In 2002, Uncle Mac Poepoe of Mo’omomi shared an idea that communities around Hawai’i could benefit from learning directly from one another how to better mālama ‘āina.
As a result, 45 people representing 13 communities gathered on Moloka’i in 2003. They confirmed the wisdom of Uncle Mac’s idea, and E Alu Pū was born. The overall vision of E Alu Pū is to nurture community kuleana—both the responsibility and the privilege—for the ‘āina where they live in order to ensure the vitality of resources for use by present and future generations.
In response to participating communities’ request, KUA (formerly HCSN) aims to raise the funds necessary to bring the network together twice per year—once for a large, hands on gathering that involves youth and once for a smaller gathering that focuses on a specific capacity-building topic.
Thus far, E Alu Pū has met at least annually since 2003, and reached hundreds of individuals of all ages with gatherings covering the such topics as: (1) traditional knowledge collection that links youth with kūpuna, (2) the Makai Watch community stewardship program, (3) community-based marine resources management planning, (4) traditional Hawaiian biological resources monitoring methods (5) advocacy, and more. In addition to large gatherings KUA facilitates smaller learning exchanges among E Alu Pu’s peer networks of practitioners on specific issues revolving around advocacy, traditional practices and general capacity building topics.