Interior Department’s Office of Native Hawaiian Relations Awards $1 Million in NATIVE Act Grants to Native Hawaiian Organizations

Eight Native Hawaiian organizations awarded in 2023 under the Office's HŌʻIHI Program.

Last edited 09/29/2023
Contact Information

Kaʻaleleo Wong, HŌʻIHI Grant Manager, ONHR (

Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The Department of the Interior’s Office of Native Hawaiian Relations is pleased to announce the awarding of $1 million in grants to eight Native Hawaiian organizations to implement the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act. Funding enables Indigenous communities to participate in national tourism goals and strategies, while seeking to enhance and integrate native tourism, empower native communities, and expand unique cultural tourism opportunities. 

"The HŌʻIHI grant is meant to encourage a tourism model that accurately showcases Native Hawaiian culture and traditions while providing protection and awareness for Hawaiʻi’s natural and cultural resources," said Ka‘aleleo Wong, HŌʻIHI Grant Manager with the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations (ONHR). "Grant awardees for 2023 exemplify Hawaiʻi’s overall movement towards regenerative tourism, with projects assisting in enhancing Native Hawaiian Community involvement, and presenting culturally mindful education opportunities for kamaʻāina and visitors alike.” 

The Hawaiian value of hōʻihi (respect), reflected in the ʻōlelo noʻeau (Hawaiian proverb) “E hōʻihi aku, e hōʻihi mai,” meaning “show respect, get respect” represents the core principle of ONHR’s Heritage Opportunities in Hawaiʻi (HŌʻIHI) Program. Through showing respect, visitors can then be welcomed as guests with a shared kuleana (responsibility) in perpetuating the values and importance of Native Hawaiian traditional knowledge and cultural practices. 

The eight NHOs awarded HŌʻIHI grants in 2023 are: 

  • NHO:  Hāna Arts  

    Project:  Hāna Noʻeau: A Native Hawaiian Arts & Culture Education Program 

    Description:  To create inclusive educational opportunities targeting the students of Hāna High School and Elementary School as well as the wider community by offering open cultural and art exhibitions, and events, at the community space known as the Art Barn, as well as organizing performances and workshops at public events such as the Hāna Farmers Market and Festivals of Aloha on Maui.   

  • NHO:  Hawaiʻi Land Trust  

    Project:  Hawaiʻi Land Trust Cultural & Ecological Preservation & Education programs at community preserves on Oʻahu, Maui, and Kauaʻi 

    Description:  Increase resident and visitor connection to four HILT community preserves totaling 385 acres in Kīlauea, Kaua‘i, Waihe‘e and Kaupō, Maui, and Hau‘ula, O‘ahu. 

  • NHO:  Hiʻipaka LLC. 

    Project:  Hōʻihi no Waimea 

    Description:  This award is a project extension to educate visitors to Waimea Valley, Oʻahu about traditional Native Hawaiian cultural practices by engaging them in authentic, interactive cultural activities providing an enriched understanding of and appreciation for Native Hawaiian culture. 

  • NHO:  Hōlani Hāna 

    Project: Kāhea a Ka‘uiki 

    Description:  To grow the community’s understanding of Ka‘uiki’s cultural, spiritual, environmental, and social significance while building a strong foundation for community-led tourism interventions in Hāna, Maui that nurture a more regenerative and reciprocal experience for residents and visitors alike. 

  • NHO:  Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi 

    Project:  Māhuahua ʻAi o Hoi 

    Description:  To conduct workshops at the Heʻeia, Oʻahu farm site engaging visitors and community in experiences in hands-on loʻi management activities and workshops on Hawaiian agriculture and ʻāina management. 

  • NHO:  Mālama Loko Ea Foundation 

    Project: Holole‘a Wahi Pana & Kele A‘o Program 

    Description:  To provide a variety of culturally informed visitor experiences including community and visitor workdays, hosted community events featuring music, food, and local vendors, and virtual tours which allow visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history, culture, and life of Loko Ea fishpond in Haleʻiwa, Oʻahu. 

  • NHO:  The Kohala Center

    Project:  Mālama Kahaluʻu: Guiding respectful engagement with a cherished place 

    Description:  Enhance resilience at Kahaluʻu Bay, Hawaiʻi by increasing respectful engagement of the nearshore reef area by community and visitors through four essential ʻāina stewardship practices: hoʻolauna, kilo, hana and moʻolelo.  

  • NHO: Waimea Hawaiian Homestead Association 

    Project:  Aloha Festivals, Island of Hawaiʻi 

    Description:  To celebrate Hawaiian culture, language, arts, and traditional Hawaiian customary practices by engaging in several island-wide makahiki-like events and contests such as the Paniolo Festival Event, The Waimea Akulikuli Festival Event, Moananui Ocean Festival Event, Hole Waimea Hula Competition Event and The Kūhiō Ball Event. 

For more information about the HŌʻIHI Grant Program and ONHR, please visit ONHR’s website at:  



Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment