News Briefs | July 2022


OHA in the Community

Photo: Uncle Rupert Rowe, Anuhea Diamond and Claudine “Dini” Calpito
Uncle Rupert Rowe is flanked by OHA’s Anuhea Diamond and Claudine “Dini” Calpito at the OHA Trustees’ site visit to Kōloa on June 22. Trustees heard community concerns about development in the area and its impact on iwi kūpuna. Rowe hosted the site visit at Kāneiolouma. – Photo: Alice Silbanuz

E Hoʻomaikaʻi e nā Kupa o Miloliʻi!

Photo: Miloliʻi Fishing
With a unanimous vote at a hearing on June 9, the Board of Land and Natural Resources decided to adopt proposed Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) rules to be shepherded by the community organization, Kalanihale, on behalf of the Fishing Village of Miloliʻi on Hawaiʻi island. The public process for Miloliʻi leading up to adoption drew strong community interest and support with more than 150 people attending in-person or virtually including three generations of lawaiʻa families. “This is about the lawaiʻa of Miloliʻi self-managing their harvests and caring for their marine resources. Pursuing CBSFA designation is a reclamation of what was old, made relevant for today – codifying traditional and customary practices into new fishing rules, and promoting lawaiʻa pono (responsible fishing),” said community representative Uʻilani Naipo. – Photo: Kaimi Kaupiko

Celebration of Life for Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask

Photo: Haunani-Kay Trask
Photo: Kapulani Landgraf

Saturday, July 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Kaʻiwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama

*The ʻohana requests that guests wear masks to ensure the health and safety of all

ʻŌiwi Teen Wins Gold at ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

Photo: Ēweleiʻula Wong

Wahiawā’s Ēweleiʻula Wong won a gold medal at the 2022 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Junior Surfing Championship in El Salvador on June 5. The teen took top honors in the girl’s 18-and-under division.

After a loss in earlier rounds relegated her to the losers’ bracket, Wong battled back through six grueling heats over two days to take the gold.

Her spectacular win helped propel the 12-member Hawaiʻi Surf Team, who took the overall team title, to victory. The team’s gold medal is its first since 2014 and its fourth title overall in the 18 years of ISA World Junior Surfing Championships.

Fellow Hawaiʻi team members Luke Swanson and Shion Crawford took first and second place, respectively, in the 18-and-under old boys division; while Luke Tema took third in the 16-and-under old boys division.

This prestigious competition features the best young surfers in the world and is a pathway to world-class and Olympic surfing. Team Hawaiʻi beat 45 countries and more than 400 competitors to bring home the overall team title. Australia placed second overall and the United States took home the bronze.

The nine-day competition was held at two breaks in El Salvador: La Bocana and El Sunzal. The Hawaiʻi team was coached by Chris Martin and former world tour competitor Shane Dorian.

To learn more go to:

A Win for Water Oversight in West Maui

In June, the Hawaiʻi Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) made history when it acted on its own proposal to designate a community as a “surface and ground water management area.” Previously, that designation has only been achieved after significant pressure on the state by community groups.

The commission’s decision to regulate water taken from the area between Ukumehame north to Honokōhau was unanimous after listening to more than six hours of testimony.

Essentially, the decision allows the state to decide who is allowed to use the water in West Maui – and how much can be used. It also provides the public with the opportunity on the go-forward to provide input whenever an individual or entity asks to pump water from the ground or from streams in the protected area.

Should it be determined that the water supply in a community is imperiled, by law the CWRM is authorized to begin managing the water in those areas. Experts anticipate that water resources may become increasingly vulnerable as a result of climate change.

For kalo farmers – who have fought for generations against the corporate interests that have drained streams and monopolized Hawaiʻi’s precious water resources on the island for more than a century – this decision is long overdue.

Lipe Part of National Racial Healing Program

Photo: Kaiwipunikauikawēkiu Punihei Lipe

Native Hawaiian Affairs Program Officer Kaiwipunikauikawēkiu Punihei Lipe, Ph.D., was selected to become part of the first cohort of the Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing (CoHLI). Aimed at advancing racial and health equity, CoHLI is run by the National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE) in Washington, D.C.

Lipe is one of 40 leaders from 21 states selected via a competitive process for their experience in the fields of policy, law, grassroots organizations, education and health. She is the sole representative from Hawaiʻi.

During the 18-month program, which began in June, participants will gain tools and resources to hold public officials and private sector leaders more accountable for real progress for racial and health equity.

“My mission [is] to scale up and sustain Hawaiʻi-grounded efforts that foster truth sharing, racial healing, and relationship building deep within and across sectors,” Lipe said. “I am really excited for the opportunity to work with other scholar-practitioners who are doing work in this area and who value the importance of the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) framework.”

In 2019, Lipe was one of 200 emerging leaders selected for the Obama Foundation Leaders: Asia-Pacific Program. She also leads the UH Mānoa TRHT Campus Center, one of the 50 trail-blazing campuses across Hawaiʻi and the U.S. selected to develop visionary action plans that prepare the next generation of leaders to advance justice and build equitable communities.

ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi Projects Featured in National Showcase

Photo: Students participate in Hawaii History Day

Student projects for Hawaiʻi History Day presented in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi are being featured by the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center in the online National History Day showcase, “In Language There Is Life: I ka ʻŌlelo nō ke Ola.”

This showcase is the first of its kind and the featured student projects cover a wide variety of topics. The projects are available to view online through the end of July.

“It is important for national institutions to be a part of healing our history of colonization and language genocide,” said Aiko Yamashiro, executive director of Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities (HCH).

HCH runs the program locally and began a Hawaiian language competition category in 2019 to support Hawaiian language revitalization. This year is the first year these students (grades 7-11) will be recognized at the national level.

National Endowment for the Humanities Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo) notes that “Efforts like [this] are important contributions toward maintaining and revitalizing endangered languages and fostering a sense of pride among new generations of speakers.”

“Although language distinguishes a people, it also brings people together,” added Māhea-lani Lono, a teacher at Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo PCS. “I have witnessed the force of generations being united as youth learn the stories of their grandparents.”

To view the projects online go to:

Kinaʻole Foundation Donates $1 Million to Establish Scholarship

On June 10, the Kinaʻole Foundation announced its donation of $1 million to The Royal Order of Kamehameha I to establish the Royal Order’s Nā Koa Aliʻi Scholarship, an endowment intended to benefit Native Hawaiians interested in pursuing secondary education.

Kinaʻole Foundation Chairman Tautua Howell-Reed, explains, “We believe education unlocks the potential of young leaders, their families, and entire communities. The collective power, capabilities, and ideas of educated Native Hawaiian leaders will implement solutions that will positively change underserved Native Hawaiians for generations.”

Founded by Dr. Raymond Jardine, Kinaʻole Foundation is a federally recognized nonprofit Native Hawaiian Organization that helps to educate, advance, and promote economic development for the people of Hawaiʻi through educational and business development activities and programs that preserve the culture and heritage of Hawaiʻi.

CNHA Awarded Hawaiʻi Tourism USA Contract

On June 2, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) announced that it has awarded its multi-year, multi-million dollar Hawaiʻi Tourism USA contract to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA).

The contract provides for a comprehensive range of brand management and visitor education services, as well as support services shared by Hawaiʻi’s brand management teams worldwide.

CNHA was selected by a committee representing a cross-section of community, industry, and government. Committee members evaluated proposals, listened to oral presentations, and scored each proposal on its merits and responsiveness to the criteria listed in the Request For Proposal, using a fair and impartial scoring process.

HTA is in the process of finalizing its contract with CNHA. Hawaiʻi Visitors & Conventions Bureau (HVCB) held the Hawaiʻi Tourism USA contract through June 29.

Kapūkakī in the News

Last month, a citizens group calling themselves Wai Ola Alliance filed suit against the U.S. Navy for violating the federal Clean Water Act in connection to the fuel storage facility at Kapūkakī (Red Hill). Five individual plaintiffs have joined the lawsuit and are demanding that the Navy act immediately to address the crisis.

In March the U.S. Department of Defense announced that they would work closely with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency to safely defuel the Red Hill facility, promising a plan by May 31 and a completion time of 12 months.

According to Hawaiʻi News Now, a Navy contractor report of the facility “found leakage through a tunnel wall, a deteriorated slab and fire risks for workers.” They also reported that repairs could take a year and defueling as many as two years.

Wai Ola Alliance is demanding faster defueling and penalties of $60,000 per violation per day.

Meanwhile, a congressional committee has advanced two bills to provide an additional $1.1 billion in funding to address the Red Hill water crisis. The bills will be advanced for fiscal year 2023, which begins in October. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bills this month.

Kamehameha Day Lei Draping in Honolulu

Photo: Honolulu’s annual statue lei draping ceremony
Honolulu’s annual statue lei draping ceremony in honor of Kamehameha I was held this year on June 10. This year, the statue was adorned using lou (poles), as they do in Kohala and Hilo. This is not easy as the lei can be heavy. The lei attendants pictured are young men from the Papakōlea community. Draping the Kamehameha statue in Honolulu has been the kuleana of their homestead for the past 100 years. Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu offered oli on behalf of OHA when Trustees Hulu Lindsey, Kaleihikina Akaka, Luana Alapa and Kaleiʻāina Lee presented the agency’s lei. – Photo: Kelli Soileau

Poakalani Quilt Exhibit

Photo: Poakalani Hawaiian Quilt Exhibit
A special, one-day Poakalani Hawaiian Quilt Exhibit was held on May 31 at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ (OHA) Honolulu office. On display were 14 Hawaiian quilts (45” x 45”) that were commissioned by the Pitt Rivers Museum of Oxford, England. On-site to receive the quilts was Marenka Thompson-Odlum, a research associate with the museum. This was the only display of the 14 quilts before they were sent to England. The quilts were designed by the late John Serrao and quilted by teachers and students of Poakalani Quilting. Pictured in front of the ‘Ulu and Manu Palekaiko quilt designs are (L-R) Thompson-Odlum, Lei Ayat-Verdadero of OHA, and Cissy Serrao of Poakalani Quilting. – Photo: Joshua Koh