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2 november 2018 17:01:46

 
Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3975: `Aina Kaumaha: The Maintenance of Ancestral Principles for 21st Century Indigenous Resource Management (Sustainability)
 




Globally, there is growing recongition of the essential role indigneous people have in biocultural conservation. However, there are few cases of applied indigenous resource management today, especially from the indigenous standpoint. In this paper, we provide an example of the maintenance and adaptation of an indigenous resource management system in Hawai‘i from the perspective of an instrumental ‘Oiwi (Indigenous Hawaiian) social institution, Kamehameha Schools. Kamehameha Schools is not only the largest private landowner in Hawai‘i, but is uniquely tied to a lineage of traditional ali‘i (chiefs) resulting in present-day influence, decision-making authority, and wealth to fund a perpetual vision for its ancestral lands and communities. Notably, we share our journey from the perspective of indigenous resource managers, using the ‘Oiwi methodology of mo‘oku‘auhau (genealogy and continuity) to guide our (re)discovery of what it means to steward in an indigenous way. First, we ground ourselves in ‘Oiwi worldviews, recognizing our genealogical and reciprocal connections to ‘aina (land and sea). Then, we examine the functions of the traditional institution of the ali‘i and the chiefly principle of ‘aina kaumaha—a heavy obligation to steward the biocultural health of lands and seas in perpetuity. We detail how ‘aina kaumaha has manifested and transferred over generations, from traditional ali‘i to the royal Kamehameha line, to Kamehameha Schools as an ali‘i institution. Finally, we discuss how we endeavor to meet inherited obligations through Kamehameha Schools’ resource management approach today, which includes active stewardship of vast tracts of native ecosystems and Hawai‘i’s most important cultural sites, influencing biocultural well-being through representing ‘Oiwi perspectives in diverse industries, and developing the next generation of ‘Oiwi stewards. We provide a guide for indigenous organizations (re)defining their ancestral ways of stewardship, as well as for the many non-indigenous agencies with obligations to native lands and people today working to incorporate indigenous systems into their current management. Given that much of the world’s lands are indigenous spaces, we argue that the restoration of effective biocultural resource management systems worldwide requires the maintenance, and in some cases reestablishment, of indigenous institutions at multiple levels.


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199 viewsCategory: Ecology
 
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