Photo: Keiki learning about the ‘āina at Kāne’īlio
Keiki learning about the ‘āina at Kāne’īlio. This initiative is part of the INPEACE Kupu Ola grant.

Another $700,000 will go to Kūlia and Native Hawaiian Teacher Education grant awardees

Programs helping to mitigate learning struggles endured by young learners during the pandemic, provide psychiatric services to Native Hawaiians, and provide food to vulnerable Native Hawaiian communities are among the most recent grant awardees announced by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).

A total of 15 Hawaiʻi nonprofit organizations on five islands will receive a total of $1.77 million in grant awards through OHA’s COVID-19 Impact and Response Grants. The grant program is being offered for the first time to help the community address the multiple impacts of the global pandemic.

“COVID-19 and the resulting global pandemic has had negative effects on the Native Hawaiian community in the areas of education, health, housing and economics – areas that we at OHA specifically focus on. It is our hope that by working with our community partners we can have an impact on mitigating some of those effects,” said OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey.

The OHA Board of Trustees also approved $537,739 in Kūlia Grants to be awarded to six local nonprofits. The Kūlia Grant program is OHA’s most broad-based grant program, and awards include projects that will offer cultural learning opportunities, a homestead program in Anahola that will nurture ʻŌiwi leaders, and a project that will help preserve and revive the traditional healing art of lāʻau lapaʻau.

Another new grant stream approved by trustees is the $175,000 Native Hawaiian Teacher Education & Professional Development Grant.

The first award will go to the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture for its “Ka Lama – Teacher Education Academy,” which will provide a teacher education and credential pathway to individuals interested in teaching in Kula Kaiapuni or Hawaiian-focused charter schools to increase the number of qualified, culturally competent educators.

“Whether it’s helping the Native Hawaiian community recover from the effects of the global pandemic, offering support to a broad spectrum of community needs, or supporting educational efforts that target Hawaiian students, we will do everything in our power to strengthen our ʻohana and families, help revitalize our moʻomeheu or culture, and mālama our ʻāina – our lands and water,” said OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey.

The purpose of the OHA Grants Program is to support Hawaiʻi-based nonprofit organizations that have projects, programs, and initiatives that serve our Native Hawaiian lāhui in alignment with the strategic foundations, directions, and outcomes of OHA’s Mana i Mauli Ola Strategic Plan.

These grants are a part of OHA’s effort to increase its total community investment to benefit Native Hawaiians and the larger community. So far in 2021, OHA has awarded more than $3 million in ʻAhahui event, Iwi Kūpuna & Repatriation, Homestead, and ʻOhana and Community Program grants statewide to advance its strategic directions in the areas of education, health, housing, and economic stability.

To read Mana i Mauli Ola, visit

OHA Board approves additional $394,588 for grants

A budget reallocation approved by OHA’s Board of Trustees just prior to the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year will release an additional $394,588 in grants to projects throughout the state designed to strengthen Native Hawaiians’ connections to family, culture, and land.

The newly approved grants include a $50,000 award to a project on Kauaʻi that will help protect iwi kūpuna at Polihale, and a $148,775 award to Salvation Army Family Treatment Services will help ʻohana that have experienced family trauma with programming that integrates Hawaiian cultural beliefs, concepts, and practices that enhance healing for the entire family. And for the first time in OHA’s 41-year history, a noncompetitive grant is being awarded to support Niʻihau residents with COVID-19 recovery and individual and ʻohana-strengthening efforts.

The reallocation of funds also allowed five previously approved, but partially funded grants to receive increases in funding:

  • The Homestead Community Development Corporation has been awarded an additional $21,905 to increase its award to $75,000 for its “Homestead Advocacy Education Project” to support the capacity building of homestead associations.
  • The Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture has been awarded an additional $10,768 to increase its award to $134,309 for its “Kupu Ola Enhancement” project to provide culture-based learning activities to Native Hawaiian students and families on the Waiʻanae Coast.
  • The Big Island Substance Abuse Council has been awarded an additional $118,832 bringing the total award to $150,000 for its “Therapeutic Living Re-Entry Program” to provide therapeutic living treatment to adults previously incarcerated.
  • Hana Arts has been awarded an additional $23,507 bringing the total grant award to $50,000 for their “Empowering East Maui Youth through Arts and Culture Education” project.
  • The Hanalei River Heritage Foundation has been awarded an additional $20,801 to bring its total grant award to $30,000 for its “O Wailua Kuʻu Kulaiwi” project to provide Hawaiian language and culture classes to Hawaiian families on Kauaʻi experiencing homelessness.