History of Mana Maoli

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MANA MAOLI – The non-profit

Founded in 1999, Mana Maoli is a collective of educators, artists, musicians, cultural practitioners, community organizers, and families who share a common vision of, and action toward, community empowerment through our three primary purposes:

  1. Community-based education and awareness.
  2. Pooling and sharing of resources.
  3. Sustainability at both the environmental and economic levels, as well as at the self and community level.

In the year 2000, Mana Maoli began the process of becoming a formal 501(c)3 non-profit organization. In the years 2000 and 2001, a number of notable achievements occurred: a significant, 3 year federal grant was secured for developing and implementing culture-based curriculum, and our status as both a non-profit and public charter school was approved. The Mana Maoli ‘ohana’s priority and focus from that point on was to plan, start up, and grow this public charter school. Conceptually, Mana Maoli is the people, and Hālau Kū Māna the place, of our learning ‘ohana. Mana Maoli also became the official name of the supporting non-profit, and Hālau Kū Māna became the name of the public charter school, which opened its doors in August of 2001. Both our nonprofit and public charter school share the same vision and mission statement, verbatim.

Hālau Kū Mānaʻs opening year (2001-02) also marked the beginnings of what evolved to become the ʻMaoli Musicʻ program and the ʻMana Maoli Collectiveʻ, which in turn evolved to become the Mana Mele Project and the Mana Mele Collective.  Click here to learn the back story.

In 2002, a double-hulled sailing canoe named Kānehūnāmoku was born. A related sailing canoe program began – first at HKM, then expanding over the years to serve sibling charter schools and other Hawaiian youth serving organizations, such as Nā Pua Noʻeau, Queen Liliʻuokalani Childrenʻs Center, and Kamehameha Schools. Substantial growth over the years warranted the program forming its own nonprofit, Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy. This transition occurred in 2013. From this point, Mana Maoli shifted its focus to the Mana Mele Project, while continuing to provide facilities and funding/program support to Halau Ku Mana.

MANA : nvs. Supernatural or divine power, miraculous power; a powerful nation, authorization, privilege; miraculous, divinely powerful, spiritual.

MAOLI : vs. Native, indigenous, genuine, true, real, actual; very, really, truly. Hawaiian native

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