Maui News

OHA Releases Grant Solicitations for $340,000 to Mālama Iwi Kupuna and Support Community Events

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The Office of Hawaiian Affairs released two of the seven grant solicitations scheduled to be released by March 1, 2021, supporting Native Hawaiian beneficiaries and communities.

OHA is awarding a total of around $340,000 for programs and applicants intending to empower, benefit and protect Hawaiian communities – including the respectful protection of burial sites of Hawaiian ancestors. Applications are available online.

Iwi Kupuna Repatriation and Reinternment Grant

OHA is dedicating $144,079 to its new Iwi Kupuna Repatriation and Reinternment grant. The grant is intended to empower communities to take care of iwi kupuna, including the protection of known burial sites of iwi kupuna, respectful reburial of iwi kupuna that have been disturbed and returning iwi kupuna that have been taken away from their homeland. Proposals must identify a specific project or activity that will be completed with grant funds, and grant awards range from $5,000 minimum to $50,000 maximum amounts.


“Taking care of iwi kupuna reaffirms our connection and commitment to acknowledging those whom we come from. In our ʻohana we are taught to pay respect to our elders,” said OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey. “OHA’s new mālama iwi kupuna grants provide support to take care of those elders whom we descend from, regardless of whether they were buried in a marked burial plot or not, because they also deserve to be treated respectfully and with dignity.”

Project proposals may include, but are not limited to, the purchase of ceremonial and reburial materials including temporary storage containers to hold iwi until reburial; transportation costs to facilitate repatriation and reinternment objectives; construction costs for burial vaults to hold the iwi; repatriation research; and training for community members, cultural descendants and other advocates.

A grant orientation has been scheduled via Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, at 11 a.m. HST. The orientation is highly recommended. The application deadline is Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, at 2 p.m. HST.


‘Ahahui Grants Program

The second solicitation is the ‘Ahahui grants program, which provides financial assistance to support nonprofit organizations hosting community events that align with OHA’s 2020-2035 Mana i Mauli Ola Strategic Plan and provide significant benefits to the Hawaiian community. ʻAhahui grants support events that are free to attend, publicly announced, and open to the larger community. This grant program is not intended to support fundraisers, award and recognition events, or individuals and groups seeking financial assistance to participate in an event.

Historically, ʻAhahui grants have supported large gatherings in beneficiary communities. However, with the restrictions of COVID-19 and large gatherings and with a mindset toward community safety, OHA anticipates applications that will reflect applicants’ creativity, innovation and technical savvy in meeting the intents of the grant.


There are $200,000 in funds available for this current application solicitation, which covers events occurring between July 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021. Nonprofit organizations may apply for grant awards up to $10,000 and may receive only one ʻAhahui grant award in a single fiscal year.

An orientation session is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at 8:30 a.m., with registration required 24 hours in advance. The application deadline is Friday, March 12, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. HST.

More information will be forthcoming regarding the additional five solicitations to be released.


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