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Supporting community care of ʻāina (lands and waters) across the island of Kauaʻi

  • We participate in community efforts to mālama (care for) and restore culturally significant ʻāina.

  • We lead cultural education programs and field trips, including our annual Kaiāulu Koʻolau Summer Program, that impart critical skills and knowledge grounded in place to the next generation of land protectors. 

  • We cultivate kīpuka (spaces of community caretaking and cultural restoration) so that families may gather, mālama, practice cultural traditions, and teach from places integral to their identities.


Kaiāulu Koʻolau Summer Program

A four-week program for keiki (children) focused on growing connections to
community and ʻāina and cultivating a sense of identity through place.

Through this program, keiki come to know ʻāina through cultural practices, including mele and oli composition, map reading, moʻolelo and place names, fishing, foraging, lei making, hula and kanikapila. They learn how ʻāina must be cared for and sustained before it may feed community, and they work hard to mālama ʻāina, from planting native species to harvesting foods at ʻĀina Hoʻokupu o Kīlauea. Over two camping trips, they practice gathering their meals and cultural cooking techniques like building imu, pulehu, and steaming. One of the group's favorite activities is the culminating cooking competition, which gives keiki three hours to gather and prepare lunches using area ingredients. During a final hōʻike (reflection), keiki share and celebrate their learnings from the program with their ʻohana and kumu (teachers) through presentations, hula, music and a shared meal together.

Special mahalo to the community members and partners who make this program possible: ʻĀina Hoʻokupu o Kīlauea, ʻĀina Aloha Economic Futures, Hawaiʻi Land Trust, Kiaʻi Kāhili, Limahuli Gardens, Namahana Education Foundation, Aunty Ann Eu, Aunty Kaninau Villanueva, Aunty Lei Wann, Uncle Atta Chandler Forrest, and Uncle Gary & Aunty Bebe Smith.

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