The work of Native Americans in Philanthropy is rooted in the knowledge that Indigenous wisdom is key to maintaining healthy Native communities. With that in mind and in observance of Father’s Day, we wanted to take the opportunity to spotlight one of our Native Voices Rising grant partners whose work focuses on empowering the men within their communities.
The Aha Kane Foundation for the Advancement of Native Hawaiian Males strives to nurture a healthier Native Hawaiian male population by eliminating psychosocial, health, and educational disparities through activities founded on traditional cultural practices that build sustainability in the community.
The mission of Aha Kane is the empowerment of Native Hawaiian males to fulfill their roles and responsibilities in their families and respective communities through several programs. One of those programs is “He Huewai Ola” which offers mentoring, instruction, and inspiration to families via Native Hawaiian men’s personal development of Native Hawaiian cultural practices and skills such as cooking, carving, lomi (traditional Native Hawaiian healing massage), dance, mele (Native Hawaiian song), building projects, and more.
Aha Kane feels the best way to develop the leadership skills and political knowledge of their members and constituents is to look to the cultural moolelo (stories, legends) and proverbs of Native Hawaiians’ past. They believe Native Hawaiian history is a good compass on how to operate and applying those historical lessons today provides them with ways to develop their members’ and constituents’ leadership skills and political knowledge.
This is just a sampling of the programs and perspectives that Aha Kane has to offer. We’re inspired by how they empower their communities by focusing on the beneficial influence of traditional knowledge.