Kākoʻo Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship
Our Endorsement Pledge
I support re-envisioning Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship in Hawaiʻi and endorse the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective’s vision of empowering communities, professionals, and agencies to work collaboratively to protect, restore, reinvigorate, and appropriately steward Hawaiʻi’s wahi kūpuna.
What's at Stake
For decades, Native Hawaiians have fought to maintain the integrity of our moʻolelo (stories and histories), iwi kūpuna (ancestral remains), wahi pana (storied places), wahi kūpuna (ancestral sites), and koehana (material culture) in the face of colonization, over tourism, military expansion, rampant land development, and mismanagement in our island home.
The erosion and loss of our cultural resources throughout the pae ʻāina is an ongoing crisis that has not received the level of attention needed. Historic preservation laws and regulations exist, but state and federal governments do not consistently uphold such laws, professional standards and best practices, and have often failed to manage information and heritage responsibly and sensitively.
These problems are systemic and have many layers, but a core issue is the limited role and power of Native Hawaiians to care for our own resources and shape the limits and outcomes of development in our communities.
In a movement to protect our cultural landscapes and sacred sites, kānaka ʻŌiwi and kamaʻāina come together to take a stand against further desecration of Maunakea. Image: Anianikū Chong
Our Kāhea (Call for Action)
To build a system that aims to truly protect wahi kūpuna and empowers community-led stewardship, we need to re-conceptualize Cultural Resource Management (CRM) as Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship (WKS) by exploring culturally-grounded and meaningful preservation practices. WKS acknowledges that when the cultural and environmental health of a place and its people are recognized as interconnected, valued, and worthy of protection. We must increase the opportunities and abilities of Native Hawaiians to re-vitalize relationships with wahi kūpuna through direct management of policy, resources, and practices. And all those that care for our wahi kūpuna must come together as a collective to elevate our kuleana and integrate more of a holistic worldview into Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship for the betterment of all in Hawaiʻi.
Your Support In This Effort Will Help To:
Grow a network of kiaʻi at all levels of management.
Create solidarity amongst diverse stakeholders to facilitate transparency and build trust.
Protect burial sites from further desecration.
Protect sacred sites from irresponsible development.
Empower communities to engage in the historic preservation process so our voices and concerns are heard and acknowledged
Photo: Scott Kanda, courtesy of Kua'āina Ulu ‘Auamo
Our Guiding Principles
1. Protect and restore wahi kupuna and the cultural practices that occur at these places.
2. Develop strategies to actively manage and mālama wahi kūpuna, iwi kūpuna, and koehana.
3. Build community capacity to mālama wahi kūpuna, iwi kūpuna, and koehana through participation, collaboration, education, training, and resources.
4. Prioritize ʻŌiwi knowledge systems by honoring place-based expertise, integrating natural and cultural resources and ecosystems, and grounding knowledge in a cultural context.
Our Collective Action Initiatives
The KC prioritizes our efforts around four collective action initiatives in order to build on our guiding principles, increase awareness regarding CRM and WKS issues, and grow capacity and resources for wahi kūpuna stewards:
Knowledge Cultivation & Stewardship
Papa Kāheka Interviews
What does Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship mean to you?
Why is the work of the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective important now?
What is the most urgent issue you see right now in Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship?
Davianna McGregor, Kepā Maly, & Fred Cachola are valued members of our Papa Kāheka kūpuna council. We encourage you to take a moment to listen to these short clips of interviews the collective conducted with them. Each video features these kūpuna answering the questions;
What does WKS means to you?
Why is the work of the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective important?
What do you believe is the most urgent issue in WKS is right now?
Where do you see WKS in the next 10 years?
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