Maui News

Hawai‘i Land Trust to honor Dana Naone Hall as 2023 Champion of the Land 

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Dana Naone Hall. As a Native Hawaiian advocate of burial protection, land conservation, and poetry, she will be recognized at HILT’s Buy Back the Beach lū‘au. Photo courtesy HILT

The nonprofit Hawai‘i Land Trust will honor Maui’s Dana Naone Hall as its 2023 Champion of the Land. She will be recognized at the 21st-annual Buy Back the Beach benefit lū‘au for her longtime contributions to land conservation in Hawai‘i. 

HILT’s Champion of the Land award recognizes a person, group, or organization that has made a substantial impact on land conservation in Hawai‘i.

Naone Hall helped lead the permanent protection of the 277-acre Waihe‘e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge prior to the establishment of the Maui Coastal Land Trust, which became part of HILT in 2011.

The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation honored Naone Hall with the 2011 Community Advocate of the Year Award, in part, for her work helping to preserve the Waiheʻe shoreline in perpetuity.


She is also a longstanding advocate for numerous other ʻāina protection efforts on Maui and throughout Hawaiʻi, and is an author, and nationally recognized poet.

“Naone Hall’s decades of effective advocacy for Native Hawaiian and environmental issues began in 1984 as a founding member of Hui Alanui o Mākena, an organization that successfully prevented the closing of the Old Mākena Road (including the ancient Alaloa known as the “King’s Highway” or “Pi‘ilani Trail”) fronting the Maui Prince Hotel,” according to a news release announcement.

“She was at the forefront of the Native Hawaiian burial movement born during the struggle to protect the multitude of iwi kūpuna resting in the sand dunes of Honokahua, Maui. Efforts there led to amendments to Hawai‘i State historic preservation laws, including new protections for Native Hawaiian burial sites and establishing Island Burial Councils,” according to the release.

In 2011, Naone Hall received the Hawai‘i Cultural Stewardship Award cosponsored by Nāki‘ikeaho, an organization of Native Hawaiian archaeologists and anthropologists, and the Society for Hawaiian Archaeology honoring individuals who have exemplified the spirit of stewardship.


Naone Hall graduated from Kamehameha Schools and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She was the editor of Hawai‘i Review, the university’s flagship literary journal, and has published poetry in national and international literary journals.

Among her many contributions are 2017’s “Life of the Land: Articulations of a Native Writer,” winner of an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; and editorship of Bamboo Ridge’s winter 1985 issue, “Mālama, Hawaiian Land and Water.”

The Dana Naone Hall Endowed Chair in Hawaiian Studies, Literature and the Environment was established in 2020 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge in honor of Naone Hallʻs poetry and environmental activism.

She will be recognized during HILT’s 2023 Buy Back the Beach fundraiser from 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, at the Old Lāhainā Lū‘au on Maui.


The benefit has been held for 21 years, directly supporting HILT’s mission to protect and steward the lands that sustain Hawai‘i. Funds raised at the lū‘au enable HILT to continue protecting cherished coastlines, cultural landscapes, and lands that grow healthy food for Hawaiʻi’s people. 

HILT invites supporters to join in celebrating Naone Hall for her community leadership, generous philanthropy, and forward-thinking vision. Individual tickets and tables of eight are available.

For additional ticket, sponsorship or online donation information, visit, or call Angela Britten, Chief Operations & Philanthropy Officer at 808-791-0731. 

2023 Buy Back the Beach sponsors include the Old Lāhainā Lū‘au, which has hosted the event each year without charge, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, Hawaii Sea Spirits Organic Farm & Distillery, Maui Brewing Co., and Maui Wine.


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