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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

ʻOhana – Family

ʻIke aku, ʻike mai, kōkua aku, kōkua mai;
Pela iho la ka nohona ʻohana.
Recognize and be recognized, help and be helped;
Such is family life.
– ʻŌlelo Noʻeau

ʻOhana is instrumental to community empowerment. When our families are strong and healthy, and when we have positive engagement within the ʻohana, from keiki to kūpuna, it is then that we can thrive. Our connections to our culture and our land begin with our connections within our own families.

For these reasons, ʻohana is foundational to OHA’s Mana i Mauli Ola strategic plan.

It is within the family unit that one’s worldview is developed, cultivated and honed. Healthy families impart knowledge, wisdom and values from one generation to the next. It is within the ʻohana, that those values are modeled. Each successive generation learns about the world, and their place within it, from their mākua and kūpuna. Our appreciation for our cultural heritage and ʻike kūpuna; our love for our ʻāīna – these are values learned from those who raise us.

Healthy, secure, ‘ohana relationships are foundational to establishing pono relationships within our communities, our lāhui, and the world beyond our pae ʻāīna.


‘Ohana is represented here with ‘ulu (breadfruit). According to mo‘olelo, the god Kū fell in love with a human woman. He married her and together they raised a family until a time of terrible famine. Driven by love for his ‘ohana, Kū transformed himself into an ‘ulu tree so they would not starve. That was the first ‘ulu tree; all ‘ulu trees are descended from Kū.

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