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e mau ka ho'okele

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Ensuring our Moananuiākea
voyaging legacies live on.

Photo Credit: Danee Hazama

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The ʻOhana (family) Waʻa (canoe), meaning family of voyaging canoes, convened as a hui (group) on September 1-2, 2006 with the rising of the ʻole kūkolu and the setting of the ʻole pau moons. Under the guidance of the Honorable Judge Thomas Kaʻauwai Kaulukukui Jr., and through cultural based facilitation, discussion, sharing, ceremony, and much spirit, it was determined that the group did not need a non-profit designation at that time, but instead formalized as an organization with a honi (sharing of breath), a handshake, and a commitment to each other. 


As the needs of the voyaging community evolved, so did ʻOhana Waʻa and the hui was formalized as a 501(c)3 organization on March 27, 2019.

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He wa'a he moku,
he moku he wa'a


Our Vision

& Philosophy


Ensuring our Moananuiākea voyaging legacies live on.

Our vision is a healthy and thriving Lāhui (nation) and ʻāina (place) led by kānaka (natives) and grounded in ʻike kūpuna (traditional knowledge and worldviews).


Our guiding philosophy, adopted from one of our family members is

He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa (our island is the canoe, our canoe is our island). It speaks to the interdependent nature of our people, and teaches us that our actions on the canoe should be reflective of our actions on our island.

Photos courtesy of Kaimana Barcarse, Pōmai Bertelmann, & Brendan George Ko

'Ohana Wa'a

Our Members

Our membership is composed of intergenerational indigenous leadership representatives of the voyaging canoes and organizations of Hawaiʻi.

Our mission is to work together towards the collective health and life of our Voyaging traditions and elevate our Hawaiian leaders.

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