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- Kīpuka Kuleana | Protection Of Cultural Landscapes and Family Lands
Our Team Kīpuka Kuleana was founded in 2018 by four mothers living and raising their children on the island of Kauaʻi. These women include an associate professor, a lawyer, a GIS specialist and 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. Program Staff 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 Barger is a writer, researcher, consultant and capacity builder 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 UNC-Chapel Hill. Sarah has a decade of experience in conducting stakeholder engagement in research, developing grant proposals and managing community-based research projects. She is grateful to learn from and work alongside indigenous leaders and elders in communities across North America, Aotearoa, Chilean Patagonia and Hawaiʻi. Her connection to local communities on Kauaʻi is rooted in organic farming, working at local markets with farmers and entrepreneurs, and participating in ʻāina restoration and climate resilience projects. As Director of Programs, Sarah leads Kīpuka Kuleana's operations. She is happiest on the water and in the mountains - especially when paddling, running, hiking, biking and climbing with friends.
- 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 | Hoʻomalu- Policy and Protection
Hoʻomalu Policy and Protection We work with the government on policies to protect ʻohana and their lands We collaborate on county and state level policy to codify protections of ancestral 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. 1/4
- 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 | Accomplishments
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. 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. Funding 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. Back to top
- Kīpuka Kuleana | Aʻo- Education and Research
AʻO Education and Research We enhance connections to ʻāina through education We lead field trips with local schools, a summer program for area keiki, college courses, workshops, and training for community learners of all ages. Our educational efforts center on learning stories, place names, land-use history, policy, and ecology of particular ʻāina while building capacity to care for these places across generations. 20150306_140553 _DSC0329_rv _DSC0250_rv 20150306_185908 _DSC0357_rv We assist families, community groups, landowners, and government agencies with cultural, historic, and archival lands research to aid in the care and protection of ʻāina today Specialize in māhele and kuleana records, translation, place names, archival maps, historic images, land-use plans, and analysis to support policy reforms. Train people to conduct needed archival ʻāina research on their own. Build community archive of Kauaʻi lands, cultural practices, and ʻike to guide future restoration, caretaking, education, and governance. Projects and Resources (W)Anini Project A project to increase historical and cultural understanding of the past and present-day Wanini (Anini) area Learn More ʻĀpana ʻOhana Five-part workshop series in 2020 focused on maintaining kuleana and ʻohana heir lands Learn More
- Kīpuka Kuleana | (W)anini Project
(W)anini Project Kaiaulu Noho a Kupa Community Outreach Program About The purpose of this project is to gather and document the knowledge of the area known as “Anini” or “Wanini” so that it can be used to teach future generations about the area, protect Hawaiian family practices there, and guide community efforts (between January and August of 2015) and decision-making about the area, particularly in light of proposed development. The project focused on the area from Kalihiwai River to just past (W)anini stream, where the old government road crests the hill, including Hanapai, Kalihikai, and (W)anini. Jump to Resources The goal of this project was to increase understanding of the area's past & present history and its importance. To encourage pono decision-making about the future: Understand how Hawaiian and local families have lived in the area, cared for, and used its natural resources. Understand how the health of these resources, particularly fresh water and marine resources has changed and when, and identify possible causes. Understand laws and policies that affect this place and might help to determine what can or cannot happen there in the future. Protect traditional and customary Hawaiian practices in this area by documenting them. Gather manaʻo from area families regarding how to protect area resources and practices. Find common ground among varied perspectives and informational identify recommendations for the area that best incorporates this manaʻo. Provide information that might help people who care about (W)anini come together to care for the area in keeping with ancestral values and relationships with the place. The team on this (W)anini project included: Kaui Fu and Billy Kinney are grandchildren of Amin Fu both raised in Hanalei, who helped to conduct interviews with community members on Kauaʻi. UH Mānoa graduate students in Hawaiian studies, political science, marine biology and other fields who gathered studies and archival materials, interviewed community members on Kauaʻi, compiled and presented all findings to participants. Resources 1/6 An Overview of Cultural Resources relating to Anini, Haleleʻa, Kauaʻi: Including the ʻili of Anini, Hanalei, and portions of the Ahupuaʻa of Kalihikai & Kalihiwai Prepared by Emily Cadiz, Aurora Kagawa-Viviani, and Noʻeau Peralto with the assistance of Wahineʻaipōhaku Tong Download 1/6 (W)anini, Kauaʻi: Land Use Changes, Princeville, and the Future This paper fits within a larger Noho a Kupa Community Outreach project that aims to gather and document knowledge of the area known as “Anini” or “Wanini” so that it can be used to teach future generations about the area, protect Hawaiian family practices there, and guide community efforts and decision-making about the area, particularly in light of recently proposed development. One of the goals of this paper is to illustrate the intersections of local lived experience (as described in interviews with Anini community members), with large-scale state level mechanisms (such as laws, policies, regulations, government and private development) in the area. Download Screen Shot 2021-06-22 at 1.00.59 PM Screen Shot 2021-06-22 at 1.00.59 PM 1/6 An Assessment of the Environmental and Natural Resource History of a Coastal Hawaiʿi Community: A Case Study of Anini, Kauaʿi This report is an overview of the documented environmental and natural resource history of a traditionally Native Hawaiian community on the North Shore of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i. The community of interest in this report covers a project site ranging from Anini Stream to Kalihiwai River, which will be referred to in this report as “Anini.” Over the course of four months, a group of five students from University of Hawai‘I at Mānoa], in a Natural Resources and Environmental Management Departmental course, NREM 691: Kaiaulu Collaborative Resource Management worked on researching the environmental and natural resource aspects of the area, in conjunction with two other groups of students who researched policy and culture. This report provides insight into the past and current state of natural resources in Anini, and includes future outlooks and recommendations. Download Back to top
- Join | Save Our Shores
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- Kīpuka Kuleana | Kākoʻo- ʻOhana Support
Kākoʻo ʻOhana Support We provide tailored support to families working to keep ancestral lands We connect families with resources, including legal, hoʻoponopono (counseling/mediation), estate planning, and genealogical services. We help ʻohana to raise funds, establish family land trusts and keep their ʻohana lands in perpetuity wherever possible. Where families have lost lands, we help them to negotiate access and stewardship agreements so they can continue to care for ʻohana ʻāina. We work with ʻohana to craft respectful solutions tailored to particular ʻāina and circumstances, while also connecting area ʻohana to one another. 1/4 Projects and Resources QLCC Workshop With support from Native Voices Rising, our founders brought together 20 community members to discuss the protection of kuleana and ʻohana lands in 2016. The manaʻo from this workshop planted the seeds for the formal establishment of Kīpuka Kuleana in 2017. Wawa's Legacy In 2017, we advised and supported an ʻohana that successfully protected their ancestral land through a conservation purchase. ʻĀpana ʻOhana In 2020, we co-hosted an online workshop series with nonprofit Huliauapaʻa and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that reached over 200 community members. This workshop provided resources for families and others seeking to protect kuleana and ʻohana heir properties. Resources
- Kīpuka Kuleana | Hōʻahu - Annual Contribution
Hōʻahu to set aside for the future Hōʻahu Lands Fund The Hōʻahu Lands Fund supports the protection and restoration of vital ʻohana ʻāina on the island of Kauaʻi. Make A Contribution Inquire about Hōʻahu Hōʻahu means to set aside for the future. The word refers to hale hōʻahu, houses where area residents brought regular offerings of their harvest, gathered, then saved to care for the needs of the entire community. This practice allowed for the sharing of abundance amongst those with plenty and those in need. Hale hōʻahu also provided collective security for times of unstable weather, drought or famine, preparing communities for uncertainty. Hawaiʻi is ʻāina kulaiwi: the only homeland of the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi, land in which the bones of our ancestors are buried. The lands of Hawaiʻi are the source of all Native Hawaiian cultural practices and language and also some of the most coveted and high value real estate in the entire world. Anyone visiting, buying or living upon lands in Hawaiʻi shares a kuleana to care for this place, leave it better than we found it, and work to address historical legacies of injustice. The Hōʻahu Lands Fund directly supports protection and restoration of family lands threatened by sale and development. Hōʻahu is part of a larger global "Landback" movement to restore ʻāina to indigenous peoples and ensure they have the authority and cultural independence to steward, govern, and protect the places they call home - places vital to us all.