Fact of the month: Did you know there is a loʻi kalo located just around the corner from Leeward CC?
Hanakēhau Learning Farm is a grassroots ʻohana dedicated to reclaiming and providing cultural space for our lāhui to learn, practice, and engage in Hawaiian traditions and practices. Located in Waiʻawa, on the shores of Puʻuloa, they work to restore the ʻāina in an area heavily impacted by a long history of military misuse, illegal dumping, and pollution. Hanakēhau’s mission is to reclaim Hawaiian lands by providing the means and resources for Hawaiians to engage in traditional practices.
Much of their work focuses on hana noʻeau — creating traditional and modern Hawaiian implements — and using those implements to grow Hawaiian consciousness and understanding. Their vision is a future in which cultural practice is once again integrated into the daily lives of Hawaiian people along with the kuleana that goes with it. Makua, through their everyday routines, transfer the ʻike of the hana noʻeau to their keiki who are knowledgeable, comfortable, and humble in their practice. This is a place where pohaku kuʻiʻai are used to pound kalo — not left gathering dust on display shelves.
As a community partner with Kīpuka, Native Hawaiian Center at Puʻuloa students that join our cohorts while attending Leeward Community College have the opportunity to mālama ʻāina and learn together at Hanakēhau. Earlier this year, the Ke Ala ʻAnuʻu (KAʻA) STEM Bridge program enjoyed a day of sharing moʻolelo and caring for the land by removing unwanted organic debris from the loʻi kalo and planting seedlings in the nearby garden.
KAʻA is a 5-year grant initiative that serves Native Hawaiian students pursuing degrees in STEM pathways at both Leeward Community College and the University of Hawai'i-West Oʻahu. Eligible participants are provided academic support and social-emotional and financial literacy training and Hawaiian culture-based education for 4 years. Students are surrounded by a supportive environment that builds and maintains a well-rounded cultural and academic foundation from which to serve their family and community. For more information about the program please call Puaonaona Stibbard, Project Coordinator at (808) 455-0245.