Maui News

Seven Native Hawaiian organizations to receive $1 million in federal funding

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The US Department of the Interior is providing $1 million in federal funding to seven Native Hawaiian organizations working to preserve and share Native Hawaiian culture and traditions with visitors.

The funding is made possible by the NATIVE Act, which is 2016 legislation authored by US Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaiʻi to help empower Native communities through cultural tourism.

The nonprofit ʻAoʻao o Nā Loko Iʻa o Maui will receive federal funding for its Kōʻieʻie Fishpond Visitor Engagement Program. Photo Courtesy: ʻAoʻao o Nā Loko Iʻa o Maui

“Everyone who visits Hawaiʻi should understand and appreciate Native Hawaiian culture, and this funding will help give local organizations the resources they need to preserve and share these important traditions,” said Sen. Schatz, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

The new funding, part of the Interior Department’s Opportunities in Hawaiʻi (HŌʻIHI) Program, will support a number of educational programs for visitors, in turn helping to create jobs, increase living standards and expand economic opportunities for Native Hawaiian communities. The full list of recipients includes:

  • ʻAoʻao o Nā Loko Iʻa o Maui, for the Kōʻieʻie Fishpond Visitor Engagement Program, which will help educate visitors about the cultural and historical significance of Kō‘ie‘ie Fishpond
  • Hanalei River Heritage Foundation, for the I Mana Ka ‘Āina Visitor Engagement Program, which will develop a bilingual, historical interpretive educational program for visitors
  • Hiʻipaka LLC, for Hōʻihi no Waimea, which will engage visitors in interactive cultural activities such as lei making, coconut weaving, and poi pounding
  • Moanalua Garden Foundation Inc., to support the 46th Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival
  • Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, to support engagement programs with visitors and Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners
  • PAʻI Foundation, for Nānā I Ke Kumu: Look to the Source, which will educate and engage visitors on the traditions, principles and values of the Native Hawaiian people
  • Waiʻanae Economic Development Council, for E Mau Ke Aʻo: Sustaining the Cultural Practitioner, which will help create new businesses for cultural practitioners through access to new markets, increased marketing efforts and training programs


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