Kalaniua Ritte is the lead kiaʻi loko and site director at Keawanui. He has been working on the restoration of this ancestral marvel of technology for over 15 years and has 20 years of experience in restoring loko iʻa. This work has included leading the reconstruction of approximately 5,000 feet of stone wall, or kuapā, and the rediscovery of an ancient fresh water spring. He leads educational groups at the fishpond, helping to transmit this critical indigenous knowledge and practice to new generations, and he manages the Hui o Kuapā staff in their day-to-day efforts to envision and restore food sovereignty to the island. Kalaniua has also been a long-time advocate in the fight for public health and safety against corporate agribusiness in Hawaiʻi. All this work is part of a lifetime commitment to aloha ʻāina.
Hanohano Naehu is the educational programs coordinator and a kiaʻi loko of Keawanui. Born and raised on Moloka‘i on lands his ʻohana has stewarded for countless generations, Hanohano has become the voice, the “talking chief,” of Keawanui. A gifted orator, poet and rapper, Hano combines the traditional stories of the place with contemporary beats and language, as a means to draw youth and other visitors into the vision and work of restoring ʻāina. He is the kiaʻi who typically greets visiting groups and welcomes them through educational tours at the loko iʻa. Hanohano has used his knowledge as kia‘i loko to lobby in D.C. for Marine Monument expansion and in various parts of Oceania, such as Rapanui and Tahiti, to help Pacific Islanders in their own environmental efforts and struggles to weave together scientific technology with traditional knowledge. As he likes to say, we should “modernize without compromise,” keeping aloha ʻāina as our guiding principle.
Joseph Farber, JD, MA, is the Director of Resource Management and Strategic Planning with Hui o Kuapā. He is an urban and regional planner by training, focusing on environmental land-use planning and permitting, watersheds, wetland and island ecosystems. Over the past fifteen years, Joe has provided legal consultation to the EPA, the state, and other entities
regarding permitting and procedures for fishpond restoration. He is also the author of Ancient Hawaiian Fishponds: Can Restoration Succeed on Molokaʻi (1997) and has been an active supporter of the work of Hui o Kuapā since the 1990s. His experience in community planning, meeting facilitation, strategic plan development and grant writing provide tremendous assets to Hui o Kuapā.
Kahekili Pa-Kala is an assistant kiaʻi loko and land utilization specialist. As a former student in Keawanui educational programming from 2002-2005, Kahekili is a product of Hui o Kuapā who has returned to contribute to the growth of our programs. He joined the staff as an intern in 2015.
Hui o Kuapā board members
Joseph Farber, JD, MA
Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua, PhD