Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories from Molokai

Can a CBSFA Bring Us Together?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

Opinion By Eric Co

To support a Community-based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) at Mo’omomi for me is not an effort to disrespect those who oppose it. Despite the issues, we are still neighbors, friends, and family who all want to do right by this island, even if we disagree on the right way to do it.

Especially now, in this heightened time of vulnerability and uncertainty, we recognize how reliant we are on our resources. Our fisheries in particular are Hawaii’s greatest source of protein. This is an important moment to consider how we will ensure their sustainability now and for future generations.…

Impacts of COVID-19 Among Native Hawaiians

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

By Dr. Landon Opunui, ND

The United Nations has warned indigenous populations that they may be at a disproportionately high risk of being impacted by COVID-19 because of preexisting health inequalities.

Across the nation, there is strong evidence showing Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI), defined as people having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Guam or other Pacific Islands, are at greater risk of being infected and of having severe symptoms compared to other United States racial populations including African American, Asian, Latino and Caucasian.

This should raise alarms for the island of Molokai as it has the highest number of Native Hawaiians per capita of all the Hawaiian Islands, excluding Niʻihau.…

Register for Online Keiki Program

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

Register for Online Keiki Program

By Kumu Maile Naehu

Finally! Ka Hale Hoaka is open for registration! The Keiki Program, level 1, taught by Kumu Maile Naehu, will introduce olelo, mele, mo’olelo, oli, weekly worksheets and activities related to the lessons! It’s a 16 online session class that runs for eight weeks. Once you register for the program you will not only get lifetime access to the keiki program — which is perfect for beginning learners of all ages, but you will also be able to access the seven sessions that I just completed. So that’s 23 lessons for $97! We also have a three-payment plan option.…

Your May Day

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

Your May Day

Mahalo to all who sent us your photos for our May Day contest! We couldn’t choose just one, so here are a few of our favorites, with some words from the photographers.


Submitted by Jessica Sanchez:
Aloha from Kalaupapa! Jessica Sanchez and Albert Espaniola with dogs Hulali and Hooch.



Submitted by Eugene Santiago:
I’d like to submit this photo I took on the beach… to recognize the Hinahina for its subtle beauty that gets overlooked many times, just because it’s a ground cover. I discovered its beauty after being curious and getting on my knees to get a real close up look and what I saw was truly amazing.…

May Day Photo Contest

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

May Day Photo Contest

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

With schools closed and May Day celebrations this year cancelled, we still want to see how you’re observing Lei Day! Maybe you made a spectacular lei to gift, maybe you’re wearing one with your mask. Maybe your dog is even sporting some pua! Whatever it is, share it with us for a chance to have your photo featured on our front page. Please email us your photo to editor@themolokaidispatch.com or tag @molokaidispatch in your Facebook post by Saturday, May 2 at 4 p.m. and show us your Lei Day celebrations!…

Online Hawaiian Cultural Lessons

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Online Hawaiian Cultural Lessons

Ka Hale Hoaka News Release

Parents seeking to transform “shelter-in-place” into a cultural learning adventure will be happy to discover Ka Hale Hoaka, taught by Molokai’s Maile Naehu. This new learning environment offers lessons in Hawaiian language and culture designed for students aged 5 through 11. Learners of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and places of residence are warmly welcomed. Although the introductory course began on March 31, registration remains open for the remainder of the free Introductory Series, held online at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 16. Register at kahalehoaka.com or visit Ka Hale Hoaka on Facebook for details.…

Survival on Molokai

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

I share the vision and belief for survival of our life on Molokai. Farm, plant coconut, ulu, kalo, banana from our Polynesian heritage. King Kamehameha V’s vision and message to all of us was to farm, plant coconut trees, the tree of life and survival.

Look around – what is happening to life in the world?

Farm, plant our Polynesian heritage food. Create art: beautiful edible landscaping, happy fun financial hobbies. All lands are sacred, same time our survival depends on using them. That’s what the earth is all about for mankind. With care and respect, Molokai, recognize what you have.…

Ghostbusters of Kalaupapa

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa
I was here in my easy chair, where I tend to think better, when they burst onto the scene. Some were carrying white buckets while others were toting back tanks from which hoses protruded. They looked like ghostbusters. I wondered if they had been sent here by the Board of Health to fumigate the church property or perhaps the resident pastor himself. Then I recognized their supervisor was Kaohulani. So I felt safe to go out to meet and greet them.
In actuality, these “ghostbusters” are a group of students from the University of Hawaii at Hilo on Hawaii Island.…

Standing for the Mauna

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

Standing for the Mauna

“Ku Kia’i Mauna!” chanted about 1,000 Molokai residents gathered at Kaunakakai Ball Park last Friday evening, standing in support of Mauna Kea, opposing construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Hawaii Island. Carrying hand painted signs and upside-down Hawaii flags, keiki to kupuna, primarily of Native Hawaiian descent, stood together in a show of solidarity. Gathering leaders encouraged aloha and positivity, reminding the crowd of the historical importance of the moment.

“We are making history,” said resident Zhantell Lindo, who led the event. “Hawaii will never be the same because of what we did today.”

“Kia’i,” or “protectors,” as those who oppose TMT call themselves, formed a huge mountain-shaped triangle on the ball field.…

Teacher Pushes for Native Acknowledgement

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Teacher Pushes for Native Acknowledgement

Molokai teacher Uluhani Waialeale of Kualapu’u Public Conversion Charter School was instrumental in helping to pass an important measure for Native Hawaiians at the National Education Association (NEA)’s recent assembly in Houston, Texas.

New Business Item 64 proposed, “At the beginning of all NEA convenings, NEA will acknowledge the native people of whom this land originated.”

The proposal resonated with many teachers from Hawaii. Waialeale said when she first saw the item on the agenda, she gathered fellow Hawaii teachers together and reached out to Martin Thompson, a delegate with the California Teachers Association who initiated the proposal. They strategized how to get the business item passed, and it ended up getting unanimous support.…