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Join Discussions of the 2026 Strategic Plan for Kanaloa Kaho`olawe on Tuesday

I Ola Kanaloa News Release

I Ola Kanaloa! Life to Kanaloa! Community gatherings are being organized throughout the islands to premier a new film about the island of Kanaloa Kaho’olawe and launch discussions about the Draft 2026 Strategic Plan for Kanaloa called “I Ola Kanaloa!”

The 30-minute film about the island of Kanaloa Kaho’olawe is part of and eight part series called Standing On Sacred Ground by filmmaker Toby McLeod. The overall series tells eight distinct stories from the viewpoints of diverse indigenous communities — stories that evoke ancient and contemporary spiritual connections to earth, while exploring how the health of our global environment can be sustained through respectful understanding of the sacred lands and traditions of these native peoples. The segment on Kanaloa Kaho`olawe that will premier to island communities shows how Native Hawaiian ecological and spiritual practices are used to restore the island after 50 years of military use as a weapons testing range.

The film will be the opening for the presentation and discussion of the new draft 2026 Strategic Plan for Kanaloa Kaho`olawe. The event on Molokai will be on Tuesday Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Kulana `Oiwi Halau in Kalama`ula.

“Our sacred island, the love and sacrifices made by our kupuna and George Helm and Kimo Mitchell to stop the desecration of our ‘āina and the careful work to heal the island are depicted in this film,” said Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli, one of the founders of the Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana. “Our planning team believes that the film provides the perfect background to engage in discussions of how we envision Kanaloa Kaho`olawe by 2026.” (See the plan at iolakanaloa.org)

The year 2026 will commemorate 50 years since Native Hawaiians and the people of Hawai‘i first landed on the island and began the struggle for the return of Kaho`olawe. In targeting this milestone anniversary, the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC), Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana (PKO) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) joined together to hold 14 focus group discussions with 206 participants on six islands from June through November 2013.

“The suggestions for programs and action projects from the participants were incorporated into this first draft of the plan,” said KIRC Executive Director, Michael Naho`opi`i. “Now we seek input from the broadest areas of our island communities about these programs and projects and will ask for help to implement them.”

“The public is encouraged to attend, participate and consider the strategic plan draft so that, together, we can create and realize a common vision for the Kaho`olawe Island Reserve,” said Aluli.

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