Reclaiming the future of food and farming

Hawai'i Updates: December 2022

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Wēlina mai kākou,

The relationship to the land, or ‘Āina, is at the core of our being. The food we grow does more for us than sustaining our bodies, it also “feeds” us mentally and spiritually.

In this newsletter, we would like to share with you two contrasting events. The first celebrates our connection to ‘Āina (the land) and our role in passing knowledge to future generations. The second focuses on the government’s kuleana to minimize community exposure to harm. We all have a kuleana to our land — to care for it and to respect it, and in return, our land has the kuleana to feed, shelter, and clothe us. We must maintain balance within society and with our natural environment.

Mahalo nui for the confidence to represent our community of Hawai‘i.

Lorilani Keohokālole
PAN’s Co-Director of Organizing for the Hawai‘i Region

Mahi'ai Camp at Kumimi, Moloka'i

In October of 2022, nine parents (makua) and seven children (keiki) from four Hawaiian islands participated in the first Mahi'ai Camp on Moloka'i. Participants learned about traditional food sustainability practices, including planting kalo (taro) and working to restore a traditional Hawaiian fish pond (loko i'a).

Over a period of five days, individuals became like family ('ohana), working together, creating art together, and living together, learning from the stories of the past to prepare for the future.

Honohono Na'ehu provided a summary of the purpose of the camp:

"We've got to be the best guides for the next generations and this camp was such an awesome opportunity for us to share with these keiki and these makua. . . what we do as a lifestyle. How we live. Just like this kalo, we hope that what we planted, with a little bit of care, will turn out to be productive, fruitful examples of what happens when ‘Āina and keiki get put together."

The full story of this gathering is shared in a video prepared by videographer Kahale Na'ehu-Ramos and shared with us. We are also honored to share a spoken-word poem by Honohono Na'ehu. We invite you to learn more by watching and listening on our GroundTruth blog.


Walk for Wai

Hundreds of people participated in a “Walk for Wai” event, marching from Ke’ehi Lagoon Beach Park to the local Navy Facilities Engineering Systems Command Headquarters on December 10. The event came together rapidly after the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility was the site of another toxic spill. On November 29, approximately 1,300 gallons of extremely toxic aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) concentrate spilled from the facility.

This spill is just the most recent in a history of events that continue to threaten the drinking water supply on the island of O’ahu. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply has been pushing for accountability and action to prevent further leakage from this facility for years. You can access information from HBWS on the Red Hill situation at this site.

Visit the Sierra Club of Hawai'i’s website for historical background on Red Hill, and find current updates here.

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