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OHA funds Maui events, iwi kupuna protection

The Maui News

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has released nearly $600,000 through three grant programs that will support Native Hawaiian communities, including nearly $90,000 to protect iwi kupuna in Central and East Maui.

OHA’s newly created Homestead Community Grant, which aims to address community needs and improve the quality of life for homesteaders, awarded $278,095 to communities on Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii island, according to a news release Friday.

Another new program, the Iwi Kupuna Repatriation and Reinterment Grant, is providing $167,298 to four community organizations. Three groups working in Maui County received the following:

• $50,000 to the Hawaiian Church of Hawai’i Nei for the E Ho’omau O Na Malama I Na Iwi Kupuna project on Maui, Lanai, Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii islands, to address the needs of na iwi kupuna by providing the necessary education and knowledge to gather and prepare the materials needed for the care of na iwi kupuna.

• $50,000 to the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust for Waihe’e Iwi Kupuna Protection, a project to protect iwi kupuna disinterment, to empower Native Hawaiians to care for iwi, to train staff in the treatment and reinterment of iwi and to ensure that the temporary holding space for iwi remains secure.

• $34,300 to Ke Ao Hali’i for Na Kia’i Iwi Kupuna o Hana, a project to provide long-term preservation measures, reinterment and repatriation in the protection of iwi kupuna in the Hana community and to stop future desecration.

OHA will also sponsor 20 community events statewide that will receive a total of $148,686 from the ‘Ahahui Grants program, including:

• $10,000 to Maui Nui Botanical Gardens for La ‘Ulu – Breadfruit Day, to provide outreach about the use of the plant to Maui residents and the Native Hawaiian community.

• $10,000 to Ke Ao Hali’i for Pule ‘Aina o Maka’alae me Mokaenui, to bless and celebrate the return of newly protected land to the community.

• $8,500 to Hana Arts for Uniting East Maui ‘Ohana, which offers events through the holiday season to bring together families, engage creativity and stimulate economic activity in East Maui, especially among youth, through arts and culture.

“We are proud to partner with these community organizations that are providing educational opportunities in areas that align with the strategic foundations of our new plan,” OHA Board Chairwoman Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey of Maui said in a news release. “All of these grant awards help us to strengthen our ‘ohana, perpetuate our mo’omeheu or culture, and help care for the stewardship of our ‘aina.”

For more information, visit oha.org/grants.

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