I ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope. “The time in front, the time in back” is used to describe the Hawaiian traditional practice of looking to the time and people that have come before us as the source of knowledge that will carry us into the future. Our kūpuna held invaluable ʻike and thrived in this rugged landscape of Kapalilua and Miloliʻi has careful management of environmental resources according to the rhythms of the natural environment. The kūpuna who came before us remained committed to the cultural values and traditional practices they have taught us, that have sustained our community for generations, and that of which we carry the kuleana going forward. The strict adherence to practices that incorporate natural patterns to maintain a healthy ecosystem so our community could thrive was embedded in the konohiki and ahupuaʻa management systems. What exists today is not a blueprint of the past, however over time (from past to when the konohiki rights got bought out) there were many changes to the laws and government so konohiki and konohiki fishing rights have evolved over the years.
Since 2018, a few of our Miloliʻi ʻohana have been committed to returning to these practices and learning about the natural rhythms and cycles and have been training as apprentices under the keen guidance of Uncle Mac Poepoe from Molokai. Mohala Nā Konohiki (MNK) was co-developed by Uncle Mac and Kēhau Springer to define the next generation of konohiki relevant for today, by providing a space to train apprentices in monitoring techniques and ways to analyze and conceptualize ecosystem function and health for the nearshore fisheries that is grounded in ʻike Hawaiʻi.
Over the last five years, we have deepened our understanding and knowledge of the seasonal cycles of fish and invertebrates. We have developed a more intimate connection and appreciation of these resources. In this journey, we not only were able to bring forth the wisdom of our kūpuna, but we were able to look at contemporary ways to evaluate the health and abundance of our oceans. We recently got unanimous approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) to codify the rules and regulations found in the Miloliʻi Marine Management Plan (MMP) and will soon be signed by the Governor. This has been a tremendous feat started over 30 years ago, but as we enter into the phase of implementing the MMP, we will continue to hold these traditions by building upon these strong foundations and continuing to find adaptive solutions and guidance to manage our nearshore fisheries.
To continue the traditions of konohiki values, principles and practices in Miloliʻi by maintaining the space of active learning for the next generation of aloha ʻāina, kiaʻi ʻāina and konohiki of Miloliʻi.
Please note that our programming doesn't operate only on the DOE school schedule. Because we have adult learners in our program, we are able to conduct training and monitoring during all times over the course of the year. So many times we structure our training and monitoring according to what nature is telling us. We are guided by the moon and the season. Some of the training and learning experiences can happen in sync with the DOE schedule, but you will also note that we have a placeholder for our monitoring and training to happen on 1 day from a selection of days (because we are targeting certain moon phases and tides).
The Mohala Nā Konohiki Miloliʻi experiences and apprentices are the backbone and foundation for the Miloliʻi Marine Management Plan and Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area. The apprentices are the eyes and ears of what is happening on land (w/ fishers, keiki, ʻohana) but also what is happening in the kai (understanding fish behavior, cycles, currents). So the MNK apprentices will be training and monitoring regularly throughout the whole year. Please see the schedule below that is based on the moon and seasons.
Fall 2022 Dates
Sep. 20-22 (1 day) MNK Survey & Monitoring
Oct. 1-9 (3 days overnight) MNK Training Jr. Apprentice Recruit
Oct. 21-23 (1 day) MNK Survey & Monitoring w/ Jr. apprentice
Nov 7-9 (1 day) MNK Survey & Monitoring
Nov. 12 (1 day) MNK Community Lā ʻOhana
Dec. 5-7 (1 day) MNK Survey & Monitoring
The Mohala Nā Konohiki apprenticeship does not have an open, public enrollment. The role and function is rooted in ʻohana and lineal descendants of Miloliʻi. However, the MNK apprentices will be opening up quarterly monitoring and training opportunities to the community and invited organizations.