Building on its extensive philanthropic investments in University of Hawaiʻi programs and students, the Native Hawaiian Organization Alakaʻina Foundation recently contributed $400,000 to support Ka Papa Loʻi ʻo Kānewai at the UH Mānoa Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.
“Hoʻokahewai hoʻoulu ʻāina: ‘Make the water flow and the land flourishes’ is the manaʻo of Ka Papa Loʻi ʻo Kānewai since its rebirth in 1980. We are very grateful to the Alakaʻina Foundation for helping us make the water flow by getting more Hawaiian kalo on our tables, and supporting our research, education and outreach efforts to perpetuate Native Hawaiian culture, values and knowledge.” —Makahiapo Cashman, Ka Papa Loʻi ʻo Kānewai Director
The Alakaʻina Foundation’s donation will support work to expand Hawaiian taro as a staple for Hawaiʻi’s communities. This includes cultivating and cataloguing various kalo varieties; researching and recording mele and oli about kalo to preserve ancestral knowledge; and repairs to the hale and classroom at Ka Papa Loʻi ʻo Kānewai used to host school groups and other visitors to the site.
“Our mission is to build leadership programs and opportunities for nā pua a Hawaiʻi, the youth of Hawaiʻi,” said Kimo Bacon, Alakaʻina Foundation Executive Director. “To do this, we concentrate on programs supporting ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi – to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian language as an official language recognized by the Constitution of the State of Hawaiʻi; ka waʻa – using the canoe and Hawaiian navigational techniques as a metaphor for integration of western and Hawaiian technologies and the knowledge they provide; and aloha ʻāina – the teaching and preserving of our lands and oceans.”
Ka Papa Loʻi ʻo Kānewai sustains a thriving taro patch that shares its resources with the community. The team is skilled in the identification, cultivation and propagation of a variety of native plants.
There is a variety of native and indigenous trees and shrubs growing along the stream and low-lying slopes. Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, families, students and community organizations were invited to engage and immerse themselves in hana Hawaiʻi and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.