Maui News

Haleakalā through the voices of her stewards

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New Haleakalā stories are now available due to a collaborative oral history project with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Center for Oral History and the National Park Service.

The purpose of the project was to explore the history of early park natural resource management through the voices of people who have worked in and experienced the park over many years.

The oral history interviews are available online.


“Through these oral histories, we learn about the stamina, vigor, commitment, and indomitable spirit of those who have stewarded the majestic Haleakalā mountain from its summit, into its crater, and across vast forests and bogs that clothe its slopes and down into valleys and to the coast. It has been a constant struggle against feral ungulates and invasive species to protect the rare and natural biodiversity of the varied ecosystems at different levels of the mountain that also serve as cultural resources for Native Hawaiians,” said PhD Professor of Ethnic Studies and Director Davianna Pomaika’i McGregor at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa. 

Over the past year, Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor, Micah Mizukami, and Alana Kanahele, in cooperation with the National Park Service, conducted oral history interviews with past and present park staff and community members with close ties to Haleakalā National Park.

Thirteen people contributed their stories, which have been transcribed and archived for this project. 


“The interviews paint vivid pictures of the narrators’ deep connections to Haleakalā National Park, both personal and professional. The park and its special native Hawaiian plants, animals, and places come alive through the many stories shared by the narrators,” added Cultural Resource Program Manager and archaeologist Rachel Hodara Nelson. 

The project team will continue its work and plans to conduct more interviews in the spring of 2022. 

This project was funded by the National Park Service and conducted through the Hawai‘i-Pacific Islands Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit. The HPI-CESU is a partnership program between 10 US federal agencies and 14 non-federal members. HPI-CESU is one of 17 Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Units across the United States that were developed to foster federal-non-federal partnerships to steward cultural and natural resources on public lands. 

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