John and Tweetie Lind of Kīpahulu, Maui honored with The Nature Conservancy’s Kāko‘o ‘Āina Award
The Nature Conservancy, Hawai‘i and Palmyra (TNC) announces the presentation of the Kāko‘o ‘Āina Award to John and Tweetie Lind in recognition of their lifelong commitment, enduring partnership and community leadership to protect Hawaiʻi’s lands and waters at a community dinner in Olowalu, Maui.
“The Linds’ passion for preserving Hawaiian culture and way of life and the ʻāina they depend on rings as true today as it did when they began their advocacy work over 50 years ago,” said Ulalia Woodside Lee, the executive director of TNC’s Hawai‘i and Palmyra Program. “They have demonstrated phenomenal leadership and contributions to our island home and the people of Hawaiʻi.”
Established in 2006, TNC’s Kākoʻo ʻĀina award honors groups and individuals who have provided significant and long-standing support for conservation in Hawai‘i. “Kako‘o ‘Aina” translates to “one who supports the land.”
John and Tweetie Lind established Kīpahulu ʻOhana and Kapahu Living Farm to revive and restore loʻi kalo farming used for centuries by Hawaiians. They led their community to create a mālama i ke kai (care for the ocean) community action plan and worked for 10 years to establish the Kīpahulu Moku Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area, a legally designated area that, once approved, the community and state government will co-manage.
The Linds brought together East Maui communities facing similar issues in maintaining their culture, resources and lifestyle through the Maui Nui Makai Network, which led to the establishment of the Maui Hikina Huliāmahi, a community-led initiative for regional makai management across multiple moku (districts).
The Kākoʻo ʻĀina award gift this year is a pōhaku kuʻi ʻai, a poi pounder made from river pōhaku (rock), mounted on coral from the sea and old growth koa from Honokohau valley, symbolizing the the mauka to makai work of John and Tweetie in Kīpahulu.
Tweetie Lind, the Lind Family, and the people of Hawaiʻi lost a tireless aloha ʻāina warrior in John Lind in June. In the words of their daughter Leimamo Lind-Strauss, “He was a mahiʻai (farmer), a lawaiʻa (fisherman), the Konohiki of Kīpahulu—a visionary that never stopped dreaming of living the life of a simple kalo man.”
Previous Kāko‘o ‘Āina recognitions have been presented by TNC on Maui in 2007 to Art Medeiros, in 2014 to the Maui Nui Makai Network, and in 2017 to Lloyd Loope.