On August 8, 2023, Wildfires hit the island of Maui causing devastation.
Emergency Assistance Needed
to Families and Communities Impacted
by the Maui Wildfires
Native Hawaiian Philanthropy is currently working with 12 nonprofit organizations, a hula halau, businesses and medical professionals that are providing direct services to Lahaina families impacted by the fire. Each organization has a unique, culturally-grounded approach to provide aloha (love), kokua (help), and menemene (compassion).
Native Hawaiian Philanthropy (NHP) is a native-serving organization utilizing and integrating indigenous/native perspectives and approaches to our outreach support and services. The Lahaina and Kula wildfires on the island of Maui led to our board of directors and volunteers to provide immediate support to families and individuals directly impacted by the devastating fires.
NHP began partnering with other businesses and nonprofits including Pacific Whale Foundation, King Kamehameha III Elementary Parent/Teacher Organization, Hālau Makana Aloha o ka Lauaʻe, Aumana, HitMethods, Project Hope, KAʻEHU, and secured funds from the Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong grant.
Our approach to address and support Maui families and community members impacted by the wildfires is supported on the findings in the article, "Indigenous-informed disaster recovery: Addressing collective trauma using a healing framework," from the Science Direct journal from 2022. The article highlights the holistic approach to indigenous-informed disaster management with particular attention to traditional ecological knowledge and approaches which explains the potential for indigenous healing framework to address collective trauma.
The Indigenous Healing Framework of the Disaster Recovery approach goes beyond the western approach of physical and economic aspects of recovery. "Indigenous peoples are uniquely connected to the lands, waters, and non-human kin and understanding this is crucial in providing appropriate support to Indigenous peoples affected by disasters."
The Indigenous-informed approach includes:
Holistic Approaches to Well-Being.
Social rather than solo processes.
Identifying and treating the roots of trauma.
Indigenous healing element.
The need for socially and culturally sacred spaces.
Indigenous notions of responsibility, justice, and forgiveness.
Through our long-term resiliency planning, the Indigenous-informed disaster recovery approach will be the guiding values and foundation that will help NHP develop and implement programs and support for families and community members impacted by the fires.
Emergency Assistance Now
The wildifre devastation to Lahaina and parts of Kula, Maui have left thousands homeless, over a thousand people missing, over 3,000 pets missing, and the death toll continues to rise. NHP is providing support services and resources to families impacted by the wildfires on August 8, 2023. The support from around the world is incredible and Maui has asked to stop all donations of foods, goods, and clothing due to the overwhelming response and lack of space to store the global donations to a small island. We are asking donors for financial donations and as needs arise, allowing us to utilize the funds to address the on-going and ever-changing needs of the Lahaina and Kula communities.
Long-Term Resiliency & Support
The NHP Team and consultants are working diligently to support long-term resiliency planning to address the needs of the impacted individuals and families over a five year period. Historically, environmental disaster relief are temporary and usually after a few months, the global efforts and support move on and Maui will still be dealing with the recovery and rebuilding of Lahaina. We are seeking long-term donations and funds to provide long-term support and planning.
Unfortunately, another outcome of a disaster is the businesses and corporations that attempt to make a profit off of the situation and devastated families. It has already started, with families being offered payments for their parcel in Lahaina.
The future rebuilding of Lahaina must include the Indigenous voice and they must have a seat at the table to discuss a "pono" balanced process.
NHP is working to support native Hawaiian community leaders, organizations and cultural practitioners to have a voice in the say of our ancestral lands.