Perpetuating Our Hawaiian Heritage

Wednesday - October 20, 2010 Share

By Kuuwainani Eaton, Member
Hoakalei Cultural Foundation

What is it to be a Hawaiian? If you ask kupuna Arline Wainaha Kuuleialoha Brede Eaton, she will tell you it is having a strong foundation. She also will tell you being Hawaiian is knowing who you are by having lokahi (unity), kuleana (responsibility), kokua (cooperation) and ho’ihi (respect).

A cherished cultural resource and treasure, kupuna Eaton is one of just two children to have grown up in Pu’uloa in an area now known as Iroquois Point, Ewa Beach. She is considered the most knowledgeable kupuna on the Ewa Plain, and today she also serves as president of the Hoakalei Cultural Foundation.

Established in 2006 to ensure good stewardship of the land and heritage of the Ewa Plain, the Hoakalei Cultural Foundation’s vision is to enable future generations to understand, value and respect the spirit, natural resources and heritage of the Ewa moku, and to use it to guide their lives. Toward this end, the foundation provides oversight of work to make archaeological sites within the Hoakalei Resort accessible to the community, and is actively creating partnerships with area schools and opportunities to pass on knowledge from one generation to the next.

(from left) Frances Rivero, Kuuwainani Eaton, Roxanne Adams, Arline Eaton, Alicia Maluafiti and Sharene Saito Tam at last year’s Arbor Day tree giveaway

One of the foundation’s most recently completed projects is a video capturing

kupuna Eaton’s mo’olelo, or stories, of the Ewa moku from traditional Hawaiian times to the present. This oral history will be used to fulfill our mission to provide students, residents and visitors the opportunity to learn and gain a deeper appreciation for native Hawaiian culture, traditions, plant life and archaeology.

Additionally, on Saturday, Nov. 6, the Hoakalei Cultural Foundation will once again host its annual Arbor Day tree giveaway and landscaping workshop, providing participants the opportunity to learn to plant and grow native species. Advanced registration is required.

These are just a few initiatives of our organization that will help others gain a better understanding of Hawaii and build a stronger cultural foundation. For more information or to make a donation, please visit


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