At last month’s board meeting we also recognized Kunani Nihipali, our former Board of Directors Vice-Chairman and longtime supporter for his years of service to NARF and Native Hawaiian issues.
Mr. Nihipali is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools and a longtime advocate for Native Hawaiians. He is the Vice President and Director of the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council (dba Ke Kia’i), which works to protect traditional and customary practices and build economic independence. He is also the Director of the Pacific Alliance Advisors (PA‘A) and a core group member of Aloha First, a Native Hawaiian initiative for peace and survival. In addition, Mr. Nihipali is also a director with the Pu’a Foundation.
Mr. Nihipali has also served as the Project Director and an instructor of E Hana Like (working together) programs for Kanaka children and adults through grants from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Mr. Nihipali rounds out his expertise with his awareness of farming, fishing, language, video technician work, grant writing, the arts (multi-media contemporary, traditional visual, and performing), restoration of cultural sites and rebuilding of contemporary burial and sacred sites for na iwi kupuna through the Ola Na Iwi Project.
Finally, Mr. Nihipali served as the Po’o (Head) of Hui Malama I Na Kupuna o Hawai’i Nei (Hui Malama), a group caring for the ancestors of ka pae ‘aina o Hawai’i through repatriation and reinterment. Hui Malama has conducted reburial ceremonies throughout the Hawaiian island archipelago, and based on cultural training and practice, legal standing, and national and international efforts, the group has repatriated over 5,700 iwi kupuna and moepu from thirty-one institutions in the United States, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and Scotland.
We will greatly miss Mr. Kihipali and his wife, Ipo. Thank you both for your support and dedication.