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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Wāhine Health Report

Haumea: Transforming the Health of Native Hawaiian Women and Empowering Wāhine Well-Being
[Download the Executive Summary]

Haumea Report Cover
This primer explores exemplary assets, strengths, and wisdom of Native Hawaiian females and their mana according to traditional Hawaiian culture. Yet today, wāhine experience various inequities across different generations of pēpē, keiki, mākua, and kūpuna that cannot continue to be ignored. The health of Native Hawaiian females is influenced by contemporary indicators of wellness embraced by social determinants of health initiatives. This report is a call to action in order to improve the health of our next generation of wāhine: we must continue to advocate for better methods of integrating cultural values and resiliency across state agencies, uplifting community-based programming and expert coalitions. Major content has been organized into six chapters, each with a consistent framework that begins with an overview of the roles of wāhine in Hawaiian society and historical strengths that contributed to thriving communities while hearing from wāhine leaders by means of testimonials. Direct recommendations for equity efforts across all sectors, in all policies, should lead a movement which prioritizes women and girls in the 21st century while simultaneously honoring their indigenity as the ʻōiwi across the kaiwahine. Read the summary of the Haumea Report, become involved in the discussion, and learn more.

Haumea: Transforming the Health of Native Hawaiian Women and Empowering Wāhine Well-Being [Download the Full Report]

Grounded in the Kūkulu Hou Methodology, this report explores the traditional role of wāhine in Native Hawaiian society and culture. It transitions through contemporary social indicators which impact wāhine at present. Traditionally, Native Hawaiian women contributed to their communities and ‘ohana on multiple levels, but social, political, and economic changes in Hawaiʻi have transformed many ways which wāhine integrate their well-being in Hawaiian culture. The ensuing disconnect from cultural practices, from ʻohana, and with ‘āina led to further disruption in wāhine health. Thus, affecting the overall wellness of the Hawaiian community.  Today we understand the social determinants of health affect wāhine across generations in terms of physical health, mental and emotional well-being, partner violence, incarceration, economic well-being, leadership, and civic engagement. To reactivate and revitalize the role of wāhine in Native Hawaiian communities, advocacy across various agencies and organizations is necessary to achieve improved cultural integration in programs and organizations with community-based programming that impact our Native Hawaiian females. We invite you to read the Haumea Report to learn more and consider solutions to transform the health of wāhine.


VIDEO: Native Hawaiian artist Naiʻa Lewis shares the manaʻo and mana behind the beautiful artwork Hānai ʻAi o Haumea that is featured on the cover of the Haumea Report.
A creative collaboration with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hoʻomaikaʻi LLC, and And Still The Waters Rise, the cover and internal visuals of Haumea honors the role and legacy of wāhine through original artwork. This mosaic mural was conducted and facilitated by kanaka ʻōiwi artist Naiʻa Lewis. For 20 years, Naiʻa Lewis has worked with people and communities to address pressing personal and social issues and thrive. She uses creative strategies to successfully engage, empower, and express the voices of vulnerable, marginalized, and disenfranchised, particularly those of women, indigenous peoples, and minorities. She blends contemporary expressionism with indigenous identity and belief systems through multiple media. Her work has been invited to show at artistic events and galleries from Manhattan to Honolulu, including the recent CTRL+ALT Culture Lab on Imagined Futures series, curated by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Ford Foundation. By her philosophy, “Inspiration is birthed in the soul but only transforms our world when we manifest its potential through a creative process.”

Read the Haumea Report

May 2018 Ka Wai Ola Cover Story: Empowering Wāhine

National Women’s Health Week

Since 2000, National Women’s Health Week annual observances start on Mother’s Day. This year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health encourages health screenings, fairs, and other outreach and education opportunities, all of which focus on women’s health from May 13-19, 2018. Annual proceedings from National Women’s Health Week aim to raise awareness and honor the importance of female health. The focus is on the importance of incorporating simple preventive and positive health behaviors into everyday life while heightening awareness to the health needs of women and girls all around the world. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. This is a time where we go the extra mile to show the wāhine in our lives how much they mean to us and us to them.

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, including Hawai‘i. Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is recognized annually via Executive Order 9066, a document that President Roosevelt signed in 1942 two months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, a solemn day for everyone in Hawaiʻi. Each May the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success. During May, we recognize wāhine leaders who have been constant advocates for Native Hawaiian well-being.

Playlist of Haumea Videos 

Visit our Haumea YouTube Playlist to watch stories of inspiration from wāhine leaders, entrepreneurs, and traditional healers who are examples of resilience overcoming statistical norms.



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