News Briefs | November 2020


Native Feast

Native Feast

On November 18, the Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) will host a special four-course collaboration dinner, Native Feast, featuring an Indigenous Foods menu by chef and Hawaiian cultural practitioner Kealoha Domingo, Oglala Lakota Sioux chef Sean Sherman, and Terry Lynch, executive chef at Maui Brewing Company.

Both chef Kealoha and visiting chef Sherman are active in the revitalization of their respective lands and food systems, and plan to forage and harvest on local lands to contribute to this special menu that will explore the native cuisines of Native Hawaiians and Native Americans.

It is HFWF’s mission to showcase not only the amazing culinary talent from our islands, but also the ingredients and products available in Hawaiʻi through local farmers, fisherman, ranchers and purveyors.

The November 18 event will be at the Maui Brewing Co., located in the Waikïkï Beachcomber Hotel. It is an exclusive opportunity for those interested in enjoying a safe evening out while sampling a Native Hawaiian and Native American Indigenous menu.

In consideration of COVID-19 safety protocols, HFWF is offering a variety of intimate collaboration dinners, with limited seating, at 10 different locations across Oʻahu between November 6-21.

For more information go to: All proceeds from this year’s festival will directly benefit Hawaiʻi’s agricultural, restaurant, food service and hospitality industries, and their employees.

KSK Students Sweep at National Indigenous STEM Conference

Students from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus took top honors in the Pre-College division at this year’s American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) National Conference. The awards were announced this past weekend and the Kamehameha Schools students emerged victorious from a field of hundreds of Indigenous scholars from across the U.S.

This year’s event was held virtually with entries presented in a digital format. Virtual posters outlining the STEM-focused research were judged as students answered questions via chat.

“To see our students perform so well on the national stage is exhilarating. The fact that this is an indigenous STEM-focused conference further sweetens the accomplishment because it underscores the innate connection between native intelligence and the studies of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Dr. Taran Chun, KS Kapālama Poʻo Kula.

Winning first place in the Pre-College Poster Presentations division, senior Taylor Moniz realized the importance of an Indigenous perspective in STEM-related fields of study.

“Within the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, there is an abundance of support from people who share similar struggles and experiences. This conference helps to provide a platform for Indigenous students, including Native Hawaiians, to be inspired, break barriers, and strive to accomplish your dreams,” said Moniz.

Rounding out the rest of the awards in the Pre-College division, Dakota Kaupu won second place, Joshua Parker won third place and Cade Kane earned the honorable mention. Each award came with a cash prize. Kaupu and Kane also walked away with brand new laptops after being recognized in The Boeing Company Laptop Awards division of the conference.

AAEF Objects to State’s Reopening Plan

In mid-October, in response to the state’s “reopening” of Hawaiʻi to visitors last month, the ʻÄina Aloha Economic Future (AAEF) initiative cautioned against the rush to reopen.

“We need to get it right the first time,” said Ikaika Hussey, one of 14 organizers of the AAEF initiative. “Without safe jobs, a clear testing protocol, and worker protections, the rush to reopen Hawaiʻi will likely initiate a third and bigger wave of community infections.”

However, the state is banking on reopening providing needed relief for airlines and hotels that have suffered tremendous economic losses since the pandemic began, and AAEF’s recommendations were disregarded.

AAEF’s proposal stressed the value of hoʻokipa, recognizing that visitors can only be well-hosted by the people of Hawaiʻi when families and communities are safe, strong, and can exercise their ability to be the stewards of these islands.

“Hoʻokipa includes a reciprocal relationship where hosts and visitors have kuleana or responsibility for the wellbeing of each other,” said Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, another AAEF organizer. “Residents need to trust that visitors are not going to infect us, and visitors need to trust that Hawaiʻi is safe.

AAEF proposed a two-stage reopening plan that would begin by opening inter-island travel for Hawaiʻi residents with no quarantine while implementing rapid COVID-19 testing upon departure from all airports. Assuming no major outbreaks from reopening inter-island travel, stage two would open travel from outside of Hawaiʻi with comprehensive testing requirements and safety protocols. For more information about AAEF to go:

ʻIolani Palace Offers Specialty Tour

The Friends of ʻIolani Palace invites visitors to take a tour of the chamberlain’s office suite and other rooms with the new Chamberlain’s Tour. The specialty tour will be offered on Thursdays and Fridays at 3:00 p.m. and began on October 15.

“This specialty tour brings a new perspective of life at ʻIolani Palace through the eyes of the Royal Chamberlain and other members of the Palace staff,” said Paula Akana, executive director of the Friends of ʻIolani Palace. “The chamberlain answered directly to the king and queen and his office reveals what it took to run the royal household. For the first time, guests will be able to step into the chamberlain’s office and hear insightful and enchanting stories about the monarchs who once walked the halls.”

The highlight of the tour will be a guided visit inside the chamberlain’s office suite. Guests will hear stories from docents dressed in authentic period clothing about King Kalākaua. This unique, docent-led tour will include stops in the basement, first floor rooms, the king’s bedroom and library on the second floor, and the Palace Galleries.

For more information or to book a tour, visit or call (808) 522-0832.

It’s How You Stay

It’s more than where you go. It’s how you stay. That’s the message behind a new video that’s being played to visitors before and after they arrive in Hawaiʻi. It’s part of the Kuleana Campaign, launched last year through a partnership between the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) and the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB).

Kuleana Campaign outlines the expectation for visitors’ personal and collective commitment to the people of Hawaiʻi. The video encourages travelers to wear a mask, wash their hands, keep six feet apart, and share aloha with fellow travelers and residents.

The video has been sent to airline, hotel and activity partners to share with their customers within email confirmations, inflight, in-room and on property as available. And when visitors log in to their Facebook and Instagram accounts, the video will pop up on their feeds while they’re in Hawaiʻi through geo-targeting technology.

The Kuleana video was launched the week of October 12 in coordination with Hawaiʻi’s new pre-travel testing program that allows trans-Pacific travelers to bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test result from a trusted testing and travel partner.

To build on the message of the Kuleana video, in early November HTA and HVCB will also launch the Mālama Hawaiʻi Campaign in key West Coast source markets to encourage potential travelers to take care of our earth, ourselves and each other. The Mālama Hawaiʻi video will let visitors know that while they explore and rejuvenate in our islands, it’s also a time for them to learn and to responsibly participate in unique experiences that give back to Hawaiʻi.

Up to $50,000 Available for Eligible Culture and Arts Organizations

Last month the City and County of Honolulu via the Mayor’s Office of Culture and Arts announced the establishment of a Culture and Arts Relief and Recovery Fund. Ten million dollars have been set aside for the fund which will reimburse businesses and nonprofit organizations in the culture and arts industries for costs incurred from the implementation of safety precautions and re-opening costs to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The one-time reimbursement will be up to either $10,000 or $50,000 depending on the business or nonprofit organization eligibility and qualifications.

There are two funds. The Mālamalama fund is for small nonprofit and for-profit businesses and organizations (worth less than $1 million). This fund is for cultural practioners, artists, writers, musicians and kumu hula and offers a one-time reimbursement of up to $10,000.

The Hoʻöla fund is for larger nonprofits (worth more than $1 million), such as museums, large theatres, and cultural and art attractions, and offers a one-time reimbursement of up to $50,000.

For more information or to apply to City and County of Honolulu Culture and Arts Relief and Recovery Fund go to

Additionally, the City and County of Honolulu Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund has expanded to cover businesses up to $5 million in revenue. For more information or to apply go to:

“Hawaiiverse” – A New Small Business Website

Hawaiiverse, a new website showcasing local vendors and entrepreneurs, launched in October to help Hawaiʻi’s small businesses reach a broader audience online.

The free marketing platform offers special coupons and weekly giveaways to help residents find the best deals and support local businesses when many are facing huge challenges. The site’s free business listings are promoted to more than 25,000 Hawaiiverse followers on social media.

Hawaiiverse was born on Hawaiʻi Island in 2016 as a video project documenting historical and cultural sites. However, the pandemic prompted its founders to pivot their focus toward preserving and supporting the small business community statewide. The website is run by a group of small business owners and entrepreneurs who are volunteering their time to advance their mission.

“We all need to band together as a community to support local businesses through these tough times, which is why we decided to make our platform free,” says Hawaiiverse CEO Jared Kushi. “And we intend to continue doing what we’re doing long after the pandemic is over.”

Hawaiiverse represents over 220 businesses on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island. Hawaiiverse also features a weekly video series called “Hawaiiverse Spotlight,” that allows participating vendors to tell the story of their business.

For more information on Hawaiiverse, visit their website at

Nest for Families

Nest for Families, a free statewide digital parenting support program, is actively enrolling new families across all of Hawaiʻi. Nest is a text support system that connects expectant parents and families with children ages 0-2 to parenting experts, and partners with Family Hui Hawaiʻi to offer peer support groups.

“In the best of times, the first years of parenting can sometimes be lonely and stressful,” says Krista Olson, Nest’s Executive Director. “Nest’s interactive text support offers a safety net for families throughout Hawaiʻi.”

Parents enrolled in Nest for Families receive customized text messages based on their child’s age and needs. They can also reach out to Nest’s parent support team via text any time they have a parenting question. Founded by Lactation Consultants and Breastfeeding Peer Counselors, Nest has expanded to provide support around COVID-19’s many impacts. Messaging addresses health and development, family wellbeing, nutrition, safety, behavioral health and more. As one parent testified, “I had a tough transition into parenthood, and Nest knows exactly what to send me and at the right time. Nest’s parent support texts have been a game-changer and lifesaver for me and my family. ”

Nest for Families welcomes new families from all islands in our free parent support program. Enrolling is easy and free. Text “enroll me” to (808) 707-8116 or visit