizations represented. We had folks from all islands including six from Molokaʻi, 23 from Oʻahu and 48 from Maui. Homesteaders came from Anahola, Hoʻolehua, Kahikinui, Kalamaʻula, Kanehili, Kaʻuluokahaʻi, Kaupeʻa, Kula, Laʻiʻōpua, Leialiʻi, Panaʻewa, Paukūkalo and Waiehu Kou.

A special highlight (and treat) throughout the day included the delicious Hawaiian-style snacks and meals provided by some of Maui’s local farmers, churches and homesteaders. We can’t thank them enough!

Mayor Rick Bissen and Councilmember Tasha Kama both shared remarks. Later, Council Vice Chair Yukilei Sugimura and Councilmember Nohe Uʻu-Hodgins joined us for lunch sharing a few words. Autumn Ness from Councilmember Gabe Johnson’s office and Christi Keliikoa from Councilmember Tamara Paltin’s office spent the day with us.

Eight different organizations did resource tabling, including the American Red Cross, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Hawaiʻi Community Lending (HCL), Lahaina Kākoʻo Resource Center, Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Maui County clerks (voter registration).

Five panels included: 1) Native Service Providers (w/ CNHA, HCL & TiLeaf Group); 2) Maui Community Volunteers and HUB Resource Providers (w/ Na Kiaʻi O Maui, Aumana, Makana O Ke Akua, Nānāikapono Church, Living Way Church and In His House of Restoration Church); 3) Voices and Reflections from Homesteads on Maui Resilience Efforts (w/ Homestead Associations from Paukūkalo, Waiehu Kou III & Kahikinui, the Ahupuaʻa O Molokaʻi and the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands); 4) Lahaina Kākoʻo Resource Center (w/ FEMA, HCL, Sentinel Pacific, Hui Hoʻomalu, Haku Hoʻoponopono and Hawaiian Homes Commissioner Randy Awo); and, 5) Federal Agency and Other Service Providers (w/ SBA, USDA, HCF, American Red Cross & MEO).

Mahalo nui loa to SCHHA’s Iwalani McBrayer, Kainoa MacDonald and Rolina Faʻagai, for bringing everyone together and ensuring the roundtable’s success.

Please join us at the Maui Beach Hotel from Jan. 11-13, 2024, for our SCHHA Leadership Conference. We’ll have workshops by the state DHHL, our membership meeting and more from our Maui Homesteader Disaster Recovery team. For more info, contact us at info@hawaiianhomesteads.org.