Ka Wai Ola

re·sil·ience | \ ri-‘zil-yən(t)s \
an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

Photo: Sylvia Hussey

Aloha mai kākou,

What does resilience look like? From Maunakea to Mokumanamana, we see it throughout the archipelago. We see it in how our community has continued to hold the state accountable for decades of mismanagement on Maunakea. We see it in how the mauna is igniting the reawakening of our lāhui to our history, culture, and mana.

OHA Trustees and staff recently visited Kaua‘i and witnessed the resilience of our lāhui there, as well. In Waipā, Hanalei, Wainiha, and Hā‘ena, families who have been farming rice, then kalo, in the Hanalei Valley for generations, lost everything in a 24-hour deluge of rain. Our people continue to work their “day” jobs at the County or hotels, and return in the afternoons and weekends to silt-filled lo‘i, with their families in tow, to replant, restore and rebuild.

Hanapēpē families who have been practicing traditional salt gathering, also for generations, threatened by the expansion of helicopters and tours, continue to protect and preserve what is their traditional and cultural practice and heritage.

And even far to the northwest, we remain a resilient people and ‘āina. On Makali‘i’s recent trip to Papahānaumokuākea, resilience looks like the eager faces of keiki who planted foods for the journey, reconnecting to the precise way in which our kupuna, traversed the Pacific despite the obvious dangers. Papahānaumokuākea reminds us that there are pristine places in this world worth protecting. Our resilience is enabled because of our mo‘okū‘auhau, our shared belief and connection to our ‘āina, mo‘omeheu and ‘ohana.

Sylvia Hussey, Ed.D.
Ka Pouhana/Interim Chief Executive Officer
Ka Pou Nui/Chief Operating Officer