by K Kealiikanakaoleohaililani · 2018 · Cited by 17 — Why the Need for Ritual in Conservation? In Hawai’i, spiritual foundations continue to define relationships among many cultural practitioners,

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Article Ritual + Sustainability Science? A Portal into the Science of Aloha Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani 1, Natalie Kurashima 2, *, Kainana S. Francisco 3, Christian P. Giardina 3 , Renee Pualani Louis 4, Heather McMillen 5 6, Kayla Asing 7 , , C. Kala ¯ Asing Tab etha A. Block 3, Mililani Browning 2, Kualii Camara 8, Lahela Camara 9, Melanie Leila ¯ Dudley 5 , Monika Frazier 10 , Noah Gomes 11 , Amy Elizabeth Gordon 12 , Marc Gordon 13 , Linnea Heu 14 , Aliah Irvine 15 , Nohea Kaawa 5, Sean Kirkpatrick 16 , Emily Leucht 9, Cheyenne Hiapo Perry 17 , John Replogle 18 , Lasha-Lynn Salbosa 19 , Aimee Sato 20 , Linda Schubert 21 , Amelie Sterling 9, Amanda L. Uowolo 3, Jermy Uowolo 6, Bridget Walker 22 , A. N ¯amaka Whitehead 2 and Darcy Yogi 23 1 H¯alau ` ¯Ohi’aŠHawai`i Stewardship Training, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; 2 Kamehameha Schools, Natural and Cultural Resources, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA; (M.B.); (A.N.W.) 3 USDA Forest Service, Institute of Islands Forestry, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; (K.S.F.); (C.P.G.); (T.A.B.); (A.L.U.) 4 H¯alau ` ¯Ohi’aŠA’a a Mole Cohort, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; 5 Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry & Wildlife, Honolulu, HI 96813; (H.M.); (M.L.D.); (N.K.) 6 Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; (C.K.A.); (J.U.) 7 P ¯unanaleo o Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; 8 Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; 9 `Imi Pono no ka ` ¯Aina, Three Mountain Alliance, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718, USA; (L.C.); (E.L.); (A.S.) 10 Aloha Kuamo’o ˜ ¯Aina, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA; 11 Kamehameha Schools, Kealapono, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA; 12 Gig Called Life Coaching Services, Kamuela, HI 96743, USA; 13 State of Hawai`i Department of Human Services, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA; 14 ograms for Exploring Sciences, University of Hawai`i at Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; 15 O’ahu Army Natural Resources Pr 16 Hawaii Community College, University of Hawai`i at Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; 17 Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; 18 H¯alau ` ¯Ohi’aŠ’ ¯Ohi’alaka Cohort, Hilo, HI 96720, USA; 19 US Fish and Wildlife Of 20 Department of Botany, University of Hawai`i at M ¯anoa, Honolulu, HI 97822, USA; 21 Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, Volcano Village, HI 96785, USA; 22 Kamuela Hardwoods, Kamuela, HI 96743, USA; 23 Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Hawai`i at M ¯anoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA; * Correspondence:; Tel.: +1-808-322-5348 Received: 1 August 2018; Accepted: 19 September 2018; Published: 28 September 2018 Abstract: In this paper, we propose that spiritual approaches rooted in the practice of Hawai`i ritual provide a powerful portal to revealing, supporting, and enhancing our collective aloha (love, fondness, reciprocity, as with a family member) for and dedication to the places and processes that we steward. We provide a case study from Hawai`i, where we, a group of conservation professionals known as Halau ¯ `Ohi’a, ¯ have begun to foster a collective resurgence of sacred commitment to the places and processes we steward through remembering and manifesting genealogical relationships to our Sustainability 2018, 10, 3478; doi:10.3390/su10103478

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Sustainability 2018, 10, 3478 2 of 17 landscapes through Indigenous Hawaiian ritual expression. We discuss how a ritual approach to our lands and seas makes us better stewards of our places, better members of our families and communities, and more individuals. We assert that foundations of the spiritual and the sacred are required for effectively advancing the science of sustainability, the management of natural resources, and the conservation of nature. Keywords: sacred ecology; biocultural conservation; Hawai`i 1. Welina ŠWelcome and Orientation You have come to Hilo to the USDA Forest Service to visit the halau ¯(traditional Hawaiian school of learning). You arrive, park your car, and wait a little bit. If you leave your car now, you will be drenched because Hilo is still raining until we can bid Hurricane Lane fi alohafl and greet the next storm. What was his name? Anyway, someone runs out wth umbrellas to bring you into the lanai ¯(outdoor covered area) where we meet before transforming the facility’s conference room into our learning space. As you transition from dry to wet, your attention turns to the voices of men, women, children swelling and pulsing with song in rhythm with the pakapaka (pitter patter) of the rain. You do not even notice that your left shoe is soaked through to the sock. As you get closer, your vision glimpses a wonderful eclectic collection of the world in welcoming, chanting you into Halau ` ¯ Ohi’a: ¯ Ua lu kinikini ka hua¯ `ohi’a lehua mai¯ `o ¯ a `o o Lononui¯ akea ¯ Two million lives in the seeds of `ohi’a ¯strewn about from near and far in Hawai`i Halihali `ia e ka `eheu hulu makani ¯Carried on the wings of the wind Hi’ipoi `ia e ka Poli mahana o Kanehoa, o Honuamea ¯Caressed in the warmth of Honuamea, the volcanic earth; nourished by Kanehoa, ¯the sun Ua a’a, ua mole, ua mohala a’ela ¯We are rooted, tapping the source of waterŠunfurling and peaking towards full bloom `O ka `apapane, `o ka mamo, `o ka nuku `i’iwi, `o ka `ahihi ¯A diversity of hues, brilliant scarlet, golden, salmon, and the rare white Mai hiki lalo a i hiki luna e waiho nei i hali’i moku l¯ a¯ We are blankets of `ohi’a ¯forests that extend beyond the horizons of my vision Ua `ikea! A he leo no ¯ ia. It is done with the simple offering of the voice. fiThe real root of these [sustainability] issues, both cause and cure, lies not in our science or technology but in our own spiritual and intellectual poverty or more hopefully, in our own spiritual and intellectual resourcesfl . [ 1] (p. 3) 1.1. Why the Need for Ritual in Conservation? In Hawai`i, spiritual foundations continue to relationships among many cultural practitioners, community members, places, and processes [2Œ4]. We propose that sacred ritual plays a central role in elevating these foundations and enhancing the well-being of all members of the coupled socioecological system. , this paper makes the case that spiritually oriented ritual is a powerful portal to revealing, supporting, and building up our collective love for and devotion to the places and processes that we steward. It is this path that we believe is required for effectively advancing the science of sustainability, the management of natural resources, and the conservation of nature. In advancing these disciplines, we also believe that spiritual approaches that engage different levels of personal and communal ritual enhance our ability to interact with our landscapes and seascapes and so can best position Hawai`i to achieve biocultural well-being.

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Sustainability 2018, 10, 3478 3 of 17 Halau ¯ ` Ohi’a ¯ is both a venue for and a process whereby we can explore the meaning of family life and our connections to a broadly genealogy of place. fi Halau¯fl translates to traditional Hawaiian school of learning, literally meaning fimany breaths,fl and is often associated with the traditional dancing art of `Ohi’a¯fl is the name of Hawai`i’s most common, widespread, and bioculturally important native tree ( Metrosideros polymorpha Gaudich, Myrtaceae), and the name literally means fito gather.fl The spiritual venue and the sacred process are created by engaging native Hawaiian rituals, which include the use of Hawaiian language, the retelling of sacred stories, the performing of traditional chants and dance, and the creation of our own poetic texts and art forms. Through these practices and the resulting deep learning of cultural and physical geographies that surround us, we are able to establish and deepen our kincentric relationships to the world around. The ultimate goal of this learning is no less than to transform the way we view and steward our lands and seas. As in the halau ¯setting, this paper is made up of the many breaths, voices, and ideas from our group. Like the `ohi’a¯, we are a diverse group of resource managers, technicians, researchers, interns, educators, cultural practitioners, administrators, students, and program leaders representing many organizations, generations, and life experiences. In short, we are people whose functions are foundational to the well-being of our Hawai`i landscapes, seascapes, and communities. 1.2. What Is Ritual? Ritual rooted in spirituality is an ubiquitous feature of the human experience across planet Earth and throughout human history, and takes many forms across and within cultures. Ritual of a spiritual nature has been examined by countless scholars over many centuries, and has been characterized as serving a wide diversity of societal functions, including to name just a few ritual practices: bringing about an altered state, as with healing and shamanistic rituals [ 5]; expressing or presenting a system of beliefs, for example, about the structure of society or kinship relationships [ 6]; conserving resources, for example, by the taking of resources [7,8] or the imposition of food taboos [ 9]; managing resources and horticultural practices based on weather, phenology, and astronomical cycles [ 10]; avoiding contagion [ 11]; improving social cohesion [ 12] and protective social bonds that increase survival [ 13]; making pilgrimages to natural sacred sites [ 14], including to roneself [ 15]; and burying family and friends [ 6,16]. While early theories framed rituals as functioning to protect the status quo, to resist change, and to relieve anxiety over uncertainty about observed or experienced phenomena [ 17], contemporary perspectives point to rituals as also serving as agents of cultural change, in both historic and contemporary contexts, as rituals are often ficreated by families, secular and religious celebrants, civil servants, or volunteersfl [ 18] (p. 2). As such, rituals can play subversive, creative, or socially critical roles [19]. Where ritual catalyzes social transformations [ 18,20] through their performative, structured, and collaborative natures [ 18], they can be seen as providing fibreakthroughs to the knowledge of the `sacred’fl the functions of which are fiseen in a future we are not likely to be able to even guessfl [19] (p. viii). For our group, ritual has become a means to: (1) enter into a sacred space within which members of Halau ¯ ` Ohi’a ¯ can holistically (mind, body, and spirit) embrace widely ranging topics of existential importance to being human; (2) deepen our kinship relationships with the world around us; then from this, (3) catalyze personal and professional transformation and growth; (4) recognize and embrace the deep linkages binding together haumana ¯(student/students) and kumu (master teacher), haumana ¯ and kupuna ¯ (ancestors broadly and haumana ¯ and `aina ¯ (lands and seas; that which sustains); and (5) identify, engage, and express gratitude to and aloha for the diverse linkages that sustain us physically (evolutionarily, nutritionally, biogeochemically), mentally (psychologically, professionally, academically), and spiritually (our relationships and ancestral connections to persons and places).

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Sustainability 2018, 10, 3478 4 of 17 1.3. Case Study: Halau ` ¯ Ohi’a and Ritual ¯ The unique Ha ¯ lau `O ¯ hi’a program was developed and is taught by Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani, a master teacher, who is trained in and has been practicing for over 40 years the Hawai`i traditions of hula, chant, and ritual. She is one of the kumu hula (teacher of traditional Hawaiian environmental dance) in the traditional dance school of learning Halau ¯o Kekuhi, a position previously held by her mother and grandmother. We, Halau ¯ `Ohi’a, ¯ began our journey in 2016 because of a novel question posed by Kumu Kekuhi’s research assistant, who asked: (1) fiHow can Hawaiian culture help us do our jobs?fl and (2) fiHow can this work place become a community?fl From that profound query, the idea of Halau ¯ ` Ohi’a ¯ was born. The last two and a half years have included: 35 sessions; a pamaomao ¯(international exchange among communities) with Maori communities of Aotearoa (New Zealand); many k¯(a term created by Kumu Hula and faculty member from the University of Hawai`i, Taupouri ¯ Tangaro, ¯ for the process of setting the foundation for engaging relationships through traditional ritual); and huaka’i (journeys) to Kanaloa (a small, very sacred island off the coast of Maui that was by the US Military, denuded and over 40 years of intensive bombing practice, and through nonviolent protest returned to the Hawaiian people for restoration and reconciliation), as well as huaka’i through all the moku (land divisions or sub-county districts) of Hawai`i Island: Kona, Ka’u, ¯ Puna, Hilo, and Ham ¯ akua. ¯ During these huaka’i, we meet and work with kama’aina ¯(children of a place), perform bioculturally structured ritual to enter place and perform the work of culturally-grounded restoration, conservation and resource management. We also engage larger audiences through academic presentations (for example, at the annual Hawai`i Conservation Conference, which attracts 1000+ participants from across Hawai`i and the region), and we also serve the ritual needs of our conservation community (for example, by helping to lead k¯for community, educational, or events). Through these experiences, we understand more clearly now that if we are to succeed in our professions as stewards, then practice of our professions demand nothing less than the aloha and conviction of a devoted parent for an adored child. We also understand that we must foster a collective resurgence of sacred commitment to the places and processes we steward, a change that we believe is required if we are to heal the biogeochemical wounds of unsustainable resource extraction and restore sacred relationships across our evolutionary family that together will ultimately foster socioecological well-being. We have, effectively, reimagined our personal and therefore our professional relationship to the places that we steward: the plants, the animals, the corals and microbes, the elements, the human people, the mountains and the valleys, the rivers and the shorelines, and the bays and the open ocean. 1.4. Why We Need to Tell Our Story This Way Halau ¯ ` Ohi’a ¯ creates a space for collectively recognizing and celebrating deeply held personal motivations that often drive one’s relationship with land, river, and sea. This kind of relational dialogue was either not present in our professional work environments or present in very limited ways; this contemporary reality had many of us thinking (to ourselves or in conversations with like-minded colleagues): how can we do our work better and more aligned with personal beliefs and practices? Kekuhi challenged us to use this writing opportunity to articulate our Halau ¯ `Ohi’a ¯ learning in article format. To be absolutely honest, we struggled with this task, but through extensive discussions, have decided to share our learning in the form of ritual process manifested in the following journal article. You, the reader, may be surprised to learn that simply by arriving at this point of the paper, you have begun the ritual with us, which in the context of our learning as haumana ¯ of Halau ¯ ` Ohi’a ¯ begins with a Welina (physical and spiritual welcome). What follows in each section of this paper is an opportunity, if you choose, to engage your own ritual experience. The format then is quite different from what is encountered in indexed journals, including Sustainability. , drawing from elements of our experience of Hawai`i practice, our ritual follows these steps: the Welina or the welcome and orientation (Section 1 above); this is followed by the Ho’om¯akaukau (To set intentions; Section 2), or personal and collective call to

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Sustainability 2018, 10, 3478 5 of 17 preparation that includes setting personal intentions; after setting intentions, the Ho’¯ ¯ (To come to life; Section 3) follows and includes the sacred process of initiating, entering into, and moving through multiple layers of knowing and meaning; Section 4 is the Pani (Closing), where individually and collectively, we recognize that the ritual has been performed and it is time to transition to Section 5, the Ho’oku’u (To release from ritual), which allows the participant to return to the mundane after having engaged, embraced, and absorbed sacred lessons provided by the ritual catalyzed experience. We have made this decision to go with a ritual-based format because this writing effort is not only focused on transferring information, but is intent on providing hua `o ¯hi’a lehua (the seed-laden fruits of `o ¯hi`a ) that lead each reader and author into an opportunity for transformationŠboth yours and ours. So, by aligning the structure and intention of this paper with this particular ritual process, by making the writing and reading of this paper a ritual in itself, we feel that we are more able to effectively and authentically convey the transformative power of ritual in the pursuit of sustainable resource management and effective conservation. Finally, we believe that it is remarkably appropriate that this paper should be published in a sustainability-focused journal because sacred connections to self, community, and to place are foundational to maintaining the resilience and sustainability of any system. 2. Ho’omakaukau¯ŠSetting Intentions Ritual and Multiple Layers of Meaning In setting our intentions for writing this ritual, we felt it important to demonstrate how ritual expression can provide a path forward for sustainability, resource management, or conservation professionals to actively be in sacred and intimate relationship with the places that we serveŠmuch as one would be in relationship with one’s family or closest friends. To do this, we build on our growing awareness of and commitment to the sacred relationships that who we are in relation to self, family, community, as well as the world of organisms and processes that sustain us and that are sustained by us. To be clear, developing these spiritual relationships does not require a dismantling of one’s personal/professional belief system, but only to consider the notion that spiritually based relationships promote well-being and support a more sustainable path into the future. As part of the Ho’om¯akaukau phase, we take time in our daily lives to practice, study, interpret, and learn from mo’olelo (life stories), ka’ao (stories of, for example, creation and cosmologies), mele (traditional songs and chants), oli (vocalizing), hei (performed string art linked to oli), hula (Hawai`i’s environmental dance), and traditional Hawaiian knowledge, such as that which is captured in `¯olelo no’eau (wise sayings of biocultural A central part of this practice is being aware of and prepared for embracing multiple sources of knowledge, multiple layers of meaning, and multiple ways of interacting with the world [21]. A central but sometimes overlooked feature of Indigenous knowledge systems is the very formal and structured botanical, ecological, agricultural, hydrological, atmospheric, oceanographic, etc., observations that shape Indigenous knowledge of a place [ 3]. This celebration of diverse ways of knowing is powerfully within the multilayered Ki’i (rframework, composed of Ki’i `Iaka (rof self), Ki’i Honua (rof community), and Ki’i ¯Akea (rof the universal), upon which we rely heavily to convey our lessons learned to you the reader. So, this article, a physical manifestation of the ritual into which we are asking you to engage, seeks to teach and transform at three different scales, perspectives, or levels including the deeply personal, the collective family or community or even regional, and the universal. In reading a sacred text, interpreting a chant, or in creating a poem, we are drawn personally and uniquely to the exchange because our being is uniquely engaging the elements of a story or chant in that very moment and in a particular place. For example, you, the reader, in reading a story may connect to the of an elder brother for his younger sibling because you are the eldest sibling of your family, perhaps have taken on much of the responsibility of raising younger siblings, and by making this connection to the story, certain sections of text or themes have a message for your

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Sustainability 2018, 10, 3478 6 of 17 unique experience as elder sibling. This Ki’i `Iaka rmight be particularly poignant if you have just experienced a powerful sharing with your younger sibling. As the regional r Ki’i Honua evokes for the participant a particular set of shared experiencesŠexperiences that might bind together a family, community, or culture. For example, a chant might evoke the importance of a journey across a body of water for accessing new lands or escaping harmful conditions, and you may see your own family’s or even community’s immigrant journey rin the story. In Hawai`i, engaging this theme might conjure images of the wa’a (canoe) and the literal and metaphorical importance of the wa’a to the Hawaiian people as a vessel for discovery, for connecting peoples across the also as a vehicle for coordination, elevated cooperation, and in the best cases, collaboration. The Ki’i ¯Akea asks the participant to that which is universal within the images, themes, or ideas that are being shared. preparation for the birthing of something new can be seen as broadly foundational to the human experience, and in the engaging of this cycle, we become part of and are provided an opportunity to learn fr In engaging this Ki’i framework here, this paper structured as ritual expression seeks to: (1) identify and share the global importance of being genealogically tied to our placesŠa fundamental feature of the human experience ( Ki’i Akea¯); (2) show how we have relied on Halau ¯ ` Ohi’a ¯ to help us transition from a Western, colonial model of sustainability science (resource as commodities to be maximized to support human consumption), natural resource management (resources as objects to be managed through centralized, agency-controlled decision making), and conservation (systems of organisms to be protected from human use), towards a kinship-based model where stewardship is by sacred relationship to place and process, with traditional Hawaiian knowledge and ritual fostering this transition/transformation (Ki’i Honua); and (3) demystify what ritual can mean for the individual practitioner in a sustainability, resource management, and conservation context ( Ki’i `Iaka ) through the sharing of our individual experiences in ritual. A critical aspect of Ho’omakaukau ¯is the of one’s genealogical (not necessarily genetic) and biogeographical relationships with places or processes. This is a fundamental concept, as these connections one’s reciprocal stewardship relationship with one’s surroundings as much as elucidating one’s human family genealogy helps us to understand our connection to parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts, the migrations that brought our families to geographies, and the cultural identity and traditions that shape and enrich our lives. Viewed more broadly, genealogy as understood within a Hawai`i perspective pushes us to consider broader connections by biogeochemical and evolutionary ties, including to sources of food and water that literally make up a resident’s physical and spiritual being, and that person’s connections to all members of the evolutionary tree of life. By becoming familiar with, engaging, and then cultivating gratitude for one’s familial ( Ki’i `Iaka ), biogeochemical ( Ki’i Honua ), and evolutionary ( Ki’i Akea ¯) relationships, those relationships that make up the broadly genealogies that sustain us, we are better prepared to enter into Ho’¯ ¯ , engage in ritual, learn from ritual and then apply lessons to our daily professional and personal lives. 3. Ho’¯¯ ŠTo Come to Life 3.1. What Does Ancestral Ritual Look Like? In Halau ¯ ` Ohi’a, ¯ritual begins with two practicesŠthe involves formally requesting permission to physically and spiritually enter into a sacred space that for our process is the halau¯. When we have been welcomed into this space that is the halau¯, our ritual continues with the building of kuahu (altar as portal to the sacred) that is the act of physically and spiritually entering into a sacred space shared by all participants. These are foundational practices that achieve several things. The

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Sustainability 2018, 10, 3478 8 of 17 An important feature of this is in our training as resource and conservation professionals. , we are trained in universities, and this training is reinforced in the work place in a way that engrains the notion that in order to protect the plants, animals, resources, and places that we care about, we need to support the designation of these places as protected areas, pay professionals to exclude threats (including people) from these areas, federally list species as being of concern, all with the goal of preserving these areas in an isolated and as close to human-free condition as possible. These approaches identify the natural world as commodity (acres treated, numbers of individuals of a listed species saved) to be isolated and locked away. While resource management approaches or conservation practices are often reasonable and important for perpetuating species of concern, the ritual practiced in H alau ¯ ` Ohi’a ¯ has shifted assumptions about our role, the role of kincentric connections, in the care of these places and the sustenance we give to but equally important receive from these places. Ritual is helping each of us, individually and collectively, to connect to our shared and personal landscapes and seascapes, to the organisms and processes that bring life to these places, and to each other and ourselves as genealogical members of these places. At the foundation of this connection is knowing our places geographically, connecting to our processes that sustain us hydrologically, ecologically, and biogeochemically, and engaging our organisms evolutionarily and taxonomically. However, to attain this depth of understanding, ritual asks us to pause, think, notice, consider, and engage with a readiness to listen, receive, and to express gratitude for that which is living and nonliving in a place. In short, as we might bring many ways of knowing to our relationships with friends and family, so ritual asks us to bring many ways of knowingŠintimate, artistic, fun, committed, patient, and sacred ways of knowingŠto our places. Returning to the ritual of presenting yourself to a forest, coastal ecosystem, classroom, or gathering space by setting your intentions and asking permission to enter (the Hawai`i ritual of the mele komo and the act of kahea¯), this practice establishes a tone of humility and respect that helps us to open our minds and hearts so that we can learn from that place on multiple levels. We are driven to know more intimately and patiently and with greater commitment the human, plant, and animal-people of that place. We use art to express this aloha for these places and the beings that make these places home. We express gratitude to these places and beings because we know that they literally sustain us, as a parent who provides for us physically, psychological, emotionally, and spiritually. We know that without these places, we are left impoverished, much as a life without friendship or deep family ties is lesser existence. Finally, it is through the ritual that we physically offer our voice, our sweat, and our intentions as part of a reciprocal exchange with those places that we are genealogically connected to, and this exchange promotes well-being. The of psychology, animal (including human) cognition, and epigenetics, among others, all provide conclusive evidence that the quality of our relationships shape our health, our joy, our capacity for thrivingŠin short, our well-being. Experiments with non-human primates and more contemporary lessons from understaffed orphanages have reminded us of the simplicity, universality, and ancestral nature of this truth. And while early philosophical writings about our relationships to nature are rich with notions of well-being, contemporary agency-based approaches to conservation and resource management uncomfortably cling to a strictly biophysical model of stewardship that in our view disempowers the steward and the stewarded. Ki’i Akea ¯ŠWhy is it important for humans to recognize our genealogical connections to place? The need to belong and form attachments is a universal ki’i among humans. Biophysically, we know that all life on this planet and all forms in this universe come from a single cosmic eventŠthe big bang. The atoms that make up our human bodies, the bodies of our plants, animals, the ocean body, the atmosphere, every form on this planet and beyond, all originate and share an ancestry with stars and the most ancestral of cosmic events. Beyond being physically made up of the same building blocks as our stellar and earth landscapes, environments across the planet all physically nurture us. Our mountains give us life through driving our weather patterns, by being the foundation of our

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Sustainability 2018, 10, 3478 9 of 17 forests, which in turn cover the watersheds that form our water sources, and by providing the alluvial substrates for our farmlands where cherished members of our human community cultivate the food we eat while sustaining enormously complex ecosystems. This water and food from our mountains, plains, and seas physically sustains us, providing the building blocks for our cellsŠour skin, brain, intestines, hair, and musclesŠin short, our beings. Research demonstrates that when our connections to these places, from childhood [ 23] to adults [ 3], includes acknowledging this genealogical connection to our placeŠour mountain, our stream, our ocean, the socio-ecological landscape, its fabric and featuresŠwe recognize that we are as connected and reliant upon them as we are on our life-giving parents and grandparents. With this relationship of connection and reliance come the same responsibilities to care for these mountains and streams that we have to care for our elder family members. One does not need to be Indigenous to a particular place to take responsibility for one’s relationship with the places that give us life and sustain us. Ki’i Honua ŠYet, we can learn from Indigenous cultures, which often codify kincentric relationships between people and the elements of a regional landscape through legends or tales, poetic texts, dances, or other sources. In Halau ¯ ` Ohi’a, ¯ the mele (chant) and accompanying hei (string art) learned by students is fi`O Wakea ¯ Noho ia ¯ Papahanaumoku,fl ¯which details the genealogy of Hawai`iŠall of its islands and its people. It begins with the male entity Wakea ¯(the expansive sky) joining the female entities Papahanaumoku ¯ (she who births islands) and Ho’ohok ¯ ukalani ¯ (she who afthe stars in the heavens) to give birth to the Hawaiian archipelago. As part of this genealogical chant or ko’ihonua, the union of Wakea ¯ and Ho’ohok ¯ ukalani ¯ resulted in the birth of a stillborn child, who is buried in the earth. From his body grows the kalo or taro plant ( Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott, Araceae), Haloanakalaukapalili ¯ (Haloa, ¯ literally great breath of the quivering leaf), which becomes the most important staple crop in Hawai`i. Through this union, a second child is born, also named H ¯aloa, and original ancestor of all Hawaiian people [24]. Ki’i `Iaka ŠThe kalo plant is foundational to island communities because for millennia, it was the main focus of one of the most remarkable traditional Indigenous breeding programs known to science as well as being a source of sustenance for peoples including settlers of Hawai`i. Today, kalo continues to be culturally vital despite massive social, agricultural, and ecological changes to Hawai`i’s food system [ 25,26]. In understanding the shared genealogy of the Hawaiian people, the kalo plant, the islands, the earth, the sky, the stars, through this chant, we are charged with cultivating, caring for, and protecting those plant, land, ocean, and element siblings and ancestors as if they were family. At a personal level, when we plant, maintain, harvest, and prepare the next generation of kalo, we do so with the utmost thought and love. We make sure to never step near the roots of the plant, we diligently weed the patch, we learn the names of the dozens of varieties, and when it is time to harvest, we spend hours cleaning its corms and cuttings, always with an eye to replant and where ever possible share the huli (pruned stalk) and the `oha¯ (intact stalk with leaf and some corm), from which forms the next generation of planting material (Figure 1). This is done so that H ¯aloa is sustained into the future, and in turn, we as people of Hawai`i are sustained for generations to come. Manu Meyer [ 4] (p. 15) quotes a legendary kalo farmer from Waipi’o Valley, who describes the literal and metaphorical importance of planting the elder sibling kalo with integrity and sacred devotion because to do otherwise would hamper the growth and integrity of the harvest and genealogical perpetuation of this foundational agricultural resource. More metaphorically, our relationship with the physical crop is a rof how we speak, cultivate, and harvest the fruits of our ideas and actions. Do fiwe speak powerfully, truthfully, and with purpose or do we think ill, speak ill, and act illfl [4]? Another example of kinship manifested in action can be found in our marine realm. As a descendent of all of the lifeforms starting from the sky, earth, and stars, we are kin to the `opelu (Decapterus macarellus Cuvier; mackerel scad), a staple of the Ka’u ¯ region of Hawai`i Island and coastal communities across the archipelago. For some of us, when we are harvesting `opelu, we look at the eye to eye, and we tell it, fiI’m going to take your life to sustain me and my family;fl we recognize the physical and spiritual reciprocity between us as people and the `opelu as an ancestor. After we

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