Native Hawaiians awarded federal grant to perpetuate traditional fishery practices

ANAHOLA, Kauai — The Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association (AHHA) recognized an opportunity to protect and perpetuate traditional fishing practices with youth and community members at Anahola River commonly referred to as Aliomanu.

 

AHHA is the 30-year old homestead association governed by beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act living on Hawaiian Home Lands set aside by the U.S. Congress in 1920.  The group solicited the help of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) to seek funding through a competitive grant program operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service.

 

"We are so excited that our project was approved to receive funding from NOAA," said Lorraine Rapozo, AHHA President.  "We really want to thank CNHA for their help in working with us and our community partners to compete for the funding needed for this fishery project."

 

AHHA took advantage of a capacity building program operated by CNHA to help small Native nonprofits to capture resources for worthwhile projects serving Native Hawaiian communities.  AHHA members saw an opportunity to create an educational program for youth and the Anahola community about its history as a fishing village in times past, and to bring local talent and local partners together to make it happen.

 

"We were very supportive of the request by AHHA leaders to assist them to apply for funding for their project," said Lilia Kapuniai, CNHA Director of Capacity Programs and the Hawaiian Way Fund.  "AHHA has been involved in our capacity building program for several years, and has developed the ability to identify relevant funding sources to successfully apply to their community needs.  This is exactly the type of assistance our Hawaiian Way Fund program was created, to give to our member organizations.  We are delighted that NOAA is funding $15,000 for the project!"

 

The project name is the Anahola Traditional Resource and Conservation Knowledge project (A-TRACK), and will fund the purchase of a modest boat for the river, educational sessions with students from Kanuikapono Public Charter School in Anahola, and stipends to local practitioners to share their knowledge with the community. Also, the project will test and track water quality in the Anahola river.

 

"Partnering with CNHA, with our local charter school, and other organizations in our homestead is really a strength that we have," said Kipukai Kualii, an AHHA board member, and the President of the board of the AHHA tax exempt nonprofit, the Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC).  "No one organization can meet all of the needs in our homestead, but when we work together, we get a lot done!"

 

AHHA is the regional homestead association founded in 1982 for the Anahola region, and approved by the Hawaiian Homes Commission in 2010.  Its mission is to protect and promote the tenets of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and to improve the quality of life in Anahola.  Its tax exempt nonprofit is the Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC).  More than 1,900 residents reside in Anahola, where 67% of the island's Native Hawaiian population lives.  For more information, contact Lorraine Rapozo, AHHA Board President at info@ahha96703.org.

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