Kamalani Hurley floral

‘Eia ko‘u mana‘o

Reflections of a Native Hawaiian writer

Kamalani Hurley florals
Kamalani Hurley floral

‘Eia ko‘u mana‘o

Reflections of a Native Hawaiian writer

Kamalani Hurley florals

Interview with American Library Association President Lessa Pelayo-Lozada

Pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion, Native Hawai­ian Lessa Kananiʻop­ua Pelayo-Loza­da is a war­rior. With politi­cized book bans on the rise, the nation’s librar­i­ans bat­tle to pro­tect intel­lec­tu­al free­dom. Lessa works to strength­en the ALA’s com­mit­ment of keep­ing the nation’s libraries as safe spaces that offer every­one — regard­less of their socio-eco­nom­ic sta­tus — free and equal access to news, infor­ma­tion, and edu­ca­tion. The fight is daunt­ing, but Lessa and are all in:

We are resisters at our core. We pro­tect all our patrons, uphold intel­lec­tu­al free­dom, and serve our com­mu­ni­ties. Yes, the wins we see every day are a reward, but know­ing that we have resist­ed for yet anoth­er day and con­tin­ue to pro­vide that safe space is a reward in and of itself for me, and I hope for all of you as well.  — Lessa Pelayo-Loza­da, Amer­i­can Libraries Magazine

Lessa is the first Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander to be elect­ed pres­i­dent of the ALA. She is also the youngest per­son ever elect­ed to that posi­tion. We are grate­ful that this hard-work­ing, ded­i­cat­ed leader made some time to talk sto­ry with us. 

Con­grat­u­la­tions on your elec­tion to pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Librar­i­ans Asso­ci­a­tion! For those who haven’t met you, could you please tell us a lit­tle about yourself?

I am a mixed-race, con­ti­nent born and raised Native Hawai­ian woman from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. I’ve been in pub­lic libraries since 2007 and have worked as library page, clerk, Children’s Librar­i­an, Teen Librar­i­an, and now am the Adult Ser­vices Assis­tant Man­ag­er at the Palos Verdes Library Dis­trict in South­ern California.

I am the cur­rent Pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion and am a past Pres­i­dent and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Asian/Pacific Amer­i­can Librar­i­ans Asso­ci­a­tion. I have also served as a board mem­ber for the Cen­ter for the Study of Mul­ti­cul­tur­al Children’s Lit­er­a­ture for the last ten years and con­tribute to our best books list annually.

I used to dance hula for Kaulana Ka Hale Kula ‘O Nā Pua ‘O Ka ‘Āina in Tor­rance, Cal­i­for­nia, and am a cur­rent mem­ber of the Hawai’i’s Daugh­ters Guild of Cal­i­for­nia. My hus­band, Chris­t­ian Loza­da, and I co-authored the book Hawai­ians in Los Ange­les from Arca­dia Press.

Where did you grow up? What high school did you grad from?

I’m born and raised in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, in the cities of Tor­rance and Gar­de­na. I went to Bish­op Mont­gomery High School in Torrance.

Go Knights! Have you always want­ed to be a librar­i­an? When did you real­ize that being a librar­i­an was your calling?

Orig­i­nal­ly I want­ed to be an ele­men­tary school teacher, teach­ing either kinder­garten or sec­ond grade. While I was work­ing at Bor­ders Books, I met a num­ber of librar­i­ans from the Los Ange­les Pub­lic Library who showed me that librar­i­an­ship was a viable career path – one I thought I would fol­low after I would spend time teach­ing. After two days in the teacher cre­den­tial pro­gram, how­ev­er, I knew for sure that librar­i­an­ship was my call­ing and start­ed work­ing as a page that same sum­mer and have nev­er looked back!

What made you decide to run for the ALA’s high­est office?

Two things:

First, as an ALA Exec­u­tive Board mem­ber from 2017–2020 and chair of the Steer­ing Com­mit­tee on Orga­ni­za­tion­al Effec­tive­ness from 2018–2020, I iden­ti­fied the need for ALA’s struc­tures to change and become more nim­ble in today’s chang­ing world. The work I began as an EB mem­ber I hoped to fin­ish as pres­i­dent, and I am hap­py to say that we have got­ten a num­ber of things accom­plished dur­ing my year, such as mod­ern­iz­ing the ALA bylaws which will go to a full mem­ber vote this spring.

Sec­ond, the pan­dem­ic and all the ways that library work­ers were show­ing up for their com­mu­ni­ties inspired me to run for Pres­i­dent. As a front fac­ing library work­er, I saw all the ways that we need­ed ALA to show up for us, but as some­one who under­stands the capac­i­ties of ALA, I also knew that the cur­rent struc­ture couldn’t sup­port the labor needs of library work­ers. I ran to push the enve­lope in work­ing on for­ti­fy­ing the ALA struc­tures that can sup­port these needs, such as the ALA-Allied Pro­fes­sion­al Asso­ci­a­tion, a com­pan­ion orga­ni­za­tion to ALA. Although the process has been slow, we’ve been mak­ing progress in this realm.

What are some of the biggest chal­lenges that librar­i­ans face today?

The biggest chal­lenge fac­ing libraries, library work­ers, and librar­i­ans today are book chal­lenges. The unprece­dent­ed num­ber of book chal­lenges and the tox­i­c­i­ty and harass­ment of library work­ers around these book chal­lenges is cre­at­ing dif­fi­cult and impos­si­ble work­ing con­di­tions for many across the coun­try. To help com­bat book bans, I encour­age folks to vis­it uniteagainstbookbans.org and explore ways they can fight back. We can’t do this alone as library work­ers – we need the pub­lic to join in this fight!

What are your great­est strengths that you bring to the ALA and its membership?

One of the great­est strengths I bring are my val­ues of kuleana and kōkua. My com­mit­ment to library work­ers and libraries is root­ed in these two val­ues and help me to keep per­spec­tive on the long road ahead towards being spaces of life­long learn­ing, edu­ca­tion, and true inclu­sion when it comes to access to infor­ma­tion and I believe allow me to com­mu­ni­cate a spe­cif­ic vision that can be shared by ALA mem­bers everywhere.

I also can facil­i­tate a great meet­ing and work hard to ensure all voic­es and nec­es­sary stake­hold­ers are includ­ed in deci­sion mak­ing, mod­el­ing the inclu­sion that I hope we all embrace.

What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

Learn­ing new things! Whether it is learn­ing some­thing through a ref­er­ence inter­ac­tion, learn­ing a new song for sto­ry time, or learn­ing anoth­er person’s sto­ry, it’s impos­si­ble to get through a day as a librar­i­an with­out learn­ing some­thing new – and some­thing you might not have sought out to learn on your own!

Dur­ing your cam­paign, you received many endorse­ments. What does this recog­ni­tion mean to you?

The num­ber of endorse­ments and sup­port I received dur­ing my cam­paign was a huge hon­or and a tes­ta­ment to the rela­tion­ships I try to devel­op in doing work on behalf of the asso­ci­a­tion. Even if I didn’t win the pres­i­den­cy, know­ing that I had all of those peo­ple to do great work with in the future, and have done great work with in the past was a big win.

Can you share a bit of your cur­rent work?

Right now I am focus­ing most of my time on my role as ALA Pres­i­dent which includes being the pri­ma­ry spokesper­son for the asso­ci­a­tion, chair­ing the Exec­u­tive Board and Coun­cil, and work­ing with ALA mem­bers and com­mit­tees to fig­ure out the path for­ward around book challenges.

The role of spokesper­son is a big one, as it includes media inter­views like the one I did for Teen Vogue as well as trav­el­ing the coun­try and inter­na­tion­al­ly doing keynote speech­es and speak­ing on pan­els like I did when I vis­it­ed Hawai’i for the Hawai’i Library Asso­ci­a­tion Con­fer­ence and Cen­ten­ni­al Celebration!

I am also a mem­ber of the pro­gram com­mit­tee for the Inter­na­tion­al Indige­nous Librar­i­ans Forum to be held in Hon­olu­lu this Novem­ber. I hope folks will join us!

What advice can you give some­one who might be con­sid­er study­ing library science?

Be firm in your “why” – why you want to work in libraries and what kind of impact you want to make. It can be a dif­fi­cult field when book chal­lenges, con­tin­ued bud­get cuts, and hier­ar­chi­cal bureau­cra­cies can pre­vent you from doing your job, but rec­og­niz­ing the impact you have, can, and will make on your com­mu­ni­ties can help keep you motivated.

I also always encour­age folks to be open to the myr­i­ad of oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able in libraries. There are so many paths you can take and you don’t always know what they all are when you start in libraries, so be open to new oppor­tu­ni­ties and expe­ri­ences you nev­er thought pos­si­ble. That kind of mind­set helped me to become ALA President.

And a few niele ques­tions, if you’d like to answer:

Who is your hero?

I have a lot of heroes! My grand­fa­ther and grand­moth­er, Alcario  and Mary Pelayo, are my pri­ma­ry heroes. They mod­eled and inspired me to live a life of ser­vice and lead­er­ship and sup­port­ed my many, many inter­ests grow­ing up, even if they didn’t always under­stand them.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My hus­band!

What is your proud­est accomplishment?

Putting on the 2018 Joint Con­fer­ence of Librar­i­ans of Col­or as a Steer­ing Com­mit­tee Member.

What do you enjoy doing in your down time?

Bak­ing, exer­cise, hiking.

Where can read­ers find you online?


Maha­lo nui loa, Lessa, for shar­ing your man­aʻo with us! As an author, life-long learn­er, and library patron, I offer my best wish­es to you for your con­tin­ued success!

Interview with Award-Winning Author Rukhsanna Guidroz

Rukhsanna Guidroz
Rukhsanna Guidroz
Rukhsan­na Guidroz

Award-win­ning author and Maui res­i­dent Rukhsan­na Guidroz has always lived life on her own terms. Born in Eng­land and edu­cat­ed at the Sor­bonne in Paris, Rukhsan­na has been a world trav­el­er, jour­nal­ist, radio pro­duc­er, and now, teacher. Her books fea­ture plucky female char­ac­ters in sto­ries that charm and delight young readers…and their adults, too.

Hi, Ruk­shan­na! For those who haven’t met you, could you please tell us a lit­tle about yourself? 

I am an edu­ca­tor and writer. I moved to Maui from Hong Kong in 1996.

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Man­ches­ter, Eng­land, and grad­u­at­ed from a small pri­vate school out­side the city. Man­ches­ter has cold, wet, grey win­ters. I remem­ber the sun­ny days being such a wel­come sur­prise. I went to Seat­tle in March last year, and the crisp, cool weath­er was famil­iar to me. Even though I’ve lived in a warm cli­mate for 30 years, my body still remem­bers cold tem­per­a­tures. I don’t think I could live any­where else but Hawaiʻi now that I’ve been spoiled.

Who is your biggest supporter? 

My hus­band is one of my biggest sup­port­ers. Writ­ing and forg­ing a path as an author can be a long, lone­ly endeav­or. There have been many times when I’ve con­sid­ered giv­ing up and mov­ing on. My hus­band has always believed in me and encour­aged me through uncer­tain times. 

Why did you become a writer? What inspired you to write for children? 

I have always enjoyed writ­ing. In mid­dle school, I wrote a poem that end­ed up being pub­lished in the school mag­a­zine. I nev­er con­sid­ered pur­su­ing writ­ing as a career, but there was some­thing in me that felt the need to write that poem. It was a chan­nel through which I could freely express myself. There came the point in my life when I felt I need­ed more than just writ­ing sto­ries for myself. I start­ed see­ing the sto­ries in book form. When writ­ing was­n’t enough, I knew I was ready to begin sub­mit­ting my work to agents and editors.

As a teacher and tutor, I have always enjoyed being with kids. Spend­ing time with them allows me to see the world through their eyes. When you put your­self in some­one else’s shoes and per­ceive the world around you, it’s incred­i­ble what you see. 

What do you enjoy most about writ­ing for kids? What are some of your great­est chal­lenges in writ­ing for children? 

Mina-and-the-MonsoonWrit­ing for kids allows me to be a child again. Our youth­ful years are often spent work­ing out our place in this com­pli­cat­ed world. Feel­ings can be mixed up and con­fus­ing. We are try­ing to under­stand who we are and where we belong. That vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty is a uni­ver­sal theme. It’s what we all share as human beings, no mat­ter where we live or what sit­u­a­tion we were born into. For me, it’s a rich ground for explo­ration and story.

My most sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges are stay­ing in their youth­ful space and not return­ing to adult life before I fin­ish my work. Remain­ing in char­ac­ter as I write can be tricky. I have to con­stant­ly remind myself who I am and what dri­ves me as a char­ac­ter in the sto­ry. I have found tricks to help me, though. Tak­ing breaks for tea, a stretch, or a walk helps me. Chang­ing the font in my doc­u­ment can feel like I’m read­ing a peer’s work, not my own. That dis­tance allows my con­struc­tive voice to come through and spot areas that need adjusting. 

What are your hopes and dreams for the year and beyond in terms of your writ­ing career and what you would like to see pub­lished in the future? 

I would like to think I could be a pro­lif­ic writer and write book after book. That’s not me. I wish it were, though. I want to write a chil­dren’s fan­ta­sy nov­el at some point. The idea fright­ens me because it’s a genre I’ve nev­er writ­ten in, and maybe the chal­lenge is what attracts me. Start­ing my next project is always refresh­ing, excit­ing, and intim­i­dat­ing at the same time. 

I would love to see more books out there by mar­gin­al­ized voic­es. Those lit­tle unknown sto­ries are pre­cious gems and much need­ed in our world. I think it’s essen­tial for our chil­dren to see them­selves in books so they can feel val­ued and val­i­dat­ed. Lit­er­a­ture has the pow­er to do that.

There are not a lot of sto­ries for kids by writ­ers from your com­mu­ni­ty. Why do you think that is? What do you think we can do the change that? 

I have nev­er met any­one who is Indi­an-Chi­nese. It took me many years to real­ize that being seen as unique or unusu­al is not neg­a­tive. As a per­son of mixed her­itage in Eng­land, I always felt like an out­sider. But now that I appre­ci­ate my iden­ti­ty, I see the pos­si­bil­i­ty of many stories.

Leila-in-SaffronIt takes courage to write, and then, of course, you have to find a way to pub­li­ca­tion, whether it’s tra­di­tion­al­ly or self-pub­lish­ing. On your way to pub­li­ca­tion, you have to find peo­ple who believe whole­heart­ed­ly in you and your work. The pub­lish­ing indus­try has been dom­i­nat­ed and still is by white peo­ple. When brown and black peo­ple fill some of its key posi­tions, per­haps there will be more books that reflect the true diver­si­ty of this world.

Can you share a bit of your cur­rent work? 

I am cur­rent­ly work­ing on a pic­ture book biog­ra­phy about a chef. Food was such an impor­tant part of my child­hood. It brought the fam­i­ly togeth­er, whether we were hav­ing a good or bad day. It was an equal­iz­er and neu­tral­iz­er. My moth­er embraced my father’s Indian/Pakistan roots, and our meals were most­ly com­prised of ingre­di­ents and dish­es from his cul­ture. My sis­ter and I had a favorite dish we loved to cook. Grow­ing up, we ate a lot of Chi­nese food, and dim sum was a favorite Sun­day. Writ­ing a book about cook­ing came nat­u­ral­ly to me.

Which of your books did you have the most fun writ­ing? Which were the most challenging? 

Writ­ing each of my books was a dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence. When I wrote Mina vs. The Mon­soon (Yali Books) I had fun craft­ing a sto­ry about a qui­et­ly per­sis­tent girl who is pas­sion­ate about soc­cer. Imag­ing the scenes of this sto­ry were espe­cial­ly fun because I had many col­ors and their tones in mind, and the illus­tra­tor who cre­at­ed the art­work per­fect­ly cap­tured the feel I wanted.

Samira-SurfsMy nov­el in verse, Sami­ra Surfs (Pen­guin Ran­dom House) is about a Rohingya refugee who finds peace and empow­er­ment in an all-girls surf com­mu­ni­ty. It was prob­a­bly the most chal­leng­ing writ­ing because I had nev­er writ­ten a nov­el-length sto­ry. It is also a his­tor­i­cal sto­ry, and I spent near­ly two years research­ing the polit­i­cal and social aspects of the con­tex­tu­al set­ting. It stretched me as a writer, but I learned much along the way.

What beliefs are your books challenging? 

My books chal­lenge the idea of lim­i­ta­tions on girls. I did­n’t set out to write about this theme, and I did­n’t real­ize it was so impor­tant to me until I start­ed writ­ing. I believe it’s vital that any human being who wants to express their voice should have the avenues to do that. Girls and women are often over­looked in work, sports, and edu­ca­tion­al arenas.

In my sec­ond pic­ture book, Leila in Saf­fron (Simon & Schus­ter) young Leila comes to appre­ci­ate who she is through self-dis­cov­ery. It’s a sto­ry of female empow­er­ment, although it can apply to boys or any­one unsure of their iden­ti­ty. I think my biggest com­pli­ment would be if even one girl is inspired to speak up after read­ing one of my books.

What’s your expe­ri­ence with get­ting your books published? 

Writ­ing books can be an exer­cise in open­ing your heart and sur­ren­der­ing. Once a pub­lish­ing con­tract is made, the author has to let go of com­plete con­trol of the book. A whole team of peo­ple comes on board, and the project then becomes a col­lab­o­ra­tion with an agent, edi­tor, illus­tra­tor, art direc­tor, etc. I have had pos­i­tive expe­ri­ences with my work and can only speak to the val­ue of work­ing with pro­fes­sion­als who know how to shep­herd a book from idea to bookshelf.

Do you have a web­site? Are you on social media? Do social media play a role for you as an author? Do your read­ers con­tact you? What do they say? 

I have a web­site and social media accounts, so my read­ers can find and engage in my work fur­ther. I was reluc­tant to go so “pub­lic” at first, but I see the ben­e­fits of being vis­i­ble world­wide. I have received some enthu­si­as­tic emails, tweets, and posts, which always bright­en my day.

What advice can you give an aspir­ing writer? 

Nev­er give up. Work on your craft and find oth­er writ­ers. Build a com­mu­ni­ty, join one, and get involved in a cri­tique group. Writ­ing is a soli­tary activ­i­ty and can lead to long lone­ly peri­ods indoors. Often in my break with friends or out in nature, I’ll find inspi­ra­tion, a way through a block, and a word or phrase that was elud­ing me. Do any­thing you can to savor and refine your creativity. 

Thank you, Rukhsan­na, for a shar­ing your work and your man­aʻo with us! 

You can learn more about Rukhsan­na Guidroz by vis­it­ing her web­site and fol­low­ing her on Insta­gram and Face­book

Interview with Polynesian Illustrator Shar Tuiʻasoa


Tal­ent­ed Poly­ne­sian artist, illus­tra­tor and design­er, Shar Tuiʻa­soa is the cre­ative force behind the huge­ly pop­u­lar Punky Alo­ha Stu­dio. Fol­low­ing grad­u­a­tion from Kailua High School (Go Surfrid­ers!), Shar pur­sued a degree in fine art in Cal­i­for­nia Shar-Tuiasoabefore return­ing home to Hawaiʻi.  Best known for her beau­ti­ful images of Poly­ne­sian women, Shar’s graph­ic illus­tra­tions are bold, col­or­ful and always exciting. 

Alo­ha, Shar! For those who haven’t met you, where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Kailua on O’ahu, and it is where I live today with my ‘ohana.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My part­ner, my hus­band, my side­kick, Keali’i. He has stood by me through this crazy roller coster. From day 1.  He helped me get through col­lege, he helped find my way back to me. When I first start­ed Punky Alo­ha, he helped me pay for my busi­ness license and for my first busi­ness cards and prints. I guess you could say he was an ear­ly investor.  He helped my run my shop in the very begin­ning, and still helps me install murals to this day.

Why did you become a artist? What do you enjoy most about cre­at­ing art?

Surf QueenI have always want­ed to be an artist. I don’t know that I ever thought about being any­thing else. And that’s not to say that I was always good at draw­ing, because I def­i­nite­ly was­n’t. Haha! That took a lot of years of hard work.  But I grew up watch­ing my mom draw. She is a won­der­ful illus­tra­tor and painter, and she raised us up sur­round­ed by art.

I think what I love about mak­ing art the most is just being able to cre­ate the world that lives in your head. It’s almost like hav­ing a bit of con­trol over some­thing in your life. Even if it only exists on paper, being able to share your visions with peo­ple can be empow­er­ing and healing.

You also wrote and illus­trat­ed a pic­ture book. What inspired you to write your first book?

Punky AlohaAs an illus­tra­tor, I think many of us have mak­ing a chil­dren’s book on our buck­et list. I know I did. So when I was pre­sent­ed the oppor­tu­ni­ty, I went with what I knew best: me. I based my book on my child­hood and what some of my expe­ri­ences were like.

What are some of your great­est chal­lenges in writing?

I don’t con­sid­er myself to be as strong a writer as I am an illus­tra­tor, so I came across a lot of chal­lenges, espe­cial­ly writ­ing for chil­dren. I want­ed to go on this epic adven­ture with my pro­tag­o­nist, but you only have 32 pages and 800 words to do so, and you also have got make sure you remem­ber who your audi­ence is — 3–7 year olds! So it presents all sort of chal­lenges but also oppor­tu­ni­ties in find­ing new ways to tell a story.

What are your hopes and dreams for the year and beyond in terms of both your art and writ­ing career and what you would like to see pub­lished in the future?

My old­er broth­er is a very tal­ent­ed writer. He went to film school and has this real­ly great comedic way of sto­ry­telling. We have been talk­ing about work­ing on either a graph­ic nov­el togeth­er or maybe a children’s book. Some­thing. So that’s in my mind a lot right now. Ive also got a cou­ple ideas brew­ing, so we shall see what the future holds. An ulti­mate dream of mine would be to have an ani­mat­ed series based on my books with a full pasif­ka and local to Hawai’i cast! Pasi­fi­ka showrun­ner, edi­tors, ani­ma­tors, voic­es, etc!

That would be amaz­ing! There are not a lot of books for kids by Native Hawai­ian and Pacif­ic Islander writ­ers. Why do you think that is? What do you think we can do the change that?

There aren’t, sad­ly 🙁 In fact, Punky Alo­ha was the first children’s book pub­lished by a big main stream pub­lish­er that was writ­ten and illus­trat­ed by (and starred) a Pacif­ic Ulu MamaIslander. I didn’t real­ize that until it came out. And I think the lack of rep­re­sen­ta­tion is some­thing that is final­ly being addressed more and more.  On one end the media very rarely gives us a plat­form, so if we aren’t see­ing our­selves rep­re­sent­ed, why would we even think we belong in cer­tain spaces? So I think its a part­ner­ship in a way. We as PI and NH (Pacif­ic Islander and Native Hawai­ian) should feel inspired to take up cre­ative space, and we should do what we can to learn those skills so that we can share our sto­ries with our voic­es. Also, these cre­ative plat­forms should keep look­ing out for all the tal­ent we have to offer because there is A LOT! I always say: Greet oppor­tu­ni­ty with prepa­ra­tion. So when there is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for you to share your cre­ativ­i­ty, be sure you are pre­pared with a strong voice and a strong skillset! We got this!

We do! Do you have a web­site? Do you blog? When did you get start­ed on social media? What do your read­ers say?

I do 🙂 www.punkyaloha.com is where you can find my port­fo­lio of work, info and shop. I start­ed my social media pres­ence around 2018.

Lanikai DiverWhat advice can you give an aspir­ing author/illustrator?

My advice is to keep going! Keep work­ing at what you are doing and most impor­tant­ly, cre­ate work that you love. If that is what you are putting out into the world, that is what you will be hired to do.

What beliefs is your work challenging?

I like to chal­lenge what our PI stereo­types. I have always tried to illus­trate our peo­ple as I know them to be. They are my fam­i­ly, my friends, my peers. There have been so many ver­sions of how we are illus­trat­ed that its hard to sep­a­rate fact from fic­tion. So it’s a del­i­cate bal­ance.  I also like to chal­lenge peo­ples per­spec­tive on what we in Hawai’i are capa­ble of doing. It’s easy to dis­miss us because we are from a small clus­ter of islands in the ocean, but we have as much to offer as any­one and we can do any­thing in the world. There is so much tal­ent here.

Where do you get your inspirations?

Punky PuaFrom home. From Hawai’i. From Moana (the ocean, not the Dis­ney char­ac­ter. Even though I love her haha!)

Do you have any plans for anoth­er book?

I do! I have two set to release in 2024. One will be anoth­er Punky Alo­ha book, and the sec­ond is a book I have illus­trat­ed for Illi­ma Todd. She has writ­ten a beau­ti­ful book about Mau­na Kea, and I am so excit­ed to work on it.

We canʻt wait! Can you share a bit about what youʻre work­ing on next?

Right now I am just jug­gling a bunch of projects. I have a few murals com­ing up, and some free­lance projects, try­ing to bal­ance it all with also hav­ing a fam­i­ly to nur­ture and spend time with 🙂

This has been awe­some! Maha­lo nui, Shar, for shar­ing your art and your man­aʻo! You can learn more about Shar Tuiʻa­soa by vis­it­ing her web­site, Punky Alo­ha, and fol­low­ing her on Insta­gram

My Debut Picture Book is Announced at Publisherʻs Weekly!

PW announcement

Maha­lo ke Akua! After a long career teach­ing writ­ing (which I real­ly loved), I thrilled beyond words that my debut pic­ture book, KAHOʻOLAWE, has been offi­cial­ly announced at Pub­lish­erʻs Week­ly!


Kahoʻolawe is a sto­ry of loss and era­sure, of sac­ri­fice and ded­i­ca­tion, and, ulti­mate­ly, of restora­tion and resilience. Writ­ten and illus­trat­ed by Native Hawai­ians Kamalani Hur­ley and Hari­nani Orme, this chil­drenʻs pic­ture book is the sto­ry of alo­ha ʻāi­na — a deep love of the land — and explores what hap­pened to Kahoʻo­lawe and how she is a bea­con of hope for the Native Hawai­ian peo­ple and for peo­ple every­where who fight against social and envi­ron­men­tal injustice. 

Maha­lo nui …

  • to the lead­ers of the Pro­tect Kaho’o­lawe ‘Ohana for their exper­tise and sup­port of this project. Their ded­i­ca­tion to Kahoʻo­lawe and to the Hawai­ian peo­ple con­tin­ues to inspire. 
  • to edi­tor and pub­lish­er, Car­ol Hinz, whose exper­tise and patience we are count­ing on to get the book into the world.
  • to my agent James McGowan, who always knew this sto­ry need­ed to be told.


image cred­it: Vic­ki Palmquist — Wind­ing Oak

Interview with Native Hawaiian Artist Brook Kapūkuniahi Parker


We are delight­ed to fea­ture the accom­plished Native Hawai­ian artist and his­to­ri­an, Brook Kapūku­ni­ahi Park­er. He has illus­trat­ed sev­er­al chil­dren’s books for ʻAha Pūnana Leo Hawai­ian Emer­sion Schools and cre­at­ed numer­ous stun­ning com­mis­sion pieces for clients through­out Hawai’i. His pas­sion is to Brooke-Parkercre­ate breath­tak­ing art that brings life to our ances­tors, and he does so through his exten­sive knowl­edge of  Native Hawai­ian his­to­ry and culture. 

For those who haven’t met you, could you please tell us a lit­tle about yourself?

I have always loved to draw since I was lit­tle but only start­ed paint­ing in 2009. I’ve been mar­ried for 32 years, 5 chil­dren, two grand­chil­dren. My biggest sup­port­er is my wife and busi­ness part­ner, Drena. 

Where did you grow up? What high school did you grad from? 

I was raised in Kahaluʻu, Heʻeia, and Kāneʻo­he, Oʻahu. I attend­ed Cas­tle High School and grad­u­at­ed class of ’79. 

Go Knights! Why did you become an illus­tra­tor? Did you always know you could cre­ate art?

KamehamehaI learned art by watch­ing my dad cre­ate his art. I am pas­sion­ate about fam­i­ly his­to­ry and hon­or the ances­tors by paint­ing their sto­ries and accomplishments. 

Note: Brook’s father, David Kaleiomanoanahu­lu Waipa Park­er, was a gift­ed writer and aliʻi mem­ber of the Roy­al Order of Kamehameha.

What do you enjoy most about cre­at­ing art? What are some of your great­est challenges?

I enjoy telling the sto­ries of our kūpuna and keep­ing their names and mem­o­ries alive visually.

What are your hopes and dreams for the year and beyond in terms of your artis­tic career and what you would like to see pub­lished in the future?

Brook-Parker-artI am thank­ful I am able to pro­vide for my fam­i­ly by paint­ing and hope to pub­lish a book on the Great Chiefs of Hawaii which will include the art I have created.

We are look­ing for­ward to that! There are not a lot of Native Hawai­ian, Pacif­ic Islander or peo­ple of col­or kid lit illus­tra­tors. Why do you think that is?

Yes, I agree. We need more Pacif­ic nation artists to tell our sto­ries through our own eyes.

Do you have a web­site? Are you on  social media?

My web­site is Hawai­ian at Art. Iʻm also on Insta­gram and Face­book

What advice would you give an aspir­ing illustrator?

Don’t give up, holo­mua, move for­ward, improve your skills, and be pas­sion­ate about what you do.

Can you share a bit of your cur­rent work?

I am cur­rent­ly com­plet­ing a large paint­ing of Chief Kaiana with his broth­ers, Nahi­olea and Namakeha.

Where do you get your inspirations? 

Liliʻu-TributeFrom books, sto­ries and oth­er gift­ed artist I admire.

Illus­tra­tors and artists, like writ­ers, do a lot of research when theyʻre cre­at­ing. Whatʻs your research process like? 

I study, med­i­tate and pray before projects.

Can you share a bit about what you’re work­ing on next? 

Iʻm not quite sure yet, maybe some­thing of a Hina vibe.

We have much to look for­ward to from you! Maha­lo, Brook, for shar­ing your man­aʻo! To learn more about Brook Park­er and to view sam­ples of his art, vis­it his web­site at Hawaiianatart.org and fol­low him on Insta­gram

Interview with Author Vera Arita


Hawaiʻi-based author Vera Ari­ta has spent her life help­ing spe­cial-needs chil­dren to suc­ceed. Her chil­drenʻs books focus on Hawaiʻi themes and encour­age chil­dren to  delight in the world around them. 

Vera-AritaMaha­lo, Vera, for allow­ing me to fea­ture you on my blog. For those who haven’t met you, could you please tell us a lit­tle about yourself?

Alo­ha all! I’m Vera Ari­ta, and I am a retired spe­cial edu­ca­tion teacher.  I taught for 32 years, and then I retired from Mililani Ike Ele­men­tary in  Cen­tral Oʻahu in 2016.  I am cur­rent­ly a half time field ser­vice instruc­tor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, and I help stu­dents learn how to be spe­cial edu­ca­tion teach­ers.  I live in Mililani with my hus­band, Neal, and we have two sons/two daugh­ters-in-laws, two grand­sons and a granddaughter. 

Where did you grow up? What high school did you grad from?

I grew up in Waipahu and went to Waipahu Ele­men­tary, Inter­me­di­ate and High School.

Go, Maraud­ers! Who is your biggest supporter?

For sure my hus­band, Neal, our sons and extend­ed fam­i­ly! I also have great teacher and church friends who come out full force to sup­port my book signings.

Why did you become a writer? What inspired you to write for children?

All-Around-The-IslandsIn my teach­ing career, I always had a dream to write children’s books to share the love, care and life lessons I’d grown to appre­ci­ate. I believe the inspi­ra­tion also comes through my faith in Christ. My first book, All Around the Islands, came out in 2005.  I ded­i­cat­ed my first book to my par­ents, Bolo and Eileen Sone­da, because my dad was very ill, and Iʻd promised him that I would write a book someday. 

What do you enjoy most about writ­ing for kids? What are some of your great­est chal­lenges in writ­ing for children?

I think hav­ing kids learn about ani­mals or the sounds of the let­ters in rhyme is very reward­ing. My fourth book, Alpha­bet Huk­i­lau, was writ­ten on an iPad! I was just kick­ing arAlphabet-Hukilauound with the idea of a net catch­ing let­ters instead of sea ani­mals. At the back of the book there is non-fic­tion infor­ma­tion of the sea ani­mals since much of our con­tent stan­dards deals with read­ing non-fic­tion books. 

The chal­lenge for any author is find­ing a pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny who is will­ing to risk cre­at­ing a book with your words. 

What are your hopes and dreams for the year and beyond in terms of your writ­ing career and what you would like to see pub­lished in the future?

Teach­ing chil­dren has been, and is, my pas­sion, and cur­rent­ly my pub­lish­er is con­sid­er­ing a count­ing book that is quite whimsical.

There are not a lot of sto­ries for or by Native Hawai­ians and Pacif­ic Islanders. Why do you think that is? What do you think we can do the change that?

Again, you have to find a pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny who believes in your writ­ing.  I believe that in Hawaii, most pub­lish­ers have to cater to the tourist mar­ket for their books to sell. I’m hop­ing that my new book, which pro­motes char­ac­ter edu­ca­tion, will be in all schools in Hawaii and nationwide.

Do you have a web­site? Are you on social media? Do you do school visits?

I do not cur­rent­ly have a web­site, but I am on Insta­gram Vera­sonedaari­ta or you can email me. I do school vis­its where I share the writ­ing process and share sketch­es of how a book is formed.  I often browse through reviews on Ama­zon of my books and find it very hum­bling to get such rave reviews.

What advice do you have for aspir­ing writers?

Nev­er give up on your dreams. You have to reach out to many pub­lish­ers and not get dis­cour­aged. My pub­lish­er told me she receives sub­mis­sions near­ly every day, and few are picked up to be published.

Can you share a bit of your cur­rent work?

Alo­hasaurus is a sto­ry that I think many peo­ple can real­ly relate to.  It’s about a dinosaur who has no friends because he looks dif­fer­ent, and he sounds dif­fer­ent.  In Alohasaurusmany ways it’s like my broth­er, Mike, who, was socially“different.”  Mike was born with men­tal and phys­i­cal chal­lenges.  Sad­ly, Mike recent­ly passed away in ear­ly Sep­tem­ber 2022, so he did not get a chance to see the book.

In the sto­ry, a group of curi­ous and coura­geous chil­dren befriend the dinosaur, and in turn, he teach­es them ways to be kind and how to mod­el alo­ha. Through their new­ly found friend­ship, they name him “Alo­hasaurus.”

As a sub­sti­tute teacher, I’ve been test mar­ket­ing the draft of the book with stu­dents, and it has got­ten “5 star” reviews from them! I have even shared the book with some mid­dle school stu­dents, and they real­ly liked the sto­ry. Their encour­age­ment has been uplift­ing and so precious.

Which of your books did you have the most fun writ­ing? Which was the most challenging?

Animals-Sing-AlohaMy third book, Ani­mals Sing Alo­ha. It is a phon­ics book that teach­es how to write and sound out the alpha­bets cor­rect­ly. It was a sur­prise because the draft was lit­er­al­ly writ­ten on the back of an anniver­sary card while I was in a Maui hotel lob­by on vaca­tion. I tell stu­dents that when inspi­ra­tion hits, you have to be ready to write!  That book has been my best-sell­ing book to date.

Most chal­leng­ing is Alo­hasaurus because it’s been on the back burn­er since 2007!  I wrote the draft on the back of ser­mon notes in church and always felt that this would be a great book; how­ev­er, the pub­lish­er wise­ly was wait­ing for the right time to cre­ate it — and now is the time!

What beliefs are your books challenging?

They chal­lenge peo­ples’ beliefs that you have to look and act like every­one else to be suc­cess­ful. The les­son to the read­ers is that you can be a suc­cess if you are kind to oth­ers, speak respect­ful­ly, work hard and are a team player.

What’s your expe­ri­ence with pub­lish­ing your books?

I learned that when you sign a con­tract, all your future man­u­scripts go to them first and if they reject it, then you are free to go to anoth­er pub­lish­er. Also, the pub­lish­er can edit your writ­ing if they feel it flows bet­ter a dif­fer­ent way. There needs to be trust that the pub­lish­er knows what it takes for a suc­cess­ful book; how­ev­er, there may be times when you must per­se­vere and not give up on a reject­ed book.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

Can-You-Catch-A_Coqui-FrogIt seems that dif­fi­cult fam­i­ly times pro­vid­ed inspi­ra­tion for me to write. In 2006 my broth­er, Mike, had a seizure and hit his head very hard and became brain-dam­aged.  While he was in an extend­ed coma, I promised to write anoth­er book and ded­i­cate it to him. Thus, Can you Catch a Coqui Frog was written. 

Authors write to per­suade, inform or enter­tain.  My books fall between inform­ing and enter­tain­ing. As a teacher I couldn’t find a book that men­tioned all eight Hawai­ian Islands, so that’s how All Around the Islands came about.  Alo­hasaurus men­tions dif­fer­ent kinds of car­ing for peo­ple and for our ʻāina.

Which char­ac­ters do you relate with eas­i­ly? Why?

In fic­tion­al sto­ries, I relate to the char­ac­ter who real­ly aren’t out­stand­ing, but through much deter­mi­na­tion and hard work, they are able to achieve a lot.  One of my favorite bible vers­es is Philip­pi­ans 4:13: I can do all things through Christ Jesus. A good exam­ple of this is that I recent­ly decid­ed to enter the Hon­olu­lu Marathon with three months left to train. I did it 10 years ago but trained for a year back then. With the Lord’s help, I can do it again.

Maha­lo nui, Vera! To con­tact Vera Ari­ta and learn more about her books, please fol­low her Vera­sonedaari­ta in Instagram.

Interview with Illustrator Dru Santiago


Hauoli Makahi­ki Hou, every­one! I love the start of a shiny new year. We also cel­e­brate Chi­nese New Year around here. Kung Hee Fat Choy

What bet­ter way to start a new year but with tal­ent­ed Native Hawai­ian and Hawaiʻi based writ­ers and creators!

Meet the won­der­ful Dru San­ti­a­go, Hawaiʻi based illus­tra­tor and the 2021 Soci­ety of Chil­dren’s Book Writ­ers and Illus­tra­tors Nar­ra­tive Art award.


First of all, con­grats, Dru! For those who haven’t met you, could you please tell us a lit­tle about yourself?

Hel­lo! My name is Drus­cil­la San­ti­a­go, and I draw pic­tures for kids and grown ups. I’m from Waipahu, but I live in town with my hus­band and our son, now. These days, I most­ly work on illus­trat­ing kids books, but I also do pri­vate com­mis­sions and graph­ic design/illustration work for local busi­ness­es and non-profits.

Where did you grow up? What high school did you grad from? 

I love this ques­tion! I lived on the main­land for a while in my twen­ties, and every time I ran into some­one from Oahu, we’d always be like, “What high school you grad?” With­out fail. And I’m proud to say I grad­u­at­ed from Leile­hua High School in Wahi­awa. Go mules!

Dru-cookingIndeed! My hus­band, Tim, is a proud Leile­hua grad, too. Why did you become an illus­tra­tor? Did you always know you could cre­ate art?

I think I’ve always been an illus­tra­tor even though I didn’t know to call it that. I’ve loved to draw since I was a kid. My mom went to art school when I was very young, and I used to watch her draw and get into her expen­sive art sup­plies and draw my own lit­tle pic­tures along­side her. From there, my love of pic­ture books, car­toons, and comics sort of lead me to this career.

That’s so cool. What do you enjoy most about illus­trat­ing? What are some of your great­est challenges?

Ooh. So, I kind of live in my head and draw­ing is the best way to express myself. You know? It’s like talk­ing. So in a way, what I like specif­i­cal­ly about illus­trat­ing is that I can tell a sto­ry with­out hav­ing to say words.  And I think the great­est chal­lenge of being an illus­tra­tor is tak­ing this love of draw­ing and mak­ing it a job. Because my mind wan­ders, and it’s impor­tant to stay on task. So maybe the real chal­lenge is stay­ing focused? Yeah, that’s it. Dru-art

What are your hopes and dreams for the year and beyond in terms of your artis­tic career and what you would like to see pub­lished in the future?

I’m just get­ting start­ed, so my hope and dream is to keep going!

Do you have a web­site? Are you on  social media?

Yes, my web­site is adventurefun.club, and my insta­gram han­dle is @adventurefunclub. I’m on insta­gram more than I should be, and while I enjoy engag­ing on social media, the best way to con­tact me is via email. Don’t get lost in the DMs! 🙂 

What advice would you give an aspir­ing illustrator?

I would say, what I tell myself all the time, there is no “right” way to achieve your goals. Keep work­ing at your craft, and you will get there. For real. And if any aspir­ing illus­tra­tor read­ing this is par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in Pic­ture Books? Join Soci­ety for Children’s Book Writ­ers and Illus­tra­tors! Seri­ous­ly, click this link: https://www.scbwi.org/  Join­ing SCBWI and attend­ing a nation­al con­fer­ence was incred­i­bly help­ful and enlight­en­ing for me. 

Can you share a bit of your cur­rent work?

I’d love to! I am cur­rent­ly work­ing on a Hands-On Sci­ence series by Lola Schae­fer. It’s my first pic­ture book project, and I am lov­ing it. The first book in the series, called MATTER, is set to be released this sum­mer 2023. The oth­er two books in the series will be about Geol­o­gy and Motion.Dru-art-surfer 

We love STEM pic­ture books! Can you share a bit about what you’re work­ing on next?

Not real­ly next, but in addi­tion to the Sci­ence series, I am work­ing on a won­der­ful book called A HAT FOR A HOUSE by Audrey Per­rott. I’m not sure how much I can say about it, but it’s exciting! 

It is! Maha­lo, Dru! We’re look­ing for­ward to your upcom­ing books! To learn more about Dru San­ti­a­go and view a gallery of her sketch­es,  vis­it her web­site and blog, Adven­ture Club



As 2022 ends, I look back with alo­ha and grat­i­tude to the many peo­ple who have made such a dif­fer­ence in my writ­ing life.


Maha­lo nunui to the won­der­ful writ­ers and artists who shared their man­aʻo here on my blog this past year — their hopes and accom­plish­ments con­tin­ue to inspire us.

To the many won­der­ful writ­ing friends I’ve made, espe­cial­ly at Writ­ing Barn’s CtC com­mu­ni­ty, my alo­ha always. You are a source of encour­age­ment and wis­dom I know I can count on.

Thank you, Bran­di Uye­mu­ra, for let­ting me bounce ideas off of you and for shar­ing your won­der­ful writ­ing with me. 

Maha­lo to my agent, James Mac­Gowan, for believ­ing in me. Team James all the way!

I look for­ward to shar­ing good news in the com­ing year about my debut pic­ture book as well as a new web­site focus­ing on Native Hawai­ian and Poly­ne­sian cre­ators! Alo­ha from my ʻohana to yours! See you in 2023!

Interview with Author/Illustrator Caren Loebel-Fried


Our ongo­ing series of inter­views with Native Hawai­ian and local Hawaiʻi writ­ers con­tin­ues this Caren-Loebel-Friedweek with Caren Loebel-Fried, the tal­ent­ed award-win­ning author/illustrator. 

Alo­ha, Caren. For those who haven’t met you, could you please tell us a lit­tle about yourself?

Alo­ha, Kamalani. I’m an artist and author from Vol­cano, on Hawai’i’s Big Island. My favorite things are explor­ing wild places, watch­ing and learn­ing about birds, mak­ing art and telling sto­ries about these things.

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up on the New Jer­sey shore, going to the beach in the summer.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My hus­band encour­ages and cheers me on, and some­times joins me on my research adven­tures. Many biol­o­gists, cul­tur­al prac­ti­tion­ers, teach­ers, and librar­i­ans also sup­port my work, and help me get the sto­ry right.

Why did you become a writer/illustrator?

My mom is an artist and still is my great­est inspi­ra­tion. I was always drawn to mak­ing art. And my art has always told sto­ries. When I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cre­ate books, I worked to be a bet­ter writer. Now I tell sto­ries with words AND pictures.

What inspired you to write for children?

Pic­ture books were a nat­ur­al fit for me. But I have to admit, I cre­ate my books for Legend-of-tall ages — kei­ki and the adults who read to them, and any­one who enjoys a com­pelling sto­ry. I’ve always loved read­ing books writ­ten for all ages, and I col­lect art-filled books that inspire me, no mat­ter what age they are intend­ed for. 

What do you enjoy most about cre­at­ing for kids?

I love shar­ing with a curi­ous audi­ence, and most kei­ki are open and curious.

What are some of your great­est challenges?

My aim is to be a voice for wildlife. My great­est chal­lenge is per­suad­ing peo­ple to care about and want to help native species. I try to do this in a fun way, by cre­at­ing engag­ing sto­ries and art that cap­ture the spir­it and per­son­al­i­ty of the indi­vid­ual ani­mal (includ­ing human!), plant, the nat­ur­al ele­ments and envi­ron­men­tal Polufea­tures that are my sub­jects… I aim to make art that is col­or­ful, engag­ing, alive. I am also inter­est­ed in cul­ture and how we humans live in our world, inter­act with our envi­ron­ment, and our con­nec­tion to place. Many of us have lost a feel­ing of con­nec­tion to the nat­ur­al world. I try to awak­en or reawak­en that connection.

What are your hopes and dreams for the year and beyond in terms of your writing/artistic career?

This year, I’ll be work­ing on my next book with Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i Press. This sto­ry is about Makani, a young Hawai­ian girl named after the wind that seabirds depend on. Makani adores ʻuaʻu, the Hawai­ian petrels that her biol­o­gist mom works with. Seabirds are so cool! But their lives are com­plete­ly hid­den from us. They live over the ocean and only come to land to breed, fly­ing in the dark of night, and nest­ing in bur­rows under­ground. I’ll be telling their amaz­ing sto­ry Lonothrough the expe­ri­ence of Makani. I hope this book inspires read­ers, espe­cial­ly girls, to explore sci­ence, art, and sto­ry­telling. There are many ways to help wildlife! We can all find our own way to help pre­serve wildlife and wild places.

Do you have a website? 

I do: https://www.carenloebelfried.com/. And I have a YouTube Chan­nel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNgbp1m6lsf6d4w89oV6ung

What advice would you give an aspir­ing writer/illustrator?

Keep cre­at­ing! Dis­cov­er the things that are impor­tant to you and tell about them in your work!

Which char­ac­ters do you relate with eas­i­ly? Why?

My last book, Manu, The Boy Who Loved Birds, is about a young boy named after Manu-the-Boy-Who-Loved-Birdsan extinct Hawai­ian for­est bird. I relate to Manu des­per­ate­ly want­i­ng to know the mean­ing of his name, and leav­ing no stone unturned in his jour­ney of dis­cov­ery… and also his dif­fi­cul­ty in believ­ing that extinc­tion is for­ev­er. I also relate to Manu’s par­ents, who won’t just give Manu answers, but instead give him the oppor­tu­ni­ties to make dis­cov­er­ies him­self. I tried to do this with my own son when he was grow­ing up, and now I do it with my read­ers and my books!

Thatʻs a beau­ti­ful book. What beliefs are your books challenging?

It’s hard to hear, learn, believe that things we do may be unin­ten­tion­al­ly hurt­ing wildlife. I try to present the facts, for peo­ple to know for them­selves. But I also present ways that peo­ple can help. I try to write hope­ful, inspir­ing sto­ries and give peo­ple the tools to be an active part of the solution.

Where do you get your ideas and inspirations?

I see some­thing cool out in nature almost every­where and think, Wow- THAT would make a great storybook!

Maha­lo, Caren, for allow­ing me to inter­view you and for shar­ing your man­aʻo! To learn more about Caren, and to see a gallery of art pieces and to con­tact Caren Loebel-Fried, please vis­it Carenʻs web­site.

Ka Poʻe Kiaʻi, The Guardians of Mauna Kea, Photographs by Kai Markell

Carrying the future

Protests about the build­ing of huge astro­nom­i­cal tele­scopes at the sum­mit Mau­na Kea have been going on for decades. They’ve only recent­ly been brought into focus because of the planned Thir­ty Meter Tele­scope. As descen­dants of the ear­li­est Poly­ne­sian voy­agers, the kana­ka ʻoi­wi have always under­stood the impor­tance of astron­o­my. But for a peo­ple who have long suf­fered the loss of their coun­try and auton­o­my, des­e­cra­tion of their sacred moun­tain and the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment must end. 

As seen through the lens of Kai Markell, Native Hawai­ian activist, pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and attor­ney at the Office of Hawai­ian Affairs, this col­lec­tion of pho­tographs, Ka Poʻe Kiaʻi (the guardians and pro­tec­tors of Mau­na Kea), doc­u­ments one of the largest protests held at var­i­ous loca­tions in Hon­olu­lu. Whether  attend­ing a ral­ly at ʻIolani Palace with their fam­i­lies, meet­ing with offi­cials from the Office of Hawai­ian Affairs, or hold­ing a sign all alone at a street cor­ner, these poʻe kiaʻi feel deeply that their mes­sage must be heard.

Itʻs 2022 — sev­en years after this col­lec­tion was first pub­lished a Pūpū A ʻO Ewa — we are still fighting.

  • Carrying the future
    Car­ry­ing the future