Hawaiian Cultural Support

Ceres Trust provides support for efforts that further Hawaiian knowledge, culture and the use of the Hawaiian language; the perpetuation of Hawaiian resource management and governance; and the rights of Hawaiians to environmental health, justice and sovereignty.

“Intact native communities like Molokai who provide an honored place for their kupuna (elders); cherish their kamali`i (children); maintain a sense of community and kuleana (sacred responsibility) to each other and to their place are as kīpuka (oases) in an increasingly unfriendly world. Like the kīpuka that serve as islands of abundance where vegetation gathers and bores through hardened lava beds, some native communities persist and serve to teach us how to return to ourselves and restore our relationship with each other and the natural world. These kīpuka are the seed-bearers, ready to plant the pulapula (seedlings) that come from the collective `ike (knowledge) passed from the elders. As the world grapples with the consequences of excess, it searches for these kīpuka to learn how to live pono (in right relationship).” ~Sustainable Moloka’i


Video Resources of Interest

Ka Maha ʻUlu o Koholālele - The Breadfruit Grove of Koholālele
Sustainable Molokai : “An Island in the Pandemic”

Produced by Emmy Award winning filmmaker Matt Yamashita

Awaiaulu at Washington Place 2019 - Part 1
Awaiaulu at Washington Place 2019 - Part 2
Molokai - Legacy of Aloha ‘Āina
Hui O Kuapa - Hawaiian Learning Center, Molokai
Jerry Konanui on Kalo, Biodiversity, Ancient Wisdom, and Modern Science

Stories from the Field

Ka Maha ʻUlu o Koholālele – The Breadfruit Grove of Koholālele

Ka Maha ʻUlu o Koholālele, literally translated as “the breadfruit grove of Koholālele,” is a community-led food system project transforming approximately 80 acres of former sugar plantation and current eucalyptus plantation lands in Koholālele, Hāmākua, Hawaiʻi, into Hawaiʻi’s largest regenerative ʻulu (breadfruit) agroforestry system.

Accordingly, we wanted to be very intentional about who we invited into the process of planning and planting this space. Between September – October 2021, we worked with Ola Design Group to draft a baseplan for the Kilohana section of Ka Maha ʻUlu (Figure 5), which we would utilize in November to lay out and plant our first 65 ʻulu trees.


Keawanui Updates from ‘Aina Momona

As we work to bring regenerative practices to the Kaʻamola ahupuaʻa, we try to be as innovative as possible and explore solutions to cross-cutting issues on the land and in the sea. Along the south shore of the island we have seen huge blooms of the invasive limu known as gorilla ogo. This seaweed suffocates the reef system below and kills off native limu in the area. Additionally, native fish species tend not to eat this limu.


Agricultural Updates from ‘Aina Momona

With several acres cleared at our land base Keawanui, ‘Āina Momona has been working with our partners at Māla Kaluʻulu Cooperative to develop an agricultural plan for the site that will guide our food production and land restoration efforts for the coming years. We are currently in the design phase, looking at possible concepts that will work best for our goals and landscape.


FAO Recognition for ‘Aina Momona Program Director

This month our program director Jane Au was highlighted by the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Indingeous People’s Unit for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Indigenous women are keepers of traditional knowledge that will play a crucial role in bettering the conservation and environmental movements of our time.


COVID-19 Action in Molokai

When COVID-19 first hit Hawaiʻi in early March, our team immediately took steps to prepare for the virus to hit Molokai’s shores, foreseeing that it would negatively impact the island’s access to essential items. Noting that the virus disproportionately affects elderly, indigenous and Pacific Island communities, and that Molokai has few medical resources on island, we saw the need to take action early and help prevent the spread here.


Maka’aka Farm, Waihe’e, Maui

The farm at Mākaʻaka continues to serve as a distribution point for taro huli, a food source for local families, Hawaiian cultural and taro events, a repository for unverified varieties, a monitored reverification site for in vitro plants, a field lab for recording morphological characteristics and traditional planting practices, and a classroom for high school and at-risk youth, college students and teachers, as well as the Halau o Hāloa cohort.


Aloha ‘Āina Fellows Program

‘Āina Momona created an Aloha ‘Āina Fellows Program, a land-based initiative on Molokai that works to engage emerging professionals and grow leadership capacity-building on the Island. Fellows worked with the community to collect data on the potential sale of Molokai Ranch, held informational meetings, gave professional presentations, attended weekly classes, and ran community work days at important, damaged sites in the natural environment.


‘Onipa‘a Kākou Event

‘Āina Momona organized the ‘Onipa‘a Kākou event on January 17, 2018, bringing the broader Hawaiian community together for this event, which raised awareness for several Native Hawaiian issues happening across the state. The day culminated in thousands of people joining in a day of unity to recognize the day of solemn injustice against the Native Hawaiian people 125 years ago.


Seed Festival

After attending the 2017 Seed Festival, an attendee was enthusiastic in becoming involved in growing adapted seed and was excited we would soon be making it available through the Hawai`i Seed Growers Network and Hawai`i Public Seed Initiative.


Conserving Breadfruit Diversity

Dan Rudoy, Collection Manager for the Breadfruit Institute, is a specialist in organic, holistic and regenerative farming practices. He is managing the institute’s incomparable conservation collection of 150 breadfruit varieties using regenerative agricultural practices.