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  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Protection Of Cultural Landscapes

    KīPUKA KULEANA Perpetuating kuleana to place through protection of cultural landscapes and family lands This place will feed you, if you know how to take care of it. - Young Hāʻena Fisherman, 2009 On Kauaʻi, long-time families are losing connections to ancestral lands due to escalating land values, rising taxes, restricted access, development pressure and other challenges that threaten identity and perpetuation of cultural practice across generations. ​ ​ Established in 2018, Kīpuka Kuleana is a 501(c)(3) Hawaiʻi nonprofit organization that protects ancestral lands under threat and revitalizes relationships between people and ʻāina (lands and waters) on Kauaʻi. ​ We strive to grow kīpuka (places of community caretaking and cultural restoration) grounded in kuleana (responsibility) in every ahupuaʻa (traditional region) on Kauaʻi. Mission ​Perpetuating kuleana, ahupuaʻa-based natural resource management and connection to place through protection of cultural landscapes and family lands. Vision Long-time families continue to live in, share the practices and history of, and care for every ahupuaʻa on Kauaʻi. WHO WE ARE WHO WE ARE WHAT WE DO SUPPORT US

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Partners

    History Kuleana are rights and responsibilities, both based in relationship to land. Kuleana also refers to particular parcels of land. Prior to 1850, kuleana were: ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Under Hawaiian land tenure, families could stay and pass this ʻāina to their descendants, even as ruling aliʻi changed, as long as they cared for it well. When the land was privatized in 1850, less than 1% of all ʻāina in Hawaiʻi, called kuleana, were awarded to Hawaiian makaʻāinana families who lived on and tended the land.​ Less than 28% of the eligible population of adult males was awarded. Extensive information was recorded about these kuleana parcels including family and place names, information on surroundings, hydrology, and cultivation. These lands are house sites, taro patches, some fish ponds, or salt pans and often contain iwi (bones). ​ Places where Hawaiian families continue to care for and live on ʻāina in the same areas as their ancestors are increasingly rare. Those families which continue to hold kuleana and other family lands on the island of Kauaʻi are finding they no longer can due to rising property taxes tied to exorbitant area sales prices, forced partitions by family members or others who acquire one of many shares, debt, and focused efforts at acquisition by realtors and surrounding property owners. Many families no longer own or live on their properties but continue to gather there, fish, teach children and grandchildren, care for family parcels and surrounding area, visit burials and seek ways to maintain presence and connection while fulfilling kuleana to their home. ​ Kīpuka Kuleana nurtures contemporary models of relationships to place rooted in kuleana as: plots of land given, by the governing aliʻi of an area, to an ʻohana or an individual as their responsibility without right of ownership ​ [Pūkuʻi & Elbert, 1975] authority and obligation based in interdependence and community [Goodyear-Kaopua 2011, 131]

  • Donate | Kīpuka Kuleana

    Donate to Kīpuka kuleana Kīpuka Kuleana is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that accepts tax deductible donations. To donate by credit/debit card or bank transfer, please complete the form below. Checks can be made to: Kīpuka Kuleana. PO Box 272. Kilauea, HI 96754. ​ Mahalo for supporting our work on Kauaʻi!

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Support

    Support There are many ways to support Kīpuka Kuleana from donating to our Hōʻahu Lands Fund to volunteering time and skills to care for a place you love. Hōʻahu Lands Fund Support protection and restoration of vital ʻohana ʻāina through a donation to our fund. Learn More & Donate Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides All book proceeds go to Kīpuka Kuleana. Read about Kaiāulu Volunteer Interested in sharing your time and skills? ​ We'll keep you updated on opportunities to mālama and support our communities. Complete This Form

  • Volunteer | Kīpuka Kuleana

    Support Kīpuka Kuleana First Name Email Last Name Phone (optional) Where are you from / Where do you live? How would you like to kōkua (support) Kīpuka Kuleana? Volunteer time and skills Host a training workshop or presentation Partner with Kīpuka Kuleana on a project Fund or support Kīpuka Kuleana What skills or passions would you like to share? (e.g, bringing communities together through educational workshops, ʻāina research, social media/blogging, educating people about place, etc) Is there a place that you are interested in protecting? How did you find out about us? Questions or comments? Back Submit Mahalo nui for your kōkua! We'll reach out as opportunities arise.

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | What we do

    What we DO We always use the word kuleana to refer to land, but kuleana is really your responsibility to that land. - Kīlauea Community Member, January 2016 Aʻo: Education & Research We assist families, community groups, land owners and government agencies with cultural, historic and archival lands research to aid in care and protection of ʻāina today Resources & Projects Mālama: Stewardship We support community care of lands and waters across the island of Kauaʻi Resources & Projects Kākoʻo: ʻOhana Support We provide tailored support to families working to keep ancestral lands Resources & Projects Hoʻomalu: Policy and Protection We work with government on policies to protect ʻohana and their lands Resources & Projects Back to top

  • Order Book | Kīpuka Kuleana

    Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides $19.95 Purchase from Common Ground Common Ground is a Kauaʻi-based community hub that supports local entrepreneurs and businesses. They elevate stories, products and community connection through their "creative campus that brings together changemakers, thinkers and do-ers." About the Author Mehana Blaich Vaughan grew up where the districts of Haleleʻa and Koʻolau meet on the island of Kauaʻi. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, and the Sea Grant College Program and Hui ʻĀina Momona at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Mehana’s research and teaching focus on community relationships with natural resources, particularly in indigenous settings, as well as place-based education. Her home is on Kauaʻi with her husband, mother, and three children. Kaiāulu is her first book. All book proceeds benefit Kīpuka Kuleana. Based on two decades of interviews with over sixty Hawaiian elders, leaders, and fishermen and women, Mehana Blaich Vaughan’s Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides is a deeply personal and affecting book about how community interacts with natural resources. The northeast coast of Kauaʻi, where Mehana was born and raised, can be a picturesque playground for tourists, but for centuries the catch from this local reef and the sharing of that food has helped sustain area families. What happens when these fishing families become increasingly unseen, many of them moving away due to global commodification and loss of access to their coastal land? This book skillfully explores a community’s enduring efforts to nurture respectful relationships with natural resources and perpetuate these practices for future generations. "Kaiāulu is a book of prayers, an exquisite inquiry into the nature of reciprocity and what it means to be human. Never have we needed the compassionate intelligence of Mehana Blaich Vaughan more. In the tradition of wisdom writers like Robin Wall Kimmerer and the storytelling magic of Louise Erdrich, we see a leader of the next generation on the page and in the world." - Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Hour of Land

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Who we are

    Who we are We feel, we have kuleana, responsibility for the land, for the people. That's what this is all about. - Kūpuna raised in Wanini, March 2015 Our Why Keeping ʻohana lands in ʻohana hands sustains communities. ʻĀina, meaning “that which feeds,” is the Hawaiian word for lands and waters. ʻĀina encompasses all that feeds us, from heavens to earth to ocean, especially relationships between places and the people who call them home, who have fed their families here across generations. Traditionally in Hawaiʻi, ʻāina, an embodiment of our Gods and ancestors, could never be bought, sold or owned, but was held in trust by the governing aliʻi of an area, who gave it to area ʻohana as their responsibility without right of ownership. Under Hawaiian land tenure, families could stay and pass this land to their descendants, even as ruling aliʻi changed, as long as they cared for it well. ​ Today, long-time families from the island of Kauaʻi are finding it increasingly difficult to continue to live here and care for the lands that feed them. Under western and American law, people from other parts of the world, many of whom vacation on the island, can buy lands on Kauaʻi for vacation homes, real estate investments, or residence in a place that feels like paradise. The land here has become some of the most coveted and expensive on the planet, with over a million visitors a year recreating across the island. Meanwhile, long-time residents struggle, working multiple jobs to pay for food, rent, and rising property taxes tied to escalating land values; simultaneously, they face the loss of homes, decreased access to ʻohana fishing and gathering areas, and increased pressure to move from their communities and the island. Most who buy land on Kauaʻi have no idea they are displacing long-time area families, have no way to learn about the ʻāina they are becoming caretakers of, and have no connection to surrounding communities. Kīpuka Kuleana restores relationships between people and ʻāina by restoring land and the ability of local communities to care for it.

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Mālama- Stewardship

    Mālama Stewardship 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, 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. 1/20 Through this program, keiki come to know ʻāina deeply 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, Aloha ʻĀina 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.

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Protection Of Cultural Landscapes

    Perpetuating kuleana to place through protection of cultural landscapes and family lands This place will feed you, if you know how to take care of it Young Hāʻena Fisherman, 2009 About Us Kīpuka Kuleana is a Hawai‘i 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to perpetuating kuleana, ahupua‘a-based natural resource management and connection to place through protection of cultural landscapes and family lands. Kīpuka Kuleana was founded in 2017 on the island of Kaua‘i. Support Our Vision Long time families continue to live in, take care of and share the practices and history of every ahupuaʻa on Kauaʻi. Our Mission ​Perpetuating kuleana, ahupuaʻa based natural resource management and connection to place through the protection of cultural landscapes and family lands. Learn more about us What's New What we do Who we are Ways to support us Our Why Prior to 1850, kuleana were “plots of land given, by the governing aliʻi of an area, to an ʻohana or an individual as their responsibility without right of ownership.” (Pūkuʻi & Elbert, 1975) Under Hawaiian land tenure, families could stay and pass this land to their descendants, even as ruling aliʻi changed, as long as they cared for it well. Awarded to Hawaiian makaʻāinana families who lived on and tended the land. ​ When land was privatized in 1850, less than 1% of all lands in Hawaiʻi were l ess than 28% of the eligible population of adult males was awarded. Extensive information was recorded about these parcels including family and place names, information on surroundings, hydrology, and cultivation. These lands are house sites, taro patches, some fish ponds, or salt pans & often contain iwi. ​ Lands where Hawaiian families continue to care for and live on lands in the same areas as their ancestors are increasingly rare. Those families which continue to hold kuleana and other family lands on the north shore of Kauaʻi are finding they no longer can due to rising property taxes tied to value, forced partitions by family members or others who acquire one of many shares, outstanding debts, and focused efforts at acquisition by surrounding property owners. Many families no longer own or live on their properties but continue to gather there, fish, teach children and grandchildren, care for family parcels and surrounding area, visit burials and seek ways to maintain a presence, connection & fulfill kuleana to their home. ​ Kīpuka Kuleana works to nurture contemporary models of relationships to place-based kuleana as “authority and obligation based in interdependence and community” (Goodyear-Kaopua 2011, 131).