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Kapapahuliau Climate Resilience Program

To enhance the ability of the Native Hawaiian Community to navigate the effects of climate change in ways that maintain the integrity and identity of the Native Hawaiian people while also maintaining and enhancing their capacity for coping, adaptation, and transformation.

North Shore, Oʻahu Coastal Flooding

Waves wash over Kamehameha Highway along the North Shore, Oʻahu.  PC: 4th National Climate Assessment, Chapter 27 Hawaii-Pacific Islands, USGCRP, 2018

The Office of Native Hawaiian Relations (ONHR), a dedicated office under the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, has announced a $20 million climate resilience initiative funded by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.  
Named for the imagery of navigating changing winds and currents on a Hawaiian voyaging waʻa (canoe), the Kapapahuliau Climate Resilience Program aims to enhance the ability of the Native Hawaiian Community to navigate the effects of climate change in ways that maintain their integrity and identity as a people. 

Notices and Media Releases

DOI Media Release

White House Announces Establishment of Kapapahuliau Climate Resilience Program

20231114 NHC Leaders Kapapahuliau Letter 508 Final [pdf]

Funding Categories

This funding opportunity includes the following three (3) distinct and exclusive financial assistance categories:

1.    Kiakahi (Individual NHO) – Named for a single-masted sailing canoe, Kiakahi applicants are those who propose a single project resulting in outcomes that support the applicant and the constituents it serves.

2.    ʻAuwaʻa (NHO Collaboration) – Named for a fleet of sailing canoes, ʻAuwaʻa applicants are those that represent a group of identified partners collaborating on a joint project with shared outcomes.  The NHO applicant for an ʻAuwaʻa award is considered the lead organization responsible for reporting and cost accounting requirements for the collaborative partnership. Collaborations may be comprised of partner organizations that serve the needs and interests from:

  • A particular area [e.g., ahupuaʻa (land tract), moku (district), mokupuni (island)]; 
  • An association of member organizations; and/or
  • A particular community of practice [e.g., agriculture, aquaculture, arts, health, etc.].

3.    Hoʻokele (NHO Grant-Maker) – Named for the helmsman or navigator of a canoe, Hoʻokele applicants are those who have the administrative capacity and experience to provide financial and technical assistance to sub-recipient NHOs (sub-recipient NHOs must meet the same eligibility requirements as recipient NHOs) from underserved or disadvantaged communities that need assistance but often lack the administrative capacity to be successful in a competitive grant environment.  Sub-recipient NHOs may be from: 

  • A particular area [e.g., ahupuaʻa (land tract), moku (district), mokupuni (island)]; 
  • An association of member organizations; and/or
  • A particular community of practice [e.g., agriculture, aquaculture, arts, health, etc.].
Financial Assistance Award Amounts

Maximum Award
Category 1: Kiakahi (Individual) – $1,000,000
Category 2: ʻAuwaʻa (Collaborative) – $2,000,000
Category 3: Hoʻokele (Grant-Maker) – $ 5,000,000    

Minimum Award 
Category 1: Kiakahi (Individual) – $100,000
Category 2: ʻAuwaʻa (Collaborative) – $500,000
Category 3: Hoʻokele (Grant-Maker) – $ 2,000,000

Duration / Period of Performance:
12 - 60 Months

Who Can Apply?

For this financial assistance opportunity, applicants for all Financial Assistance Categories (Kiakahi, ʻAuwaʻa, and Hoʻokele) must meet the following definition of, and criteria for, a “Native Hawaiian Organization.” 

“Native Hawaiian Organization” or “NHO” means a non-profit organization* — 

  • (A) that principally serves or benefits the Native Hawaiian Community,** 
  • (B) that is composed primarily of Native Hawaiians,*** who also control or serve in substantive leadership and decision-making roles; and 
  • (C) that has demonstrated expertise in Native Hawaiian heritage, economic development, health and well-being, self-governance, or natural and cultural resources management.  

* Non-profit organization, per 2 CFR 200.1 means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization, not including institutions of higher education (IHEs), that:  

  • Is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purposes in the public interest;
  • Is not organized primarily for profit; and 
  • Uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operations of the organization.

**Native Hawaiian Community means the distinct Native Hawaiian indigenous political community that Congress, exercising its plenary power over Native American affairs, has recognized and with which Congress has implemented a special political and trust relationship.  

***Native Hawaiian means any individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawai‘i.

All applicants are required to include in their application submission, per Section D of the NOFO, an attestation or certification signed by a duly authorized NHO representative (such as the Executive Director, CEO, or Board of Directors) acknowledging that the NHO meets the definition and criteria of an NHO specified above. For Category 2 (ʻAuwaʻa) and 3 (Hoʻokele) awardees, all partners NHOs and subawardees, respectively must indicate and include such an attestation.

*Note* Registration on the Department of the Interior’s Native Hawaiian Organization Notification List or the Department’s Homestead & Beneficiary Associations List, or designation as a Native Hawaiian Organization owning a Native Hawaiian 8(a) small business 8a Crs Report [pdf]  do not automatically make an NHO eligible for the Kapapahuliau program. Please see Section C of the NOFO for specific eligibility requirements.

Where Can I Apply?

NHOs interested in applying must be registered in  Grant applications are solicited through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) under CFDA/Assistance Listing 15.098 published through the website. Applications must be submitted electronically through no later than 6:59 p.m., Hawaiʻi Standard Time (HST), on the due date.  To download the notice of funding and/or apply, click here to visit assistance listing D24AS00098 in

DO NOT WAIT! Register in and as soon as possible. Finalizing these registrations could take a month or more. You do not want a late registration to prevent you from being able to properly and timely submit your application through 

Who Do I Contact for Technical Assistance?

For direct technical assistance as well as connections to other resources, email

Additional References and Resources

Additional Kapapahuliau Frequently Asked Questions Page


Pre-Proposal Informational Sessions
 ONHR hosted two 120-minute virtual pre-proposal informational sessions providing an overview of the Kapapahuliau Program and addressed questions for interested NHOs.  No future informational sessions are currently planned, however you may view the video recording of the presentation below.

Overview presentation slides:

ONHR Technical Assistance,

Deadline to apply for Kapapahuliau:
Thursday, February 29, 2024.   

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