Christopher Kaliko Baker Named KIRC Commissioner

May 31, 2011, 8:21 AM HST · Updated May 31, 8:21 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Map of Kahoolawe, courtesy KIRC.

Christopher M. Kaliko Baker was appointed as an interim Commissioner on the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC). Baker joins the seven-person state commission that oversees the management of the reserve that includes the entire island and the two miles of its surrounding water.

Baker is a graduate of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM), a PhD candidate in Linguistics, and an instructor of Hawaiian at UH-Manoa’s Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language.

In addition to his expertise in Hawaiian language and cultural traditions, Baker is a long-time member of the Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana, and a lead cultural practitioner for the makahiki ceremony on Kaho’olawe.

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His dedication to the perpetuation of the Hawaiian language and culture is in alignment with the KIRC vision of caring for the island in a manner that recognizes it as a living spiritual entity.

Kanaloa, the ancient name of Kaho’olawe is a pu’uhonua or place of safety, and a wahi pana or storied/sacred place.  The KIRC members also envision an island reserve where Native Hawaiian cultural practices have an opportunity to flourish.

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