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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 Kīpuka Kuleana is dedicated to perpetuating kuleana, ahupua‘a-based natural resource management and connection to place through protection of cultural landscapes and family lands. Kīpuka Kuleana is a Hawai‘i 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2017 on the island of Kaua‘i. About Us Our Vision Long-time families continue to live in, share the practices and history of, and care for every ahupuaʻa on Kauaʻi. Our Mission ​Perpetuating kuleana, ahupuaʻa-based natural resource management and connection to place through protection of cultural landscapes and family lands. WHO WE ARE What we Do Ways to Support

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Partners

    Partners He Wahi Mahalo Mahalo to all the individuals, community partners, and organizations who help support our work. Aloha Collection Common Ground Hawaiʻi People's Fund LiKEN: Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network Dr. Mehana Vaughan, UH Mānoa Native Voices Rising National Science Foundation

  • 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. ​ 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]

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Protection Of Cultural Landscapes and Family Lands

    Our Team Kīpuka Kuleana was founded in 2017 by four mothers living and raising their children on the island of Kauaʻi. These women include an associate professor, a lawyer, a GIS specialist, an archival researcher, and a non-profit director with expertise in conservation easements - all dedicated to perpetuating kuleana and connection to ʻāina across generations. Board of Directors Mehana Blaich Vaughan Mehana Blaich Vaughan grew up in Namahana and Kalihiwai, Kauaʻi, on the border of the moku of Haleleʻa and Koʻolau. A graduate of Kīlauea Elementary School, Mehana went to high school on Oʻahu, then studied sociology and secondary education at Harvard University. After a decade of teaching middle school in Hawaiian charter schools, developing ʻāina-based education programs on Kauaʻi, and training teachers in culturally grounded education, Mehana returned to school herself to pursue a doctorate in environmental studies at Stanford University. Mehana is an associate professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management and U.H. Sea Grant College program. Her research, teaching and outreach focus on understanding and nurturing community care and governance of land and waters in Hawaiʻi. She loves to dance, make lei in the wili style of her grandmother, Amelia Ana Kaʻōpua Bailey, and share moʻolelo shared with her by beloved kūpuna. Mehana's first book Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides was published in 2018. She lives in Kīlauea with her husband Kilipaki, mother Beryl, and three children - Pikomanawa, Piʻinaʻemalina, and Anauleikupuna - who, along with her father, Gary Blaich, inspire this work. More Christina Aiu Christina ("Tina") Aiu is the Co-Founder and Business Director of Modesta Media, a Kauaʻi-based video production company offering media services to Hawaiʻi’s environmental sector, communities working to preserve land, and perpetuate cultural practices and businesses who value community and promote a shared responsibility for our earth. Tina has served as Program Manager for Livable Hawai’i Kai Hui and O‘ahu Island Director for Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. In addition to her service as a Board Director for Kīpuka Kuleana, Tina currently sits on the Board of the Kauaʻi Historical Society. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law with certificates in Environmental Law and Ocean Policy. Tina resides in Wailua Homesteads with her husband and business partner Franz, and daughter Makaʻalohi. Her favorite things to do include making "mermaid tails" in the sand with her toddler, skateboarding, and photographing Kauaʻi’s wahi pana (storied places). More Jennifer Luck Jennifer Luck is the Chief Operating Officer for Common Ground Kauaʻi. She previously served as Executive Director of the Kauaʻi Public Land Trust, Kauaʻi Island Director of the Hawaiʻi Land Trust, and Managing Director of the Porter Trust and Wai Koa Plantation, where she oversaw the perpetual conservation of a 4-mile walking trail, multi-stakeholder negotiations for a dam remediation project, tenancy contracts and master plan renovations of 500+ acres of agricultural land. In addition to Kīpuka Kuleana, Jennifer sits on the boards of the Hawaiʻi Land Trust and Namahana Charter School. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Jennifer lives on the north shore of Kauaʻi with her husband Jason and daughters Midge and Frankie. She is happiest when she is spending time with them and her extended ʻohana, surfing, running and making lei. More Elif C. Beall Elif Beall is a licensed attorney, community advocate, and budding writer. Elif was founding Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA), and has served in many non-profit positions including executive leadership, development, and communications. Elif lives on the north shore of Kauaʻi with her husband, where she has resided since 2004. In addition to Kīpuka Kuleana, Elif also serves on the Kauaʻi Island Council for the Hawaiʻi Land Trust. She's happiest when in nature, or when practicing hula or lei-making, or discussing good questions and hopeful futures with family and friends. Project Consultants Dominique Leu Cordy Dominique Leu Cordy grew up all over Oʻahu and now lives and farms kalo with her kāne and their two keiki in Haleleʻa and Koʻolau, Kauaʻi. She does freelance research across the pae ʻāina. Focusing on land in Hawaiʻi, she specializes in archival research and GIS mapping. She has a BA in Cultural Anthropology from University of California at Davis and an MA in Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She has over 17 years of experience in the field of Cultural Resource Management (CRM) in Hawaiʻi, archaeology, EA and EIS review, community ethnography, historic land and historical research, and GIS research. She has guest lectured for six years for the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program (WKIP) as well as the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu. Ms. Cordy has managed and developed cultural and historical GIS databases for government agencies, including the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE-POH), the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. She engages actively in community organizations that seek to protect, preserve, and educate about Hawaiʻi's precious wahi kūpuna (cultural resources) and is a participating member of the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective, the Waioli Taro Valley Hui. She is a co-founder of Kīpuka Kuleana. More Sarah Barger Sarah is a consultant with expertise in grant writing, research and capacity building for organizations at the intersection of environmentalism, social justice and health. She has a BA in Psychology, a BA in American Indian and Indigenous Studies, and a minor in Medical Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sarah has a decade of experience in stakeholder engagement in research, grant development and management of community-based research projects. Her connection to local communities on Kauaʻi is rooted in organic farming, working alongside farmers and entrepreneurs at local farmers markets, and participating in ʻāina restoration and climate resiliency projects. Her kuleana is growing the depth and breadth of Kīpuka Kuleana's programs, particularly ʻohana outreach and support.

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Who we are

    Who we are Learn more about 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 Keeping ʻohana lands in ʻohana hands sustains communities. ʻĀina, meaning “that which feeds,” is the Hawaiian word for land. 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.” (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. ​ 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 is a nonprofit organization founded in 2017 on the island of Kaua‘i. We provide education and research to enhance connections to ʻāina on Kauaʻi, build community stewardship of ʻāina, support ʻohana in keeping ancestral ʻāina, and promote policies that protect Kauaʻi ʻāina and ʻohana. Our Why

  • 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 | 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 Protect and restore Native Hawaiian lands 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 malama and support our community Complete This Form

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | ʻApana ʻOhana

    ʻĀPana ʻOHANA Workshop About ʻĀpana ʻOhana was a five-part workshop series from September to November 2020. The purpose of these workshops was to educate and empower Hawaiian and local long-time ʻohana struggling to mālama (maintain and steward) their kuleana and ʻohana heir lands. Over 194 people engaged in group discussions led by local speakers and contributed to 388 total participation hours. As part of this workshop series, a number of new and innovative resources were developed by Huliauapaʻa . The Importance of ʻĀina Research Pūlama Lima and Donovan Preza Property Tax Leanora Kaiaokamalie, Mike Hubbard and Mason Chock Foundations of Access, Easements, and Right of Entry Peter Morimoto and Shae Kamakaʻala Quiet Titles and Adverse Possession Lance Collins and Bianka Isaki Estate and Trust Planning Nicholas Mirkay and Kelley Uyeoka Resources 1/4 Maps and Where to Find Them Handout Provides examples of different types of maps ​ Includes links to map repositories and collections ​ "How-To" Steps for finding county Tax Map Keys Download 1/4 How to Family Search Guide Step-by-step instructions on how to find Bureau of Conveyences documents ​ Color-coded aid for understanding how to read the index ​ ​ Step-by-step instructions for how to find and download land deeds Download 1/2 Hawaiʻi County Calendar for Tax Relief, Annual Filing, and Tax Exemptions Tax exemption calendar deadlines ​ Exemptions are categorized by themes which include short summaries of what each entails ​ Clickable links to download online applications Download 1/3 Maui County Calendar for Tax Relief, Annual Filing, and Tax Exemptions Tax exemption calendar deadlines ​ Exemptions are categorized by themes which include short summaries of what each entails ​ Clickable links to download online applications Download 1/4 Honolulu County Calendar for Tax Relief, Annual Filing, and Tax Exemptions Tax exemption calendar deadlines ​ Exemptions are categorized by themes which include short summaries of what each entails ​ Clickable links to download online applications Download 1/4 Kauaʻi County Calendar for Tax Relief, Annual Filing, and Tax Exemptions Tax exemption calendar deadlines ​ Exemptions are categorized by themes which include short summaries of what each entails ​ Clickable links to download online applications Download 1/4 Types of Access Handout Includes description of different types of access ​ Clickable links to State statutes and county ordinances ​ Defines important terminologies related to types of access Download 1/5 Glossary for Quiet Titles and Adverse Possesion Glossary indexed into four main sections: Quiet titles Adverse Possession Land Court County Tax Records ​ ​ Includes narratives and diagrams for understanding concepts, words, and phrases concerning Quiet Title and Adverse Possession. Download 1/4 Basic Guide to Conservation Easements Learn the basics of conservation easements ​ Outlines the benefits and function of conservation easements ​ Discusses property rights and conservation easement management plans Download 1/3 Hawaiʻi Estate Planning Resources Hawaiʻi Estate Planning Resources organized by categories: Lawyer Referral Estate Planning Resources, Advance Care/ Incapacity Planning ​ Clickable links embedded for each resource Download Back to top

  • Kīpuka Kuleana | Hoʻomalu- Policy and Protection

    Hoʻomalu Policy and Protection We work with the government on policies to protect ʻohana and their lands ​We educate new landowners about the ʻāina under their protection, while discouraging the sale and development of vulnerable properties. ​ We work to promote contemporary models of relationships to place based on kuleana. IMG_5228 IMG_3057 IMG_5349 IMG_5228 1/7 Projects and Resources Working with County Initiative These initiatives include policies to protect ʻohana lands such as general plan amendments and changes to tax laws.

  • 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).