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Through our initial gatherings, the KC realized that a more complete understanding of the current state of CRM in Hawaiʻi was needed in order to address how to improve the system. Since 2017, the KC has been compiling foundational Cultural Resource Management (CRM)  and Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship (WKS) data to be presented in this first of its kind report. This report will serves as a guiding document to steer the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective along a new ala loa (path) over the next few years. It aims to present complex data in a clear manner to bring awareness to specific Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship issues and highlight ways that individuals, organizations, professionals, and others can take action towards greater stewardship of our wahi kūpuna.

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Data compiled for this report includes: KC working materials (meeting notes, surveys), presentations and breakout session notes from the 2019 KC Think Tank, publicly available quantitative data (e.g. Island Burial Council agendas and minutes, firms permitted under SHPD, Federal and State historic preservation laws and rules, etc.), and relevant articles and reports listed in our references section.

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One of the primary sources of information for this report is qualitative data gathered from the multiple meetings, interviews, webinars, and email communications with knowledgeable topic area experts, cultural practitioners, and wahi kūpuna stewards over the past two years. This important manaʻo, that has not been systematically documented before, is the foundation of this report, providing generational and place-based knowledge to inform our actions and recommendations from a Kanaka ʻŌiwi perspective.

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The Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective Report Soft Launch

On March 31st, 2021 the KC ʻAha Kuapapa held a virtual presentation to soft launch the KC report. This event was an opportunity for the ʻAha Kuapapa to share the report with the Collective before it was publicly released. The ʻAha Kuapapa provided a high level overview of the report and conducted a Q&A session to hear manaʻo and feedback from collective members.

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Wahi kūpuna are ancestral places where we maintain relationships to the past which in turn fosters our identity and well-being in the present. While archaeology and CRM have historically held the decision-making authority over Hawaiʻi’s wahi kūpuna, there has been a concerted effort to expand the realm of CRM and transform the practice towards Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship to make this kuleana more relevant and appropriate for the needs not only of Native Hawaiians, but all who care for Hawaiʻi and call it home.

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This section presents a brief history of CRM in Hawaiʻi, who the stakeholders are, and the current landscape of this industry.

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The KC identified “building community support to steward wahi kūpuna” amongst the top priorities in caring for wahi kūpuna. The KC further identified “creating more resources to inform, educate, and support community driven stewardship efforts” and “increasing support and collaboration from government agencies and landowners” as the top two ways to build community capacity in WKS. These two Priority Themes, along with improving community consultation and engagement, are the central themes presented in this section.

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The importance of ʻike Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian knowledge and ways of knowing), has repeatedly come up in the KC discussions about the management of Hawaiʻi’s wahi kūpuna. This section looks at ʻike Hawaiʻi as a valuable resource; a resource that must be managed deliberately and responsibly.

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Western historic preservation law and practice has often framed preservation and restoration as two conflicting paradigms, favoring the practice of preserving ancestral places as static snapshots of the past. Wahi kūpuna, however, are not static; they are dynamic, living parts of our culture and communities. Throughout history, many wahi kūpuna have been actively used, built, and/or rebuilt over time. Both preservation and restoration of wahi kūpuna are important to the health of Hawaiʻi’s mauli ola (life force), and essential components of cultural survival.

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Despite state and federal laws intended to protect iwi kūpuna, they remain under constant threat across our pae ʻāina. Iwi kūpuna will continue on this trajectory of impact unless more proactive steps are taken towards ensuring their protection. The KC Priority Themes for this section include Analyzing and Strengthening the System and Building Community Capacity to Mālama Iwi Kūpuna. And while there are a breadth of issues associated with this heavy kuleana that aren’t all addressed in this report, the themes presented aim to provide a baseline understanding of core issues, and provide recommendations to address them.

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As the KC, we are proposing 16 Calls to Action that will help our collective further carry out our kuleana of stewarding wahi kūpuna. The steps outlined in these Calls to Action are primarily short-term goals, such as forming working groups to assist in refining and outlining next steps needed to take within each Call to Action.

Calls to Action

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The Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective Report

This report represents a compilation of quantitative and qualitative data collected by the KC from 2018-2021. Our intention is that this report will strengthen a shared baseline of understanding to not only inform our individual responses but to enable more strategic collaborations that maximize the collective impact for our communities. If you support any of the information presented in this report, we encourage you to endorse the report below, either as an organization or an individual, and that you share this information with community members, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, legislators, and/ or private businesses that might benefit from reading it.

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Pledge Support

Join us in 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.


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