Ka Wai Ola

Robert K. Lindsey, Jr., Trustee, Hawai‘iWhen we think about Leadership. Most of us I think think about leadership in the ‘traditional sense.’ Myself included. We think of Leaders of Nations. Presidents. Like John F. Kennedy or Franklin D. Roosevelt. Prime Ministers. Like Justin Trudeau or Benjamin Netanyahu. Dictators. Like Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini. Queen’s wearing diamond studded crowns. Like Elizabeth of the United Kingdom or Grace of Monaco.

I saw the ‘light’ many years ago. As a community-based advocate. Who was surrounded by leaders of every hue. Judges. Public Defenders. Police Captains. Firefighters. Coaches. Teachers. Farmers. Politicians. Doctors. The list is endless. I could go on and on. In the interest of time. I’ll get to my ‘take away’ message. Which is. There are many. Right in our midst. Who commit! Their time, treasure, gifts and energy to ‘bettering conditions’ for their communities.’ EVERYDAY. All across our Big island.

I hope you’re enjoying our series on local leaders through our KWO column. Featuring Kanaka from Moku O Keawe. Kanaka right around us. Up close and personal. Who! In their own, quiet, humble way. Work tirelessly to ‘better conditions’ for our people.’ Most. Whether they’re getting assistance or not. From OHA! Are not waiting with outstretched hand. They just roll up their sleeves. And, do what they must do. Serve unselfishly. Without complaining.

Hawaiian education. I think of our Hawaiian focused Charter Schools. Most especially. Susie Osborne and her crew at Kua O Ka Lā. Now at a new location in Hilo. The recent eruption consumed their beautiful well established campus on the Puna Coast in 2018. Susie. Her teachers, staff and community regrouped. And quickly. Rebuilt their beloved school. I think of our folks at Ka ‘Umeke in Hilo. ‘Ehunuikaimalino in Kona Hema. I think of Hannah, Taffi, Katie and Janlyn at KALO. The Kanu O Ka ‘Āina Learning ‘Ohana in Waimea. I think of the Board members. Administrations. Teachers. Staff. Community resource folks. Students. Not only here on Moku O Keawe. At all of our Charter Schools. Across the pae‘āina. Employing daily. An Education With Aloha curricula. Doing their utmost to prepare our haumana for the 21st Century. But in no way. Forsaking the truth of the past. And, the historical and cultural trauma we have had to endure as the First People of these islands.

Hawaiian Health. I think of Uncle Louis Hao, Aunty Edna and the Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Öiwi ‘ohana in Hilo. Who with a thin and shrinking federal budget are doing their best to deliver health services and resources to East Hawai‘i. I think of Dr. Claren Kealoha at Kīpuka O Ke Ola (KOKO). Claren was featured several issues ago. All the good work. She and her crew are doing in South Kohala. In behavioral health primarily. As well as in primary care.

Homestead Development. I think of what Uncle Pat and folks are doing and have done for the Keaukaha Homestead. For twenty years. Keaukaha fought for a new cafeteria. With persistence. Refusing to take ‘no can’ for an answer. The result. Today. Keaukaha has a lot to ‘smile’ about. There’s Sam Walker and the La‘i‘Öpua 2020 group. Bo Kahui, La‘i‘Öpua’s Executive Director, will be featured in an upcoming article. It’s truly amazing. All that is happening at the Villages of Kaniohale and La‘i‘Öpua under L2020’s leadership. With the Kailapa Homestead Association (Maka‘ala Kanealii) in Kawaihae. And, with the Waimea Hawaiian Homesteader’s Association (Mike Hodson). Mike’s Waimea Nui development concept (economic sovereignty template) is truly intriguing. So much nū ‘oli (good news) to tell of. Impossible to do in 600 words. Please stay tuned for more. Aloha.