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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Mai Ka Po Mai

Mai Ka Pō Mai is a culmination of over 10 years of discussions with the Native Hawaiian community, specifically the Papahānaumokuākea Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Group, and the managing agencies to provide a Native Hawaiian perspective into Papahānaumokuākea management.  The guidance document uses traditional concepts and cultural traditions related to Papahānaumokuākea in its structure to set a foundation for how management should be conducted.  It will be used to help the agencies think about activities in (and about) Papahānaumokuākea through a Native Hawaiian perspective and lays the groundwork for the development of the next Papahānaumokuākea management plan.

View Mai Ka Pō Mai below.


Download Mai Ka Pō Mai here.

OHA’s kuleana with Papahānaumokuākea began almost 15 years ago to support its beneficiaries’ interests in protecting and managing the traditionally sacred ʻāina in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.  Since then, OHA’s role has expanded to the highest level of management for one of the largest protected areas in the world, and a region that represents two-thirds of our paeʻāina.  Papahānaumokuākea is significant because it demonstrates that:

  1. Providing Native Hawaiian voices equal footing with federal and state entities in a complex management structure can lead to the successful stewardship of our most precious natural and cultural resources; and
  2. Traditional indigenous management is a best management practice that can be replicated elsewhere in Hawaiʻi and throughout the globe.

Here’s what people are saying about Mai Ka Po Mai:

“Mai Ka Po Mai is a groundbreaking document. This document demonstrates that providing Native Hawaiian voices equal footing with federal and state entities in a complex management structure can lead to the successful stewardship of our most precious natural and cultural resources. Moreover, it further shows that traditional Indigenous  resource management is a best management practice to address climate change and other environmental challenges currently facing humanity. We hope that this stewardship approach is replicated elsewhere in Hawaiʻi and throughout the globe.”
– Dr.  Sylvia Hussey, Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO/Ka Pouhana 

“Mai Ka Pō Mai was birthed by the Native Hawaiian community and represents our vision for how we should mālama this special place. We always believed that the cultural and scientific elements of the monument should not be managed in siloes. We thank the Co-Trustees for committing to a major paradigm shift by supporting Mai Ka Pō Mai, which incorporates Native Hawaiian culture and values in every aspect of management.”
Kekuewa Kikiloi, Chair of the Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Group

“NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is pleased to have supported this plan from the outset. Hawaiian culture is a foundational element of monument management. We will continue to honor and perpetuate spiritual and cultural relationships with this special place.”
– Athline Clark, NOAA Superintendent for Papahānaumokuākea Marine Na­tional Monument

“We are excited to have been part of this collaborative effort. Every day we work hard to live up to our commitment to care for ocean resources. Integrating indigenous and traditional knowledge with sound science is key to this success as we move forward in approaches to resource management.”
– Michael Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office

Sunrise at Mokumanamana, PMNM

“Ke Alanui Polohiwa a Kāne, otherwise known as the Summer Solstice, is the sun’s northern extent on the horizon occurring between June 19 – 21st. The island of Mokumanamana (pictured) sits directly on this pathway where it became an important location for our Native Hawaiian ancestors as many heiau on the island mark this specific time period. The release of Mai Ka Pō Mai at this time calls to the importance of Mokumanamana for us today, recalling the cultural history of our pae ʻāina and emphasizes the value of utilizing our cultural foundations for the management of our ʻāina in Hawaiʻi.”
Brad Kaʻalelo Wong, OHA Papahānaumokuākea Program Specialist



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