Our canoe is an island; 0ur island is a canoe

Ola ʻo Maui Nui! Watch how the 1,200 students of Kamehameha Schools Maui were inspired by Hōkūleʻa’s decades of voyaging. The canoe’s worldwide sail and message of Mālama Honua pushed the students to find ways to make Maui Nui thrive again. The waʻa’s travels brought these students to awareness about the interconnectedness of our world’s people and our ecosystems, and so they decided to spend the day both ma uka and ma kai. They greeted Hōkūleʻa in the morning, and then haumāna went into the uplands above Honolua Bay, where they helped the Maui community plant 5,000 native plants and learned what it meant to “plant canoes.”

Planting native plants is an investment in our future. It is the haumāna’s keiki and moʻopuna who will enjoy the literal hua, or fruits/seeds, of their labor. The windswept red dirt will be transformed back into a native forest that nourishes birds, insects, plants, and even our lāhui.

“We keep good thoughts while we’re planting these trees. Today we came to plant canoes. You’re not planting a koa tree, you’re planting a waʻa.”

Kainoa Pestana, Field Tech, Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve