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Accomplishments

Education

Conducted twenty field trips to share the ecology, history and culture of ahupuaʻa on the north-east coast of Kauaʻi, to students and teachers from preschool to graduate school.

 

Hosted a workshop on family lands in December of 2016, attended by 40 individuals. The workshop included presentations on family land trusts, tax breaks, resources to conduct geneaology and lands research. Speakers included lawyers, staff from Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Hawaiian language and lands researchers, and an expert from North Carolina who spoke on models used in other parts of the U.S. to protect family and heir properties. Participant evaluations were overwhelmingly positive (95% of respondents rated the workshop educational and useful, with 100% saying such programs are important to the community, and expressing interest to participate in the future). We aim to hold another workshop in early 2018.

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Acquisitions

Facilitated the purchase of family lands in Kalihiwai belonging to the Pānui ʻohana in the summer of 2017. The family lost their great great grandmotherʻs land, where they had grown up for generations, to a forced partition auction in 2015. It was purchased by a real estate firm and put up for sale. A conservation buyer was identified to purchase the property from the firm. The conservation buyer and family members are actively working to arrange an owner-financed buy back, and establishment of a family trust so that the land will remain with the family in perpetuity. A stewardship agreement and right of entry are being negotiated so the family can continue to care for and use the land.

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Funding

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The team obtained a $310,000 National Science Foundation, Science Engineering and Education for Sustainability Grant in 2012, which just ended in 2017. Grant applications were submitted to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Native Voices Rising in 2017.

Stewardship

Team members have initiated four separate clean-ups of coastal sites in area ahupuaʻa, engaging over 100 volunteers, many students, in hauling out truckloads of trash.

Assistance

Since 2016, members of the project team have assisted seven different families facing loss of their ancestral lands. Team members have provided research assistance including land records, genealogy tracing and, translation of deeds written in Hawaiian. They have also helped families to set up tax payment plans, and connected them to legal advice and meetings with professionals willing to help them set up trusts etc. at low cost.

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