Pūpūkahi i Holomua; Unite in Order to Progress

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Luana Alapa: Trustee Molokaʻi and Lanaʻi

My vision and mission is to raise the lāhui of Molokaʻi to its deserved place among the islands of Hawaiʻi and as beneficiaries of OHA. There are both small and big steps to take to achieve this goal and each step counts!

In October 2021, I brought visitors to the Pālāʻau State Park. The beauty of the Kalaupapa Peninsula was marred by the deplorable condition of the signs. While the storyboards may seem insignificant, their disrepair is disrespectful, fails to educate the visiting public, and shows disregard for the sorrowful history of the settlement.

Ka ʻOhana o Kalaupapa strives to “e ho‘ohanohano a e hoʻomau (honor and perpetuate)” the value and dignity of our brothers and sisters who were exiled at Kalaupapa, including the children who were born there and taken away from their parents. I sent a forceful letter to Gov. Ige urging him to focus attention upon this important landmark and initiated a process to improve the park. As expected, my request wound its way within state government landing at State Parks, Department of Land and Natural Resources.

I can now report that temporary signs (see photos) have been installed and will soon be replaced by permanent ones. We will plan our own dignified moment to honor and bless this small but symbolic step. Mahalo to Martha Yent and Larry Pacheco of the Hawaiʻi State Parks Division for their hard work and diligent efforts.

I am committed to working on projects of importance to our community in ways that unify, not separate. Each step we take together adds up to miles! He waiwai nui ka lōkahi (unity is a precious possession).

If you have any concerns or questions, you may contact my trustee aide for assistance at pohair@oha.org.

Photo: Temporary storyboards
Temporary storyboards have been installed at the Kalaupapa lookout at Pālā‘au State Park and will soon be replaced with new permanent signage. – Photo: Courtesy
Photo: Deteriorated storyboards at Kalaupapa lookout
Replacing the deteriorated storyboards at the lookout is an important step in helping to educate the visiting public about the history of Kalaupapa.
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Luana Alapa was elected OHA Molokaʻi-Lānaʻi Trustee in 2020. She is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and UH Mānoa earning a BA in Psychology and pursuing a master’s degree in Counseling. Alapa is currently a state licensed insurance agent and nutraceutical sales rep. She is also a personal coach, a professional speaker and emcee, and a Rotarian. She belongs to the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce, and Toastmasters. Alapa, a former Miss Hawaiʻi, is also a professional model/director and instructor, an event planner and is passionate about community service projects especially for the Food Bank. Contact Luana Alapa via email at TrusteeAlapa@oha.org.