E Alu Pū Gathering 2017 Koʻolau-Kona, Kauaʻi

E Alu Pū is a movement of community projects, families, groups, and organizations involved in stewardship of bio-cultural resources mai uka a i kai (from upland to the ocean). As an intergenerational learning network you share the community-driven, grassroots values of your efforts and a drive towards a collective vision of ʻāina momona (healthy abundant land/sea and people) throughout our paeʻāina (archipelago). E Alu Pū means "move forward together." It is a call to action, mimicking the movements of the pualu fish (surgeonfish), a name given by Hiʻilei Kawelo of Paepae o Heʻeia who observes the pualu schools every summer.

Each summer network participants come together for an annual gathering that is hosted by a network member and organized by Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo. During our time together we support, teach and mentor each other, we share lessons and experiences and work side-by-side. By coming together, we nurture a productive space for growth and strengthened relationships.

"The gathering provides a space and opportunity to work, network, learn and grow in hana and policy awareness."

This core wisdom that we can “be better together” was catalyzed by Uncle Mac Poepoe of Hui Mālama o Moʻomomi. The first gathering of E Alu Pū began with 13 communities on the island of Molokaʻi in response to Uncle Mac’s kāhea (call).

In June of 2017 members of E Alu Pū gathered on Kauaʻi for the14th Annual E Alu Pū Gathering.

Mahalo nui to our host, Uncle Teddy Kawahinehelelani Blake of Mālama Kōloa, who worked tirelessly to make this event possible.

Our 2017 gathering theme, "Right to Mālama," has been a driving dialogue within E Alu Pū that has carried our members through years of network initiatives, including the effort to establish the Hāʻena Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area.

Mālama means “to care for, protect, preserve.” It expresses the reciprocity of our relationship with the natural world. Mālama in practice is holistic and inclusive. It teaches us that our taking and benefiting from the land and sea goes in tandem with our giving, nurturing, protecting, stewarding, honoring. It speaks to our responsibility to steward our places and people, past, and future generations.

During the 2017 Gathering, KUA counted: 141 total participants, representing 30 community organizations across Hawaiʻi. 100 participants travelled from Hawaiʻi, Maui, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi and Oʻahu.

7.5.17 Pōʻakolu, Akua

Youth Day @ Waipā

A day before the formal opening of the gathering, 52 youth and their ʻohana (families) came together in Haleleʻa, Kauaʻi.

MAHALO to Waipā Foundation for hosting us in their ahupuaʻa (land division/district). Special thanks to Lea Weldon for helping to coordinate youth activities and making it an awesome day.

"As a Hawaiian it is important to wrap your head around your responsibility to everything and later find your calling for mastery."

Together we focused on youth leadership development, skills growth, and relationship building.

ʻOhana prepared the poi (staple food made from taro) that nourished our bellies and souls for the duration of our gathering.

In the evening, our youth broke into small groups to share about the momona of their ʻāina (abundance, giving of their home places).

"This gathering was very eye opening and useful to myself as a Hawaiian youth."

7.6.17 Pōʻahā, Hoku

With plenty of space for tent camping on the beach and furnished "tentalows" and yurts for our kūpuna (elders), Kumu Camp, an enterprise of the Hawaiian Homestead Association, served as our homebase during the 4-day gathering.

As we waited for the rest of our E Alu Pū gathering participants to arrive, our youth did a beach clean-up at Anahola Bay and learned moʻolelo (canonical stories of place) from Uncle Billy Kinney.

Together at last, we gathered by island and offered hoʻokupu (ceremonial gift) to our Kauaʻi hosts.

Each person in the circle introduced his or her name and place.

For the rest of the afternoon and into the evening, each hui (group) shared updates about their community work over the last year. E Alu Pū welcomed four new groups this year.

In preparation for our work the next day, Uncle Waiola Higa led an ʻuhau humu pōhaku (drystack masonry) workshop to teach background, rules, tips and theories about drystacking and traditional Hawaiian stone masonry practices.

We wrapped up by 9pm...our call time the next morning was 5:45am to board the buses to Kōloa!

7.7.2017 Pōʻalima, Māhealani

Hapa Trail

Hapa Trail is a cultural and historical path that once connected the people of Kōloa Town to coastal Poʻipū.

The area once flourished with kō (sugar cane), kalo (taro) and ʻuala (sweet potatoes).

In 1975, land on either side of Hapa Trail contained 18% of all the intact archaeological sites in the State.

In recent decades, 600 sites between Waikomo Stream and west of Hapa Trail have been displaced by a golf course, residential houselots, and townhouse projects.

East of Hapa Trail lies the Kōloa Field System which includes kauhale (groups of house structures), ʻauwai (irrigation systems), agricultural sites and burial sites. Some sites remain relatively intact.

To adapt to a dry and rocky leeward environment, Hawaiians created extensive, interconnected systems of irrigated agricultural fields. These systems were sustained by streams that flowed from the upper regions of Kōloa Komoʻoloa.

ʻAuwai (irrigation systems) provided water for field complexes. They followed curving paths along natural slopes, across bedrock surfaces, often with rock retaining walls.

"I learned the names of the parts of the wall and how we can relate the concept of ʻuhauhumupōhaku (Hawaiian stone masonry/drystacking) to everything we do."
"All of us has the right to mālama our ʻāina, some of us donʻt really know how which is why E Alu Pū is such an inspiration to me."

In 2009, development of the Village at Poʻipū Phase One Subdivision was approved. In an effort to protect the Kōloa Field System, Ted Blake, with support from the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, sued the Hawaiʻi State Planning Commission, Planning Department, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Eric A. Knudsen Trust.

In early 2017, Judge Kathleen Watanabe ruled that the State, the County of Kauaʻi, and the Eric A. Knudsen Trust violated laws preserving and protecting Hawaiian rights and cultural resources.

"The right to mālama represents a shift in power structures. It is the access to restore VS. access to extract."
"I loved participating in the Hapa Trail project, I feel like I was participating in history."

Following a fruitful day of work in Kōloa, we visited with Uncle Rupert Rowe, who shared about his work with the Hui Mālama O Kāneiolouma to restore Ke Kahua o Kāneiolouma, a 13-acre complex of habitation, cultivation, sporting, assembly, and religious structures located in Poʻipū that dates to at least the mid-1400's. At its center, Kāneiolouma holds an area reserved for annual religious and sporting festivities typically held during Makahiki season (a period of about four months where warfare is taboo, and agricultural and other abundance celebrated).

It was a long day of heavy lifting of pōhaku (stones), but it was important to take the evening to honor the 2015-2017 E Alu Pū Council for the heavy lifting of leadership they took on over the last two years in advancing the Lawaiʻa Pono (reconnecting with sustainable fishing traditions) movement and their leadership throughout the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Following this moment of reflection and gratitude, Island Caucuses (all participants present from each island) chose their island representatives for 2017-2018.

Second row, left to right: Chris Costales (Lānaʻi), Tiana Henderson (Maui), Jenny Yagodich (Oʻahu), Kuikamoku Han (Molokaʻi), Kawika Winter (Oʻahu). First row: Maile Carpio (Maui), Hannah Springer (Hawaiʻi), Mac Poepoe (Molokaʻi), Kolomona Kahoʻohalahala (Lānaʻi), Charlie Young (Hawaiʻi). Missing from photo: Shae Kamakaʻala (Oʻahu), Noa Kaʻaumoana (Kauaʻi) and island proxies.

Congratulations to our 2017-2018 E Alu Pū Council!

7.8.17 Pōʻaono, Kulu

Nōmilu Loko Iʻa

Mahalo nunui to Makana Reilly, ʻohana Palama and Pūlama Nōmilu for allowing us the privilege to experience this wahi pana (storied, esteemed place).

Our youth got an awesome opportunity to explore the limu (native seaweeds) at Nōmilu with Uncle Wally Ito, Aunty Nāpua Barrows and Aunty Pam Fujii.

Aunty Pam teaching Kaua how to feel for and identify limu with her feet.

We got to work right away. At the time, most helpful for Pūlama Nōmilu was to lend hands in starting a clear path for access around the fishpond to clear mangrove and manage the milo.

"It is always beneficial to motivate/inspire and meet new communities."
"I donʻt want my ʻāina to die out and I want to learn anything about how to take care of my ʻāina that I can."
Mahalo to Matt Lynch for leading a mini workshop about Compost Toilets. Matt is a jack of many trades and has helped to facilitate network discussions in the past.

As we talk about the right to mālama, it is inescapable to reflect on our personal everyday habits. How can we increase consciousness and responsibility in all we do?

Many of you live and work in rural places and need to rent portable toilets. What are alternative solutions? The workshop aimed to help us understand the basic chemistry and processes of the essential functions of permitted compost toilet systems. It also answered the question: "in case of emergency (natural disaster/cut off from sewer line), how can I handle my waste safely?"

"The greatest value is to have new conversations in different places with old friends while making new ones."

The hardcore crew went back to Hapa trail this morning and fully restored over 200 feet of wall!

We celebrated our last night together the best way we know how. Mahalo to the hands that gathered and prepared our ʻaha ʻaina (Hawaiian feast).

7.9.17 Lāpule, Lāʻaukūkahi

Debbie Gowensmith, KUA’s contract evaluator extraordinaire, led a mini-empowerment evaluation and collective measurement workshop.

"The discussion on evaluation so it is a performance enhancement not just a compliance tool."
"I learned better ideas of methods in collecting and sorting data, and growing ideas for best management practices."

It proved to be a very productive and enlightening conversation with a list of next steps for the new E Alu Pū Council to address post-gathering.

The gathering closed with individual reflections—each person took a turn to share on the microphone something they are taking and something they are leaving behind.

Nuʻalolo Kai

Noah Kaʻaumoana, long time E Alu Pū member is one of the most humble, hardworking and dedicated people you’ll ever meet. When he’s not working at Limahuli Garden or with the Hui Makaʻāinana o Makana in Hāʻena, he’s caring for Nuʻalolo Kai. For a long time he wanted to share this Nā Pali Coast experience with E Alu Pū.

Mahalo to Captain Andy’s for donating a raft on Sunday and Monday to give our gang a huakaʻi of a lifetime. Of course, space and logistics were limited so we could not all go, but we were thrilled for the 26 of you that did!

The two crews that went out learned how this once was a central meeting area for the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. They saw the hale waʻa (canoe house), walked paths of the aliʻi (chiefs), saw where they slept, where they got their fresh water, where they stored supplies.They checked out the native plants, and jumped in the water to check out the fish as well, fish that weren’t afraid of them. A single day at Nuʻalolo Kai seemingly taught a whole course in history, archaeology, anthropology and ecology.

And yes, they weed whacked and pulled weeds too.

Mahalo to the Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana for all you do to safeguard Nuʻalolo Kai and welcoming E Alu Pū to know this legendary place.

Initial Outcome Highlights:

Evaluation is embedded in everything we do. KUA staff and board, as well as our network members, constantly observe and seek to deepen our understanding of our context, process, relationship and outcomes.. For our network gatherings, our event surveys are no joke (10 pages)! We appreciate the time and effort that you all take to thoughtfully share their feedback and manaʻo. Here are some initial outcome highlights. More details coming soon!

  • 91.3% of respondents said they learned new resource management information or practices that they will apply in their mālama ʻāina work.
  • 90.32% of respondents said they would likely use what they learned from the dry-stacking activities in their own mālama ʻāina work.
  • 87.87% of respondents said they would likely use what they learned from the evaluation discussion.
  • 82.95% of respondents said they would likely use what they learned from the compost toilet mini-workshop.
"These gatherings are so important to share learning support opportunities for all our communities."
"The most effective elements were kūpuna telling stories and the honest discussion."

Summary of Expenses

The gathering cost a total of $48,262.77 It seems like a crazy amount first, but if we divide it by all each of you that attended, that’s an average of $342.29 per participant which is comparable to a typical conference registration fee alone.

KUA commits to providing these gatherings free of charge to participants to that money is never a barrier to your participation. We strive to make these gatherings as cost effective as possible, so we can bring as many of you together as we can each year.

Here’s the breakdown:

The Youth Day costed an additional $2,976.43 and the Sunday and Monday visits to Nuʻalolo Kai expended $1,261.45.

None of these costs reflect the time our hosts and KUA staff dedicated to this event. Many in-kind hours made this gathering possible!


Mahalo nunui for your investment to connect and empower Hawaiʻi communities:

To the Trustees, Boards and Staff of the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation; UPS Foundation; Natural and Cultural Resources, Kamehameha Schools.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to our hosts for your welcome and aloha and supporters for generously sharing your time, talents and resources.

Mālama Kōloa, Kumu Camp & Anahola Hawaiian Homes Association, Ka ʻOhana Keale, Pulama Nōmilu, Waipā Foundation, Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana, Hui Mālama o Kāneiolouma, Mālama Māhāʻulepū, Pā Ola Hawaiʻi, Limahuli Garden & Preserve, Hui Makaʻāinana o Makana, Captain Andy’s, and Roberts Bus Hawaiʻi, Mahi LaPierre, Māhealani Botelho.

Mahalo palenaʻole to all participating hui and individuals for your time, manaʻo, hana, and dedication to our shared vision of ʻāina momona for generations...

KAUAʻI || Mālama Kōloa: Ted Blake, Ken Posney, Jenson Merrick, Tiffany Garcia, Haili Mahoney | Pūlama Nōmilu: Makana Reilly, James Reilly, Ikaikamaikalani Hornstine-Lee, Howard Tochman | Hui Makaʻāinana o Makana: Presley Wann, Keliʻi Alapaʻi, Nālani Hashimoto, Colleen Wann, Lei Wann, Noah Kaʻaumoana, Billy Kinney, Mehana Vaughn & ʻohana | Limahuli Garden & Preserve: Kawika Winter, Kalā Winter, Kaiwi Winter | Hanalei Watershed Hui: Makaʻala Kaʻaumoana, Harry Kaʻaumoana | Waipā Foundation: Lea Weldon || OʻAHU || Hui o Hauʻula: Tessie Fonoimoana, Maunalani Talaipa, Lokene Talaipa | Hoāla Āina Kūpono: Kahiau Wallace, Shae Kamakaʻala, Lōliʻi Barron, Brayden Kalulu, Kaʻena Evans | Paepae o Heʻeia: Mamo Leota | Godʻs Country Waimānalo:ʻIlima Ho-Lastimosa, Wailea Ho, Justyce Enrique, Kaulupali Makaneole, Alohilani Maiava | Luluku Farmers Association: Takeshi Toma, Konrad Heather, William Heather | Mokuea Fishermens Association: Kēhaulani Kupihea | Hoʻoulu ʻĀina: Scotty Garlough | Hoʻōla Hou Iā Kalauao: Anthony Deluze, Josiah Deluze | Kuhiawaho: Ron Fitzgerald, Sam Ai, Kaipo Ai, Ashlee Ai, Lana Ai | ʻEwa Limu Project: Wally Ito, Pam Fujii, Dennis Fujii | Kaʻala Farm: Kamuela Enos, Kili Enos, Noa Enos | Mālama Loko Ea Foundation: Rae DeCoito, Nitasha Stiritz, Ikaika Bernaldes, Noah Manning, Honu Nichols, Ruby Shuman | Mālama Pūpūkea-Waimea: Jenny Yagodich, Maxx Phillips, Laʻakea Yagodich, Keala Rangel | Limu Hui: Ronnie Huddy || MOLOKAʻI || Hui Mālama o Moʻomomi: Mac Poepoe, Kamakea Han, Kuikamoku Han, Precious Rawlins, Lorralynn-Shai Rawlins, Kekaialoha Han || LĀNAʻI || Maunalei Ahupuaʻa: Kolomona Kahoʻohalahala, Kaʻala Kahoʻohalahala-Watanabe | Kūpaʻa No Lānaʻi: Christine Costales, Donna Stokes, Milinanea Clarabal, Hōkūpaʻa Stokes, Vaiata Stokes, George Ornellas, Kaulana Kahoʻohalahala, Roselani Kahoʻohalahala, Kuaʻāina Kahoʻohalahala, Kamahaʻo Kahoʻohalahala, Kamehanaokalā Kahoʻohalahala || MAUI || Hōlani Hāna/Hālau Hale Kuhikuhi: Palani Sinenci, Tiana Henderson, Ida Aspinal | Kīpahulu ʻOhana: Scott Crawford, Laura Campbell, Pekelo Lind, Kāne Lind| Save Honolua Coalition: Tamara Paltin, Kahekai Nishiki, James Adkins, Nahiku Paltin-Vierra, Kalehua Paltin-Vierra | Waiheʻe Limu Restoration: Nāpua Barrows | Wailuku CMMA: Maile Carpio, Jay Carpio, Shannon Carpio, Hunter Carpio || HAWAIʻI || Lālākea Loko Wai Hui: Waiola Higa, Kamalu Batoon | Kamaʻāina United to Protect the ʻĀina: Damien Kenison, Charles Young, Akem Alani, Solomon Alani, Craig Carvalho, Samuel David, Albert Young-Natividad, Kawika Hashimoto | Kaʻūpūlehu Marine Life Advisory Committee: Hannah Springer, Michael Tomich, Kekaulike Tomich, Kaua Tomich, Māulukua Tomich || KŌKUA & GUESTS || Dr. Hal Hammett, Beryl Blaich, Nāpua Romas, Matt Tavares, Elena Noland, Pōmaikaʻi Freed, Buddy Martin, Matt Lynch, Eric Co, Natalie Kurashima, Erika Vargas, Kaʻilikea Shayler, Amy Markel, Austin Chang, Kimo Frankel, Summer Sylva, KUA Staff (Kevin Chang, Miwa Tamanaha, Brenda Asuncion, Kim Moa, Alex Connelly) *we sincerely apologize to any whose names we may have missed

Mahalo to YOU for taking the time to read this, reflect with us and share in our story.

A hui hou!

I kāhi ʻe no ke kumu mokihana, paoa ʻe no ʻoneʻi i ke ʻala | although the mokihana tree is at a distance, its fragrance reaches here, ʻōlelo noʻeau 1177


Ken Posney (Kawaiola Photography), Kim Moa, Shannon Carpio, Kevin Chang

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