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Ola ka Huakaʻihele o Hiʻiaka: Becoming Hiʻiaka PT 2

August 17, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm HST

Event Series Event Series (See All)

Hānai Ahu: Anchoring Culture in Substance Use Treatment & Prevention Models

Ola ka Huakaʻihele o Hiʻiaka: Becoming Hiʻiaka Part 2

Join us again as we continue our virtual summer training series on adopting cultural anchors for substance use treatment and prevention strategies. Hānai Ahu provides a tri-lens cultural view of substance use emphasizing “The Impacts of Colonization on Ahupuaʻa. Conceptualization, V3.0” framework that recently launched with the Hawaiʻi State Plan for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division of the Department of Health.

This series is a partnership between the Māpuna Lab and the AANHPI ‘Ohana Center of Excellence. AANHPI ‘Ohana Center of Excellence is your source for empowerment, education, and support for individuals seeking behavioral healthcare, including mental health and substance use resources. We center (w)holistic and cultural approaches to serving the needs of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

What is your ahu? What is your pua‘a?

Ola ka Huakaʻihele o Hiʻiaka: Becoming Hiʻiaka Part 2 with guest speaker Kekuhi Kealiʻikanakaʻoleohaililani

Hawaii Opioid Initiative (HOI) Workgroup members, social workers, health care providers, and community members will come together to learn the Ahupua’a Framework and its applications. Understanding the Upstream: How does the Compact of Free Association (COFA) affect Social Determinants of Health and Policy for Federated States of Micronesia migrants in Hawaii will follow the myth of Hiʻiakaikapoliopele on a journey of transformation, so that we ourselves may be transformed in the process. Through the Kaʻao Framework, implemented by the Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke ʻAo Initiative within the University of Hawaiʻi system, we seek to identify the best pathway forward to heal and prevent substance misuse and overdose, and promote mental health and wellbeing among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

Learning Objective 1
Participants will engage in the Ahupuaʻa Model for the ʻOhana Center of Excellence, introduced by Lilinoe Kauahikaua of Papa Ola Lōkahi looking at the impacts of colonization, and implementing cultural intervention at various places effectively providing healing and wellbeing of self and community.

Learning Objective 2
Participants will engage in the Kaʻao Framework (Hua, Haʻalele, Huakaʻi, Hoʻina, Hāʻina – implemented by the University of Hawaiʻi through the Hawaiʻi Papa o Keao Initiative) – utilizing Hawaiʻi traditional myth culture as a framework to transform the experiences and the culture of healthcare professionals
and providers.

Learning Objective 3
Participants will see by implementing a high quality program such as the Huakaʻihele, that is directly recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, and equity-based as a means of improving behavioral health and overall well-being guided by the clinical expertise of R. Lahela Kruse, a Native Hawaiian Social Worker.

Learning Objective 4
Finally participants will be invited to experience and engage in multidisciplinary and multidimensional processes for sequencing HUAKAʻI.


This event has passed. You can watch the replay on our YouTube, or here on the website.

Workshop Presenters

Rachel “Lahela” Kruse, Native Hawaiian Social Worker, CSAC at Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) on Hawaiʻi island. She works with the mental health population with close attention to substance abuse using traditional healing methods Hoʻokuʻu ka hewa for the individual, also a Haku Hoʻoponopono.

Kekuhi Kealiʻikanakaʻoleohaililani is a cherished member of the Hawaiʻi Island community. People recognize her contributions to the hula community, both in Hawaiʻi and beyond our shores, her training for decades in the tradition of ʻaihaʻa, her vital role in Hālau o Kekuhi. Below are just a few of Kekuhi’s professional accomplishments:

  • Trained in the tradition of Hula ʻAihaʻa & Hula Pele, chant & ritual for 35 years under Hālau O Kekuhi and graduated as Kumu Hula (hula master) of Hālau o Kekuhi by her mother, Kumu Hula Pualani Kanahele and her Aunt Kumu Hula Nalani Kanakaole; ʻUniki date – 2008
  • 1991 and 2014, co-producer of some of Hālau O Kekuhi’s most significant contributions to oral and ritual arts stage performances, namely, Holo Mai Pele, Kamehameha Paiʻea, Kilohi Nā Akua Wahine, Hānau Ka Moku, Wahinepōʻaimoku, Ka Hana Kapa, and CD resources Uwolani, Puka Kamaʻehu and Hiʻiakaikapoliopele.  See these projects at edithkanakaolefoundation.org
  • Bachelorʻs in Hawaiian Studies & Masterʻs degree in Professional Development in Education; currently in a Doctorate of Holistic Health program.
  • Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Hawaiʻi Life Styles program and was a primary force in designing the Hawaiʻi Life Styles degree program and student support center as well as the two-year A.A. degree programs in Hula, Fishing, and Farming at Hawaiʻi Community Colleges, currently A.A. in Hawaiʻi Life Styles with emphasis in these areas.
  • For the 21 years at the University of Hawai’i, Kekuhi has been instrumental in writing for and managing 10 federal grants, resulting in excess of 20 million dollars of Congressional funding, USDOE funding, and others helping fund 8 new positions in Hawaiian studies (HawCC), 4 renovation projects, student support for native Hawaiian students, the UH system’s first degrees in native occupational practices and the very first Hawaiʻi protocols program of any UH system college. She also taught many of the programs courses. 
  • From 2001-2015, Kekuhi served as the Edith Kanakaʻoleʻs Executive Director and continues to volunteer in research, writing, ritual design and facilitation, hula, chant, and other projects of the foundation.
  • A sample of projects for the foundation include: 1) Kanaloa Haunawela – a current ethnographic project for KS, 2) Kiho’iho’i Kanawai – a project for OHA, 3)  Pelehonuamea – a Geothermal project for KS; 4) Honuaiākea Summit for interdisciplinary exploration, 5) ʻĪmakakoloa protocols for public access, 5) ʻAha Pāwalu protocols for 20 year clean up of Kanaloa-Kahoʻolawe
  • Most recent publications include: The Charm of Kiʻi chapter for Moʻolelo, UH Press (publihsed 2023); Embracing the sacred: an indigenous framework for tomorrows sustainability science.  Journal for Sustainability Science Special Issue. 2013; Cultivating Sacred Kinship Green readiness, response, and recovery: a collaborative synthesis. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-18x. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2017;  “Increasing Conservation Capacity by Embracing Ritual: Kuahu as a Portal to the Sacred” . Journal of Pacific Conservation Biology Special Issue: Transforming Conservation Biology Through Indigenous Perspectives. 2020.
  • Most recent ritual design & facilitation projects including, 1) ʻAha Mauna, 2) ʻAha Hoʻākua for the Hokuleʻa World Wide Voyage, 3) 2018 Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress -ʻAha ʻAwa, Opening Protocol, Daily Protocol, Closing Protocols
  • 2016 Kekuhi opened Lonoa Honua, a single owner for profit to develop & deliver professional & personal development programs such as: Ulu Ka ʻŌhiʻa-Hula Consciousness Seminar,  Hālau ʻŌhiʻa-Hawaiʻi Stewardship Training, Oli Honua Hawaii Chant training, Kāʻao: Timeless Stories, Kāmoe: Triggering Dream, and ʻIʻiwi Pōlena:  Stewardship Program for Youth. 
  • Lonoa Honua LLC programs has served individuals, institutions, and organizations, including:  OHA, DOFAW, DLNR, KS, USDA-IPIF, NOAA, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, DOE, The Nature Conservancy, UH Manoa Symphony of Hawaiʻiʻs Forests project, US Coral Reef Task Force, USGS-Hawaiʻi Island, PKO, Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference,
  • Lonoa Honua LLC co-creates the ʻIkuwā Fest, a collaboration with Nā ʻOhana Waʻa and ʻImloa Astronomy Center.
  • We are in the 3rd year of the Edith Kanakaʻole World Oli Festival 2023 (formerly known as World Oli Movement) a unique Hybrid multi-day event highlighting the depth and breadth of OLI.
  • One of Kekuhiʻs passionʻs is strengthening the relationship between Hawaiʻi ecological wisdom and scientific wisdom. Kekuhi served as the Senior Scholar at The Kohala Center for 20 years. She has the honor of working with some of Hawaiʻiʻs most passionate committed conservation and restoration organizations, individuals, and initiatives, one of them being the Kā Mauli Hou-the statewide Hawaiʻi Conservation and Restoration Initiative, the USDA Forest Service, Kekuhi continues to facilitate ways of improving how Hawaiʻi consciousness and science & technology consciousness can work in harmony for the wellbeing of Hawaiʻi.
  • In addition to hula, chant, & Hawaiʻi-ecology, Kekuhiʻs love affair with music as a way to heighten and expand vibrations of wellbeing in the world, inspired a singing career. As co-creators, Kekuhi & husband Tangaro gave birth to 3-CDs, “Hahani Mai” (Punahele Productions), and “Kekuhi”, and “Honey Boy” (MountainApple Company). She was honored with a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award as Female Vocalist of the Year in 1999, and has performed on numerous concert stages over the past 20 years. Kekuhi spends part of her music career with her daughter Kaumakaiwa Kealiikanakaole and artist & producer Shawn Kekoa Pimental. We released the single Moloka’i Jam in 2013.  Kekuhi has recently produced and released the 21st Anniversary Edition of Hahani Mai and an all new Hahani Mai: Reimagined on June 21, 2018. The most recent public release of two originals and one remake was in May 2020.