For those of you who know us as the Hawaiʻi Community Stewardship Network: YES, it’s us! We’re still about Hawai’i. And Community. Oh, and yes, Stewardship. We’re still a network.
Here’s whatʻs changed:
1. We’ve changed our name.
The Hawaiʻi Community Stewardship Network is becoming Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo, or KUA. KUA means back. Like a backbone that connects and supports.
Kuaʻāina are the rural, grassroots people of Hawaiʻi — farmers, fishers, and other practitioners who have taken up the kuleana (sacred right and responsibility) of caring for the lands and waters of their ancestors. Today, they are joined by a growing number of others in their communities, who want to learn from them and support them in their work.
Ulu means to grow.
‘Auamo is the carrying stick held on multiple shoulders of laborers who share the burden of carrying something of great weight forward. By taking up the ʻauamo, our kuaʻāina communities share the kuleana to better Hawaiʻi.
Mahalo to Sam Ohu Gon III, Kevin Chang, and Kamuela Enos for sharing your manaʻo and inspiration for this new name.
2. We’re an independent non-profit.
After existing for 10 years as the project of other organizations, we’re growing roots. At the direction of the communities we serve, we’ve become an independent, 501(c)(3) Hawaiʻi non-profit organization. It means we have an independent Board helping to lead us, and more flexibility and self-determination to meet our mission.
But it also means we have to do a lot of stuff for ourselves that others used to do for us. Things like: accounting, insurance, and tax returns. We’re learning, and are grateful to have the guidance and help of an ʻohana of experienced folks who aloha us and believe in the importance of this work.
What hasn’t changed, is our mission to serve the grassroots stewardship efforts of Hawaiʻi’s communities.
Mahalo to all who have supported this work over the last decade, and to all whose generous and deep aloha is making this transition possible!
ʻAuamo Kiʻi, photo by Kai Markell