Christopher Kaliko Baker Named KIRC Commissioner
By Wendy Osher
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.
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.