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ʻĀPANA ʻOHANA WORKSHOP SERIES Summary and Recommendations

I. Introduction | II. About the ʻĀʻO Workshop Series | III. Workshop Topics and Recap | IV. Participant Information | V. Workshop Series Overall Feedback | VI. Developed Resources | VII. Recommendations

I. Introduction

Huliauapaʻa is a backbone organization for the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective, composed of different kiaʻi from different parts of the pae ʻāina all holding different roles. Gathering together in 2017, they developed a shared collective agenda to move forward to better mālama our wahi kūpuna, our ʻike kūpuna, and our iwi kūpuna. From the gatherings over the past few years, priority areas and topics were created to focus efforts and energy on. This workshop series, along with a partner workshop series, centering around our iwi kūpuna, are direct results of the priorities that the collective has identified and decided to move forward and take action on. These workshop series could not have come to fruition without the partnership and support of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

II. About the ʻĀʻO Workshop Series

Goals

Build capacity in caring for Kuleana and ʻOhana Heir Property Lands and engage with individuals, ‘ohana, and organizations that have been involved with caring for Kuleana and ʻOhana Heir Property Lands and would like to learn more about this important kuleana.

Objectives

  • Compiling existing resources
  • Working to develop new resources and curriculum
  • Running workshops that address community needs

Guiding the Initiative

In early stages of gathering resources and working to better understand the current issues and needs in communities struggling to mālama and retain kuleana and ʻohana heir lands, a needs assessment was developed to guide the kahua of this initiative.

Needs Assessment

To assess the needs of the community, a short survey was sent out to a curated contact list provided by Huliauapaʻa. Majority of those who responded were Native Hawaiian and either own or had ʻohana owned heir property. From this assessment we learned specific focus topic areas for this workshop series.

III. Workshop Topics and Recap

Although this initiative was originally planned as in-person workshops, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, it was conducted as a five-part online educational community empowerment series operated through Zoom. This series aimed at helping community members facing these issues and hoped to provide insight to continue to empower their kuleana to ʻāina; Therefore the workshops were by invitation only. Understanding that everyoneʻs situation and knowledge base differs, participants were also not required to commit to the entire workshop series.

Workshop 1: Importance of ʻĀina Research

Workshop 1 titled the Importance of ʻĀina Research was held on October 4th, 2020, 10am-12pm. Guest Speakers for this workshop included Pūlama Lima, Donovan Preza. Donovan Preza, Kapiʻolani Community College Hawaiian Studies kumu, instructor and Ph.D candidate in the Geography Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, began the workshop by sharing his expertise in an introduction to land in Hawaiʻi and mapping. In the presentation to follow, Pūlama Lima, the Pou Kākoʻo Noiʻi ʻIke Kūpuna (Land, Culture, History, Research Manager) at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Executive Director of Ka Ipu Makani Cultural Heritage Center, and Anthropology Ph.D candidate at UH Mānoa, shared stories of her own personal connection to land placing emphasis on moʻokūʻauhau and ʻāina in an introduction to ʻāina research. The conversations that stemmed forth from these discussions aimed to highlight various approaches to ʻāina research and the significance of understanding land here in Hawaiʻi.

Workshop 1 with Guest Speakers Pūlama Lima and Donovan Preza

Workshop 2: Overview of Property Taxes

Workshop 2 titled an Overview of Property Taxes was held on October 4th, 2020, 10am-12pm. Guest Speakers for this workshop included Leanora Kaiaokamalie, Mike Hubbard, and Mason Chock. Leanora Kaiaokamalie, is a Long-Range Planner of the County of Kauaʻi Planning Department who shared an Overview of Planning Land Use. Mike Hubbard, an Appraisal Supervisor for the County of Kauaʻi gave a presentation on Understanding Property Taxes: Taxes, Appraisals, and Exemptions. Mason Chock is a Kauaʻi County Council Member as well as the co-founding member and former Executive Director of Leadership Kauaʻi. In this presentation Mason discussed Property Tax Case Studies and Ordinances.

Workshop 2 Guest Speaker, Kauaʻi County Council Member, Mason Chock

Workshop 3: Foundations of Access, Easement, and Right of Entry

Workshop 3 titled Foundations of Access, Easement and Right of Entry was held on October 28th, 2020, 10am-12pm. Guest Speakers for this workshop included Peter Morimoto and Shae Kamakaʻala. Peter Morimoto, retired Deputy Prosecutor and Deputy County Attorney kicked off the workshop with with an overview of the types of easements and focused in on a case study pertaining to Kalipi vs. Shae Kamakaʻala, the Director of ʻĀina Protection for Hawaiʻi Island Land Trust (HILT) shared about the importance of conservation easements.

Workshop 3 Guest Speakers, Peter Morimoto (pictured as a child) and Shae Kamakaʻala

Workshop 4: Estate Planning Part I: Quiet Titles and Adverse Possession

Workshop 4 titled Quiet Titles and Adverse Possession was held on November 7th, 2020 from 10am-12pm. Guest speakers for this workshop included Lance Collins and Bianca Isaki. Lance, an attorney in private practice in Maui, began the workshop with a presentation on the Historic Origins of Quiet Titles. Bianca Kai Isaki, Ph.D., Esq., a solo practitioner working on public interest issues and lecturer in the University of Hawaiʻi Women's Studies Department, presented and walked through a Quiet Title Case Study.

Workshop 4 Guest Speakers, Lance Collins and Bianca Isaki

Workshop 5: Estate Planning Part II: An Introduction to Estate and Trust Planning

Workshop 5 titled Estate and Trust Planning was held on November 7th, 2020, 10am-12pm. The workshop of the series will be led by Huliauapaʻa's own Executive Director, Kelley Uyeoka and Professor of Law, Nicholas A. Mirkay, J.D., LL.M. Kelley shared her personal story and experience regarding their ʻohana lands in Hāna, Maui and steps they have taken in this process to mālama their land. Nicholas gave an Introduction to Estate and Trust Planning, a tool that can be used to better plan for the future and succession of land to be held and remain within families.

Workshop 5 Guest Speakers, Kelley Uyeoka and Nicholas Mirkay

IV. Participant Information

A total of 233 individuals/ʻohana registered for the ʻĀʻO Workshop series. As part of our registration process, a pre-survey was included asking two specific questions to better understand our participants' needs for each specific workshop topic. The first question asked, “Are you or your ʻohana currently involved in or facing issues pertaining to land research?” The second asked, “What questions do you have about today's workshop subject?” The responses provided from this pre-survey allowed us to better understand our participants, and help better guide the workshop topic content coordination with guest speakers.

Our participants also shared some reasons why attending the ʻĀʻO workshop series was important to them. Majority shared they have an interest in Kuleana lands and wanted to apply the knowledge from these workshops to personal situations. Some of which said they wanted to know more about connecting to their ancestral lands and learn how to start the process of research for this. Many shared they wanted to better understand these topics and how they relate to kuleana lands. Others who do work around Kuleana Lands shared that they get inquiries on certain issues from time to time and that they want to be able assist beneficiaries in this specialized area. Moreover one person, stated “understanding the historical context of your place and knowing how to access place based data and information is valuable not only for myself and ʻohana, but also for those I teach.” Another person shared, “We have dreamed of this for so long, and Iʻm so grateful to see it happen to help ʻohana. The trust and estate planning is important for my ʻohana personally. All workshops vital to our lahui and so many ʻohana who I want to see stay as the kahu, and kupa of their ʻaina and physically caring for their kulaiwi.”

V. Workshop Series Overall Feedback

Focusing on Participants Needs

To assess if we addressed the needs of our participants, a short 10 question post-survey was also provided. We asked participants if we were able to answer any of the questions they asked from pre-survey. An overall majority responded “Yes'' or that they “Did not ask a question”. Below are just a few of responses shared by our participants:

ʻĀʻO Workshop Overall Ratings

Participants rated different aspects of each workshop. From these results we can conclude that, majority of our participants felt that each workshop was very important and valuable to their community, as well as very educational and useful. Overall, participants agreed that they gained new knowledge applicable to their needs and their families needs and planned to apply when they learned in the workshop. The majority also agreed that while the duration of each of the workshops were sufficient for the material covered, they said they were very interested in participating in future workshops, courses, and programs.

In addition to these ratings, our participants also shared how they planned to use what they learned in this ʻĀʻO Series. Some planned to apply what they learned to their daily life and are now able to use this information at home or at work. A few also mentioned that the resources developed and shared from this workshop has allowed them to know where to get answers (building up resource information) and for them to start their research on their family lands. Others also mentioned they wanted to share and teach what they learned with their haumāna, ʻohana, beneficiaries, and others who are interested or use it with volunteer work on land preservation and access.

Highlights and Takeways

Below are just a few highlights and takeaways from the ʻĀʻO Workshop Series shared by our participants:

VI. Developed Resources

As the five-part workshop series was developed, supplemental handouts, resources, and videos of presentations were created for participants. Many of these resources created were based off of the responses and feedback we received in our surveys. A total of 19 Resources were developed for the workshop series. These resources can viewed below:

Collaberation: Teaming up with Kīpuka Kuleana

Huliauapaʻa teamed up with Kīpuka Kuleana, a non-profit whose mission is perpetuating kuleana, ahupuaʻa based natural resource management and connection to place through protection of cultural landscapes and family lands. As part of their objectives to provide support to families working to keep ancestral lands through connecting them with legal, counseling and hoʻoponopono, financial, genealogy, all of the materials developed in this workshop series are housed on the new Kīpuka Kuleana website. To help keep the privacy of these created resources, participants were asked to register by creating a log-in to the site. These resources were updated weekly on the website.

VII. Recommendations

Workshop Improvements Takeaways and Insights

When asked, “If you have any comments about today's workshop and how to improve it”, while many people responded, “not at this time or N/A''. Due to being restricted online, many also asked for future in-person workshops. Some other suggestions included offering workshops at different times, and doing more break out sessions. For each workshop specifically, other recommendations made by our participants included:

Workshop 1: Importance of ʻĀina Research

  • The workshop was really engaging, and the presenters were on point. So much good.
  • Information shared, wished we had more time to go in depth on the topic of Mahele and more strategies on how to utilize the databases to take full advantage of their features.
  • Donovan did an excellent job at presenting information on the different land types.
  • A follow-up to include supporting information would be great.
  • The workshop today was very helpful, and the introduction of new resources and
  • Collections was amazing. Mahalo ia oukou no ka oukou hana nui e holomua ai ko kakou lahui.
  • It is the best we can do given our situation. Perhaps more examples on each moku.
  • I really liked the engagement activities of the workshop.

Workshop 2: Overview of Property Taxes

  • OHA please fund more!
  • Looking forward to reviewing posted PowerPoints from today’s presentation.
  • Super interesting. I wish I learned this in high school!
  • It was awesome. I look forward to the #3 and #4 Workshop. Mahalo for inviting me.
  • Being older and having attended many workshops, I am looking for and need action, not more words. I understand this is a workshop but obviously you having it acknowledges there IS A PROBLEM. For many Hawaiians it is too late.
  • Honestly, I thought it was very well put together, to the point, & highly useful.

Workshop 3: Foundations of Access Easements and Right of Entry

  • No comment, great job!
  • Topic outline from speakers.
  • Face to face after COVID.
  • Please continue to use examples in your workshops. This is helpful. Thanks.
  • Very insightful. Mahalo for making it available.
  • Maybe 2 short breaks, one between the presentations, one right before the Q&A part?
  • Would have liked more info on Access.

Workshop 4: Estate Planning Part I: Quiet Titles and Adverse Possession

  • These guys know their stuff but it was difficult to apply and connect. There’s so much to know and it was difficult to follow along.
  • I think this was amazing and it helped me understanding quiet title a little more. Going over more on adverse possession is something I would look into.
  • If presenters could create 1-3 slides of major manaʻo that they will be covering, it would be super helpful as we follow along and listen to their presentations.
  • The workshop was organized very well and the links to resources were made available multiple times. I believe that we all share the same mana'o that we wish we had more time but other than that, the workshop was awesome.
  • I hope videos are available from the past workshops and this one.
  • My family has been on the plaintiff end of the quiet title... as well as the active caretaker, taxpayer, and full-time occupant of Kuleana Lands. It would be nice to also include "kuleana" of families who have not.... and shed light on those acts too.
  • Lance and Bianca definitely have a lot of subject matter expertise. Some of the legal terms I had to take notes on to look up later.
  • This particular subject could have a longer run time.
  • Maybe more visuals to show the effect of these processes relationally.

Workshop 5: Estate Planning Part II: An Introduction to Estate and Trust Planning

  • Hope Huliauapa'a can continue to have these workshops in the future.
  • Thankful for the workshop.
  • Would love a workshop on building a Hawaiian Kingdom Trust, that protects allodial title lands and the heirs from having to go into court to defend at great costs.
  • He wahi leo mahalo kēia.

Suggestions for Future Training and/or Workshop Topics

When asked, “Do you have any suggestions for future training and/or workshop topics?” While many people responded, “not at this time or N/A”, some suggestions made by our participants included:

Workshop 1: Importance of ʻĀina Research

  • How to consult with SHPD and Burial Council.
  • Litigation & case law
  • Creating CBFSAs
  • Understanding and navigating title: clearing, necessary (or not), process, consequence, cost, assistance (if it exists).
  • Background research, identification, & documentation of wahi pana for community/ʻohana empowerment.
  • Family / Land Genealogy 101

Workshop 2: Overview of Property Taxes

  • No, except to bring more workshops like this or to hold these in the future because land or property taxes are such an important, yet sensitive subject to talk about or converse about. I think it would be beneficial to bring this same series into the future.
  • More more more.

Workshop 3: Foundations of Access Easements and Right of Entry

  • Deeper dives into topics, paha.
  • Repeat some of the same ones but include multiple perspectives, use breakouts for facilitated discussion, go deep, help specific folks set up follow up actions or connect to similar efforts.

Workshop 4: Estate Planning Part I: Quiet Titles and Adverse Possession

  • I hope future training will arise from this. I see how important it is as a kanaka to wear many hats, and sometimes that's a burden. So, having trained kanaka that fight for these claims, I think would benefit the broader lahui.
  • A workshop to actually dive-in and work on moʻokūʻauhau as a hui.
  • A suggestion might be to have the presenters do more in-depth presentations, workshops or PD's for community/Huliauapa'a/KC if they haven't already. These workshops have brought a lot of useful information and I hope that we can see more of them.
  • Tax exemptions for all kinds of land/home ownerships...How can our families understand all options to reduce-minimize taxes using the existing system for now.
  • IDK if this would apply to others, but what are our rights when negotiating with surrounding landholders for access, easement, etc when we aren't currently on our ‘āina? Last workshop did cover conservation easement, but this seems different.
  • Land - Partition issues.

Workshop 5: Estate Planning Part II: An Introduction to Estate and Trust Planning

  • Continuation on estate planning.
  • What to do if RP for family ʻāina was recently discovered, however, ʻāina has been quitclaimed, sold, transferred, etc. over the years and how to reclaim it?
  • The estate planning was super relevant, I would attend another session if you folks offered it again.
  • More on estate planning.
  • How to build a Hwn Kingdom Trust to protect alodio title lands from foreign government and foreigner overreaching using US or other Foreign laws not applicable.
  • E hoʻomau wale nō.

Ways to Expand the ʻĀpana ʻOhana Workshop Series

Our participants also shared other ways they would like to see the ʻĀpana ʻOhana Workshop Series expanded. Their recommendations included:

  • Iwi kupuna protection and SHPD procedures.
  • Maybe doing guided workshops where we actively are researching and getting kōkua.
  • Repeat the workshops for others who couldn't attend.
  • Similar topics, new speakers.
  • A response team of resource people willing to be on call and work full time to help ʻohana and walk them through their specific cases and issues is really needed. It should have legal expertise, assistance with moʻokuahua, lands and archival research, connections to property tax expertise and to estate planning. Also hoʻoponopono and maybe mediation capabilities. Most important, follow up sessions by island that are less sharing content and more talking through issues of that area with concerned community members, connecting them to resources and one another.
  • Perhaps broaden your audience to reach middle school/high school, especially regarding ʻāina research. I feel there is a deep need for our youth to connect with and understand the environments they interact with daily.
  • I think it would be cool to focus on specific islands and see how different or similar each island's process is.
  • Focus Workshop on the Kuleana Land Tax Exemption. The process, genealogy resources and research.
  • How to be more active in policy making regarding these motions.
  • How to consult with governmental agencies.
  • I’m interested in researching maps.
  • More land use topics.
  • Perhaps some training on real estate and how it works and how to influence and contest sales. Also maybe on hoʻoponopono and working within ʻohana to avoid losing ʻohana lands.
  • With the current situation of dependency on transported food/goods from the continent, a series on how to gather/cultivate/utilize native/local resources for survival (food/medicine/tools/alternatives to consumer goods) would be timely.
  • Looking more into mo'oku'auhau aina and specific aina terminology.
  • More on land use and preservation options and perhaps something on capturing land use history from kupuna.
  • The Kuleana Land Tax Exemption, County Property Exemptions.

Future Steps for OHA

Based on all of the data collected, workshops we held, and people who have reached out to us, it is clear that there is a great need in the Hawaiian community, pae ʻāina-wide to support families trying to keep their kuleana and ‘ohana heir property. It is clear that challenges that Hawaiians are facing, in regard to kuleana and ʻohana heir properties, are land related, and stem from historical disenfranchisement from lands as a lāhui and as ʻohana. What is more apparent from these workshops, feedback, and community discussions are the emotional and cultural challenges that families are facing related to the loss or struggle to remain connected to kuleana and ʻohana heir lands. The ability to continue to develop relationships generationally to place, whether an ahupuaʻa or a tiny part of it, are huge motivations to families as they struggle to hold on to their ʻĀpana ʻOhana. Thus, we would like to humbly propose two mid to long term solutions to bridge the gaps in knowledge and resources for the Hawaiian community relating to kuleana and ʻohana heir lands.

We recommend the establishment of a certificate program in the UH system that would allow students in Law, Hawaiian Studies, Geography, Planning and other related fields to develop a tool kit of expertise specializing in Hawaiian land issues past and present.

Although the ʻĀʻO workshop series span a wide range of fields and professions, that might appear disparate at first glance, it is apparent how tightly connected this series is to issues of Hawaiian culture, identity, family, and housing. The current Director of Hawaiian Studies, Dr. Kekuewa Kikiloi has been approached about this potential and is open to the possibility. To begin the discussion, we have compiled an inventory of courses offered at various UH institutions, departments that are relevant to ʻohana and kuleana heir lands. Such a certificate would provide practical education and resources to haumāna as they go into real-world professions that touch on issues of ʻohana, kuleana, heir lands, and enduring access to place.

At present there are many resources dedicated to assist Hawaiians acquiring new lands, mortgages, homes etc., however, there are few established resources to help Hawaiians keep lands they already have. Moreover, there are many levels of proactive and even re-active steps Hawaiians can and should take to kākoʻo their ʻĀpana ʻOhana (tax exemptions, estate planning, moʻokūʻauhau research, etc.). We have found from speakers and participants that they in fact also need support understanding what lawyers are requesting and often if they even need lawyers or certain documents (Title searches, Rights of Entry, some specific examples).

Based on this series, surveys, evaluations, guest speakers and participant responses we have identified that the greatest current need for families in regard to ʻĀʻO, is a support system to assist Hawaiian families in navigating challenges associated with Access, Easements, Māhele and other land research, Estate Planning, Property Taxes, Quiet Titles and Adverse Possession. Therefore, establishment of a certificate program in the UH system that would allow training and students in Law, Hawaiian Studies, Geography, Planning and other related fields to develop a tool kit of expertise specializing in Hawaiian land issues past and present.

We recommend, very strongly, that OHA consider a full-time staff position dedicated to assist, provide resources, and educate Hawaiian individuals, families, and communities on issues of kuleana and ʻohana heir lands.

There is great need, and an OHA full-time staff position decdicated to ʻĀpana ʻOhana could have an enormous positive impact in the community relative to the cost of an annual salary. If we expect Hawaiian ʻohana to continue to hold to their ʻohana places, they need help navigating the land system, understanding legal or historic jargon, as well as opportunities for education and empowerment on kuleana and ohana heir land issues. Such a position could help families navigate resources, experts, references, documentation, and the complexities of modern and historical land in Hawaiʻi. All these needs come before families engage with lawyers, while they engage with lawyers and often instead of taking the costly step of engaging with lawyers.

Such an important position could assist families struggling to farm, to maintain intergenerational pilina to place, to prevent the loss of Hawaiian voices in gentrifying communities, to continue family traditions and cultural access, and perhaps most under threat today: staff support for these issues would help Hawaiian families with housing, by keeping the homes of their kūpuna in their families.