DOI Announces $1 Million in Funding for Native Hawaiian Organizations


The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Native Hawaiian Relations (ONHR) announced $1 million in funding for Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHO) through the HŌʻIHI (Heritage Opportunities in Hawaiʻi) Grant Program. The funding is made possible by the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE, Act), which has enabled Indigenous communities to participate in national tourism goals and strategies.

This is the second year that funding has been made available to NHOs. Tourism has long been experienced by the Native Hawaiian community as extractive and transactional. NATIVE Act funding equips NHOs across Hawaiʻi with resources to change that experience in ways mutually beneficial to visitors and the islands’ original stewards.

ONHR estimates it will award eight HŌʻIHI grants of $50,000 – $200,000. NHOs may use grant funding for up to three years from the date of award and must affirm they are a NHO as defined in the NATIVE Act. For fiscal year 2023, applicants must meet one or more of the following priorities:

  • Uplift, perpetuate or revive traditional Native Hawaiian practices (e.g., ʻōlelo Hawai’i, kapa making, lauhala weaving, hula, etc.) through visitor demonstrations, education or activities;
  • Support the maintenance, enhancement and protection of Hawai’i’s natural and cultural resources, wahi kūpuna, and wahi pana impacted by tourism;
  • Enable Native Hawaiian entrepreneurship by creating business opportunities in the visitor industry, offering tourism business development training or stimulating economic activity that empowers Native Hawaiians to have a stake in tourism development; or
  • Undertake related activities with visitors that convey respect and reaffirm the principle of reciprocation to the place, resources and traditional knowledge holders and practitioners.

A pre-proposal video conference discussing the solicitation will be held on May 1, 2023. Those wishing to attend should RSVP at: with the subject header Hōʻihi 2023. Confirmation of the meeting date and time will be emailed to pre-registrants and posted to OHNR’s website.

HŌIHI Grant Program

Applicants must submit their proposals electronically through no later than June 21, 2023.

Additional information is available on ONHR’s website at: