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Na Pili Wai

Malama Loko Ea Foundation

Haleiwa, Waialua, Oahu

Pre-K, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Post-high / College, Mākua & Kūpuna, All ages

Summer 2023

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Our children and families are so fortunate to be able to participate and learn in this special environment. What we have learned and gained from our time at Loko Ea has enriched our lives and our communities.


The Nā Pili Wai program provides students with quality Hawaiian-culture-based education that centers ʻāina and wahi kūpuna, strengthening sense of place and kuleana to Hawaiʻi. Keiki are taught important ʻōiwi values of aloha, kuleana, laulima, hōʻihi, and mālama ʻāina, and apply these values each day of the program through restorative ʻāina-based activities.

By creating a space for keiki to learn and practice these important values, keiki are able to begin developing the skills necessary to become future ʻōiwi leaders. One example of this is culminated in the action of building an imu-traditional pit oven, which in turn feeds their ʻohana and community on the final day of the program. The building of the imu requires each keiki to focus their intentions and work together for the purpose of feeding themselves and their ʻohana.

ʻĀina stewardship is essential to physical, emotional, and cultural restoration of a wahi pana–sacred Hawaiian space, and to kanaka.The Nā Pili Wai program introduces keiki, ranging from kindergarten to post-high, to ʻāina through hands-on activities that focus on developing a foundation and understanding of the natural world. Everyone has different levels of comfortability with ʻāina that stems from their ʻohana practices. Some of that ʻike has been lost or has faded in some ʻohana, but programs such as Lawaiʻa Camp are meant to hold space to reconnect ʻohana and keiki to ʻōiwi values, practices, and ʻike.

Through learning moʻolelo and cultural practices that acknowledge all that came before them, keiki develop a strengthened sense of place and belonging. The returns of reconnecting people with ʻāina and instilling the kuleana we have as kanaka are numerous. It is imperative that we restore our native ecosystems and build healthy kaiāulu for the future generations and landscapes to exist.

ʻOhana are grounded in NH culture and are highly engaged in and advocate for their keiki/ʻōpio in all settings.

Through the Nā Pili Wai program the keiki become the kumu for their ohana. This program allowed the keiki to learn about NH practices through Loko Ea and at the end the keiki were the ones to teach and feed their ohana. Advocacy and support by both mākua and keiki for the perpetuation of nohona Hawaiʻi. One example of this is through the Hōʻike ʻOhana Day, where ʻOhana are invited to participate with their keiki at Loko ea. ʻŌpio share their experiences as well as new found skills and knowledge with their parents while doing mālama ʻāina projects.

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