Native Hawaiian Business Directory Launched

In December 2020, the Native Hawaiian Business Directory was launched. A project of the Kanaka Economic Development Alliance, the directory provides a beautiful and highly marketable online platform that allows business owners to self-publish and update their listings at any time.

Native Hawaiian business owners can add their business(es) to the directory by registering and creating their own account and business listing at or by completing and submitting a Business Registration Form (available at and the Alliance will build the account and business listing for you.

Business owners that list their businesses in the directory see multiple benefits, such as free marketing, access to a global support network and and access to the Alliance’s “Native Hawaiian Business Directory Certified” logo, which may be used on their own websites and products to let customers know they’re helping to support a certified Native Hawaiian business.

For more information go to:

Native Hawaiian Artists Win Prestigious Awards

Photo: Lum Nelmida Kawika
Kawika Lum-Nelmida

Kawika Lum-Nelmida has been selected to the 2021 cohort of the USA Fellows, a program of United States Artists, a national arts funding organization based in Chicago. Lum-Nelmida is one of 60 artists representing a variety of disciplines. Each fellow receives $50,000 in support of their artistic and professional development.

A hulu (feather) artist from Pūpūkea, Oʻahu, Lum-Nelmida uses modern materials to create contemporary art pieces. He has ventured into clothing design, with his work featured in the annual MAMo Wearable Art Show and has taken his contemporary and traditional work to cultural demonstrations and workshops all over the world. His work is found in museums in the US and abroad. Since 2012, he has been an active artist participant in MAMo: Maoli Arts Movement, a program of the PAʻI Foundation.

Photo: Kawika Lum Gown
This stunning gown adorned with black hulu (feathers) is one of Lum-Nelmida’s creations. – Photo: Courtesy

Lum-Nelmida is only the fifth artist from Hawaiʻi to be selected for this award. Past awardees include Robert Cazimero, Joy Harjo, Hokulani Holt Padilla, and Vicky Holt Takamine.

Photo: Gordon Kai
Gordon ‘Umi Kai

Gordon ʻUmi Kai has been honored with a First Peoples Fund Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award which celebrates exceptional native artists. Since 2000, First Peoples Fund has recognized more than 100 culture bearers. Each honoree receives a grant of $7,500 to continue carrying on their work.

Photo: Gordon Kai Artwork
Kai creates traditional weapons using bone, wood, shark’s teeth, and natural cordage.- Photo: Courtesy

Kai is a master of Native Hawaiian arts, who creates objects used for fishing, farming, making kapa, pounding poi, hula and martial arts. Known especially for the weapons he creates, Kai works in bone, wood, shark’s teeth and natural cordage, employing pre-colonial techniques and tools.

Kai is an ʻōlohe lua or martial arts master of the Pā Kui a Lua Association, president of ʻAha Kāne, and a former president of Bishop Museum’s Association Council. For over 40 years, he has presented his work locally and internationally through workshops, lectures, exhibitions and artist demonstrations, and his work is featured in museums in Hawaiʻi and abroad. He was the 2017 PAʻI Foundation MAMo: Maoli Arts Movement Awardee, 2018 Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi Living Treasures of Hawaiʻi Awardee, and the 2019 Nā Mamo Makamae Awardee.

Kalaupapa Receives COVID-19 Vaccines

Photo: Karri Villaneuva and Holly Kataoka
DOH public health nurses Karri Villaneuva and Holly Kataoka. – Photo: Courtesy

In late January, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) delivered and administered COVID-19 vaccines to residents and employees at the Kalaupapa Settlement of Kalawao County on Molokaʻi.

Dr. Glenn Wasserman, chief of the Communicable Disease and Public Health Nursing Division of the Hawai’i Department of Health, and his team flew to Kalaupapa. Kalawao County registered its first case of COVID-19 in early December, which was contained without community transmission. It is the last county in the United States in which someone tested positive for the virus.

“The residents are very appreciative to have been included in the vaccination program,” said Kenneth Seamon, Kalaupapa administrator. “Protection from COVID-19 is critical to us since we do not have quick and easy access to medical services. We are grateful to everyone who made this happen.”

Kalaupapa Settlement once served as the home for individuals who were forced to relocate under Hawaiʻi law to isolate Hansen’s Disease patients. When the law was abolished in 1969, patients who chose to remain were able to continue living in Kalaupapa with the care and support of the state.

Kapaemahu on the Short List for an Oscar Nomination

KapaemahuThe animated short film, Kapaemahu, could become the first film by a Native Hawaiian filmmaker to win, or even be nominated for, an Academy Award.

Kapaemahu was written, directed, narrated and co-produced by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a Native Hawaiian teacher, cultural practitioner and filmmaker. Her film about the hidden history of four healing stones on Waikīkī Beach has qualified to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in this year’s Academy Awards.

After making it through the first round of voting in early February, Kapaemahu is now on the Academy Awards’ official short list, emerging among the top 10 from an original pool of 96 short films. The next round of voting takes place March 5-10 and will determine the official Oscar nominees in each category. The five nominees for Best Animated Short Film will be announced on March 15.

Kapaemahu has won critical acclaim on the international film festival circuit and has the unique distinction of winning the top prizes at three Oscar-qualifying festivals: Spain’s Animayo Festival, Northern Ireland’s Foyle Film Festival, and the Atlanta Film Festival.

As part of the awards season campaign, Kapaemahu is now streaming free on Vimeo for a limited time: A second film, The Making of Kapaemahu, is also streaming free on Vimeo:

To read more about the film visit and search for “Kapaemahu: A Lost Story Found” in Ka Wai Ola’s April 2020 issue.

Follow the film’s progress on Facebook (@Kapaemahu), Instagram (@Kapaemahu) or Twitter (@kumuhina)

Andrade Named Executive Director of Hui Mālama

Photo: Lehua Andrade
Lehua Andrade

Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi (Hui Mālama), the Native Hawaiian Health Care System of Hawaiʻi Island, is pleased to announce the selection of Lehua Andrade as its new executive director.

Andrade reunited with the organization and began her new role on Jan. 11, 2021. Having previously worked at Hui Mālama in community outreach and leadership positions, she has a keen knowledge of the organization’s mission and vision and has demonstrated her expertise in community health care, collaboration, and program implementation.

In her new role, Andrade will work with Hui Mālama staff to ensure the organization can continue to serve the community through the COVID-19 pandemic. Emphasizing adaptation and growth, Andrade said, “This is an interesting time we live in, and it provides us with a great opportunity to innovate and transform how we do business. Our mission in uplifting the health of the people of Hawaiʻi and our Hawaiian Nation is foremost.”

With this seamless transition to new leadership, Hui Mālama looks forward to continuing its efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of Hawaiʻi Island residents.

Saquing Named Bay Clinic Chief Operating Officer

Photo: Marcia Saquing
Marcia Saquing

Marcia “Marcie” Saquing was recently named chief operating officer at Bay Clinic. Saquing comes to Bay Clinic from Hawaiʻi Island Adult Care (HIAC), where she served as executive director for four years. This represents an extension of Bay Clinic’s promise to be community-driven as Saquing has a strong reputation for mobilizing community partners to serve the most vulnerable.

Recognized for her outstanding leadership, at HIAC Saquing was responsible for leading the overall strategy and execution for operations, philanthropy, and marketing strategies, and successfully secured funding for programs and contracts with the public sector.

Saquing earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of Idaho and a master’s degree in education from Central Michigan. She has over 20 years of experience working in the education and nonprofit sectors in Hawaiʻi.

Help for Waitlisters Experiencing Hardship Due to COVID-19

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) has partnered with DHHL to administer financial assistance to Native Hawaiians renters on the DHHL Waiting List who are experiencing hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNHA began accepting applications for the DHHL Rent Relief Program on Feb. 8, 2021, which the U.S. Department of the Treasury funds. The program will provide eligible participants with rent, back rent, security deposits, utility, home energy costs, and other expenses related to housing incurred during the pandemic.

Funds from the program can be used to cover up to 12 months of rent and utilities, including back rent as far back as March 13, 2020. For more information visit

Homestead Leaders to Serve on National Policy Organizations

Members of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations (SCHHA) have been appointed to serve on national policy organizations in Rural Affordable Housing and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) policy.

Faisha Solomon, SCHHA administrator and a director of SCHHA’s Native CDFI, Hawaiian Lending & Investments (HLI), was appointed to the national policy committee of the Native CDFI Network (NCN) headquartered in Washington D.C. Solomon was raised on Hawaiian Home Lands, is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools, and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration.

SCHHA Chairwoman Robin Puanani Danner has been elected to the national board of the National Rural Housing Coalition (NHRC), founded in 1969. NHRC is the national voice of rural housing and community development programs. Danner, a former banker and tribal housing authority executive director, is the Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC) CEO dedicated to affordable housing and job creation on Hawaiian Home Lands.

Enrolled members of SCHHA focus on good public policy in all sectors, whether housing, commerce, education, healthcare, or environmental stewardship. The Native Hawaiian land trust was established by the U.S. Congress, consisting of 203,000 acres of land on Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island.

For more information, contact

Native Hawaiian NHCTEP Competition

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) is accepting applications for new awards for fiscal year 2021 for the Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program (NHCTEP).

NHCTEP provides grants to improve career and technical education programs that are consistent with the purposes of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

Those eligible to apply include community-based organizations primarily serving and representing Native Hawaiians (e.g., public or private organizations that provide career and technical education, or related services, to Native Hawaiians).

Eligible organizations may apply individually or as part of a consortium with one or more eligible community-based organization. To apply to go

The application deadline is March 22, 2021.

Public Warned About COVID-19 Scams

There has been an alarming increase in COVID-19 scams across the nation, and state officials want Hawaiʻi residents to be aware of the latest vaccination scams.

Scammers call and urge their victims to purchase a vaccination for $1,000, claiming the vaccine will only be available only for three months, creating a false sense of urgency.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free, pre-paid for by the federal government using our tax dollars. While health care providers may charge a fee to administer the vaccination, that is covered by the individual’s health insurance or CARES Act funds. Furthermore, no one can pay to “jump ahead of the line” to receive the vaccination early.

Anyone receiving a call concerning the COVID-19 vaccination and asked for their social security, bank account, credit card or related personal information should hang up immediately.

To voice a concern or to file a complaint, contact SMP Hawaii at or 808-586-7281. Neighbor island residents may call toll free at 1-800-296-9422.

For the latest information on COVID-19 vaccinations, please visit