ʻĀina Aloha Economic Futures Declaration
This declaration was drafted by a group of Native Hawaiian community members who came together organically after separate discussions brought forth common sentiments regarding the need to have Native Hawaiian voices, values, and experiences influence the economic recovery for our ʻāina aloha. The signatories listed reflect the interconnected and overlapping roles that individuals, ʻohana, organizations, coalitions, and networks play in our communities. This declaration served as a starting point to facilitate broader engagement and collective action in support of our shared principles and was sent to Gov. David Ige on 5/19/2020.
A Call for Unity
Every crisis opens a course to opportunity. Some of the world’s greatest accomplishments were born from adversity by those who were inherently equipped with vision and resolve. The COVID-19 pandemic will leave a saga of sorrow, loss and frustration with an equal and overwhelming amount of sacrifice, heroism and victory. This “new normal” has thrust us into what our kūpuna Hawaiʻi would call a huliau, or a turning point and time of change, for all of us who call Hawaiʻi home.
While we are reeling from this visceral reminder of how vulnerable we are to external impacts on our ʻāina aloha, or beloved homeland, our history as a resilient people is undeniable. The Native Hawaiian community in particular is one that for centuries has fought to overcome obstacles that all of us here in Hawaiʻi are now faced with. Whether rebounding from infectious disease that decimated our population or successfully advocating for equitable remedies from government systems, these challenges are today ones that we confront as a collective.
Now perhaps more than ever, the ancestral values that guided us through these challenges and numerous others provide a pivotal leverage point for all of us as we set a course towards a stronger, sustainable Hawaiʻi and seize this opportunity for huliau.
ʻĀina Aloha: We are of and from this ʻāina that ultimately sustains us. We employ strategies for economic development that place our kuleana to steward precious, limited resources in a manner that ensures our long-term horizon as a viable island people and place.
ʻŌpū Aliʻi: Our leaders understand that their privilege to lead is directly dependent on those they serve. From the most vulnerable to the most privileged, we seek to regenerate an abundance that provides for everyone. Decision makers understand and embrace their duty and accountability to Community. Our social, economic and government systems engage and respond to a collective voice in integrative ways to balance power and benefit.
ʻImi ʻOi Kelakela: We are driven by creativity and innovation, constantly challenging the status quo. We are mindful and observant of needs, trends and opportunities and seek new knowledge and development opportunities in ways that enhance our way of life without jeopardizing our foundation of ʻāina aloha.
Hoʻokipa: We are inclusive and embrace the collective that will call Hawaiʻi home, grounded in the fundamental understanding that it is our kuleana to control and manage our resources in a way that allows us to fulfill our role as hosts here in our ʻāina aloha.
These principles will calibrate our course not only to recovery but rediscovery of our potential as a unique people and place. Over the past five decades, we have seen local, national and international models of social, educational, agricultural and economic resiliency emerge from our Hawaiian community. This is due in no small part to a grounding in these foundational values. We have been here for millennia and will be for many more. There is nowhere else we could or would choose to be. We are committed to this kuleana of ʻāina aloha and ensuring the sustainability of this place and those who choose to make it home.
As we seek to engage at decision making tables, adding value and insight to Hawaiʻi’s economic path forward post COVID-19, we implore and invite you to support and engage with us. From healthcare, education and digital innovation to food security, tourism, and affordable housing strategies, we are mākaukau for this imminent huliau!
Collaborative Authors 
Kamana Beamer, Ph.D.
Kēhaunani Abad, Ph.D.
Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, Ph.D.
 This declaration was drafted by a group of Native Hawaiian community members who came together organically after separate discussions brought forth common sentiments regarding the need to have Native Hawaiian voices, values, and experiences influence the economic recovery for our ʻāina aloha. The signatories listed reflect the interconnected and overlapping roles that individuals, ʻohana, organizations, coalitions, and networks play in our communities. This working document serves as a starting point to facilitate broader engagement and collective action in support of our shared principles.