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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Lānaʻi: Honoring our past to enrich the future

LĀNA‘I — “E ʻIke Hou lā Lānai, To Know Lānaʻi Once Again” is a four-week cultural enrichment program hosted by the Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center that took place this summer from June 8 to July 3, 2015. During that time, the Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center, in partnership with Pūlama Lānaʻi provided students with place-based education, connecting them with their community and the living natural environment of Lānaʻi. While students explored Lānaʻi Hale and worked to restore loʻi kalo and loko iʻa, they also captured video footage of their experiences.

“Our approach is to give students stories of place, so they will learn how they fit into this larger, living environment and that opens the door to a universe of learning,” said Kepā Maly, Executive Director at the Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center. “During the program, our haumāna began the restoration of the kuapā (fishpond wall) but it wasnʻt just ʻwork fishpond’, it was about learning the environment, how to manage the watershed, how to manage sediment loading, how to restore the ʻāina to be clean and healthy again.”

The summer program builds haumana’s connectedness to their island home. Cheleigh Clarabal was one of E ʻIke Hou lā Lānaʻi’s 26 students who helped to rebuild the kuapā of the fishpond. Clarabel shared, “Knowing that my kūpuna have touched these rocks made me feel more special because my kūpuna are from Lānaʻi, rooted three generations long. And if I have moʻopuna and they touch those same rocks that me and past generations have, that’s gonna be really special.”

At the end of the program, students compounded their video footage and created a mini documentary sharing their thoughts and reflections on new understandings of their culture. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs offered a space at its Lānaʻi office for students to edit and create the video. OHA’s Lānaʻi Outreach Coordinator Anthony Pacheco volunteered his time to mentor the students. Drawing from his background in film production he gave haumāna tips on videography and editing using Final Cut Pro.

“The video creation component of the program gives haumāna an outlet for sharing their experiences with the rest of Hawaiʻi and helps perpetuate the stories of Lānaʻi through a visual medium,” said Pacheco.

To view the video created by the E ʻIke Hou lā Lānaʻi students, watch it here.

In 2008 and 2009, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs provided grant funding that helped to build the Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center. Since its establishment, the Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center has created numerous cultural and education programs that honor Lānaʻi’s past and enrich its future.

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