On October 22, 2010, the 20th anniversary of stopping the bombing of Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe, presents the opportunity to reflect on what has been accomplished over the last 20 years and what is planned for Kaho‘olawe’s future.
The Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana (‘Ohana) together with the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) worked to restore the island’s cultural and natural resources. More than 6,000 cultural practitioners, families, students, teachers and community groups were taken to Kaho‘olawe to experience the island and learn how be good stewards of the ‘āina. ‘Ohana members, volunteers and KIRC staff rededicated cultural sites, built new ones, and revived traditional cultural ceremonies. All this as a new generation steps forward to take responsibility to be kahu ‘āina and ‘ohana for Kaho‘olawe.
Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe is in transition at this time. Under Hawai‘i law, the state of Hawai‘i holds the island in trust for eventual transfer to the sovereign Hawaiian entity when it is reestablished and recognized by the federal and state governments. Passage of the Akaka Bill begins the process that realizes the transfer of Kaho`olawe.
The ‘Ohana will kick off the Year of Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe, from October 22, 2010 to October 22, 2011, with a celebration on Friday October 22nd at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa Center for Hawaiian Studies Halau O Haumea from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm. The event is free and the public is invited.
The program will honor ‘Ohana members Geoge Helm and Kimo Mitchell, who gave their lives for the island, and all the members of the ‘Ohana who perservered for 14 long years after their disappearance to finally stop the bombing of the Kaho‘olawe. Organizers of the event plan to unveil a cultural plan that reestablishes Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe to its original sacred status as an center for learning indigenous Hawaiian knowledge – of the universe, the earth and all living things.