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Photo: Momi Wheeler
Our Nohopapa team is committed to high professional standards concerning historic preservation, as well as possessing extensive cultural background in regards to dealing with physical remains of our historical past. Our formal education and work experience derives from the fields of Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Hawaiian Studies, Pacific Island Studies, and Historic Preservation. Our hui also utilizes Hawaiian language in our research in order to draw from a broader range of historical documents to understand historical land use and practices. We always strive to balance preservation priorities with adaptive reuse and restoration to help make cultural materials and places relevant and meaningful to communities once again. Our hui also consists of Hawaiian cultural practitioners that are capable of conducting appropriate ceremonies, chants, and protocols to ensure the highest degree of respect and consideration is given to all projects and work situations
NOHOPAPA LEADERSHIP TEAM
Kelley Lehuakeaopuna Uyeoka was born and raised in Kailua, Oʻahu and traces her ‘ohana lineage to the ‘āina of Puna and Kohala, Hawai‘i Island and Kīpahulu and Haneo‘o, Maui. She graduated from Kamehameha Schools, Kapālama, then received her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Pacific Island Studies from UH Hilo. In 2009 she received her Masters in Applied Archaeology and a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation from UH Mānoa. Kelley has worked for a number of cultural resource management (CRM) companies on a variety of projects including cultural impact studies, archaeological surveys, collections management projects, and ethnohistorical studies. She developed the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program in 2010 and continues to serve as Program Director. In 2012 she helped to create Huliauapaʻa, a non-profit organization whose mission is to grow Hawaiʻi’s communities through culturally based dimensions of innovative learning, leadership development and collaborative networking in wahi kupuna stewardship. In 2013 Kelley and her partner, Kekuewa Kikiloi, developed Nohopapa Hawaiʻi, an ʻŌiwi owned and operated social enterprise focusing on deepening the connections between kānaka and ʻāina.
Kekuewa Kikiloi is from Heʻeia Oʻahu. He is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools and obtained his Ph.D. in Anthropology (Archaeology) from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His educational background is primarily in Hawaiian Studies and Anthropology, where his research has been focused on understanding the nature and complexity of traditional Hawaiian society and bringing this knowledge to bear on cultural revitalization efforts today. Over the past 25 years he has worked in cultural resource management and research in Hawaiʻi. He held positions such as the Cultural Program Coordinator for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and the Cultural Assets Manager the Kamehameha Schools. His interest, passion, and commitment lie in the protection and stewardship of wahi kūpuna and the revitalization of loina kahiko. He is currently an Associate Professor in Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Dominique Leu Cordy up all over Oʻahu, and now lives and farms kalo with her kāne and their two keiki in Haleleʻa and Koʻolau, Kauaʻi. She currently does research across the pae ʻāina focusing on land in Hawaiʻi, she specializes in archival research, ethnography, and GIS mapping. She has a BA in Cultural anthropology from University of California at Davis and an MA in Pacific Island studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of Wahi Kūpuna stewardship in Hawaiʻi and the industry of Cultural Resource Management (CRM); HAR 6E and 13-300, Section 106, archaeology, EA and EIS compliance work, community ethnography, Hawaiian Kingdom land use and tenure, and GIS databasing and research. Dominique has managed and developed cultural and historical GIS databases for government agencies, including the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE-POH), the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. She engages actively in community organizations that seek to protect, preserve, and educate about Hawaiʻi's precious wahi kūpuna and is a founding and participating member of the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective. She also works for two non-profits: The Hanalei Initiative and Huliauapaʻa.
Momi Wheeler was born and raised in Wahiawā, Oʻahu and resides in Waikahekahe Nui, Hawaiʻi. Her ʻohana lineage is to the ʻāina of Puna and Kohala, Hawaiʻi and Makaweli, Kauaʻi. She is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UHH) receiving a B.S. in agriculture with a specialty in aquaculture. For over 12 years, Momi is grateful to have worked with private archaeology firms in Hawaiʻi gaining experience with cultural impact studies, community ethnography, ethnohistorical research and various types of archaeological surveys, monitoring, and reports. Her kuleana with Nohopapa Hawaiʻi, LLC is serving as kanaka ʻōiwi researcher and field kōkua on various Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship (WKS) projects throughout the pae ʻāina. As well as kuleana with the non-profit organization, Huliauapaʻa, serving as their Outreach and Project Coordinator. She enjoys giving back to her lā hui in the perpetuation of Aloha ʻĀina and is a native stream life enthusiast.
Kepo‘o Keli‘ipa‘akaua Kepo‘o Keli‘ipa‘akaua currently lives in Makiki on Oʻahu. He received his M. A. in ʻIke Hawaiʻi in 2021, and his B.A. in ‘Ike Hawai‘i and ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i in 2015 from Hawaiʻinuiākea at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He has been working with Nohopapa Hawaiʻi and Huliauapaʻa for over nine years in multiple roles as a project lead, researcher, field assistant and alakaʻi on various Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship (WKS, previously known as cultural resource management) projects across the pae ʻāina from Hawaiʻi Island to Papahānaumokuākea. Kepoʻo also serves on the ʻAha Kuapapa, the steering committee, for the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective, an organization that has assembled for the purpose of elevating Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship through collaborative efforts extending across government, private, and community sectors. His primary strengths and passions lie in Native Hawaiian ethnohistorical research pertaining to ʻāina and ʻāina systems, especially as may be reconstructed from information found in historical maps and Mahele documents. His specialty lies in combining these niche approaches to ethnohistorical research with tools like ArcGIS to integrate ancestral ʻike with geospatial representations to analyze and assess suitable pathways for facilitating reconnections between kānaka and their ancestral ʻāina and to identify sustainable land use activities that perpetuate the history and culture of place. Kepoʻo is currently a student in the PhD program in the department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and his research focus is guided by values and principles that are grounded in, and prioritize Indigenous Knowledge and place-based, and community-driven outcomes.
Rachel Hoerman is a settler who calls Kailua, O’ahu, home. Born and raised on the continent, she traces her family’s roots to Eastern Europe. She holds a B.A. in history and studio art from Lawrence University, Wisconsin, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from UH Mānoa. A Nohopapa Hawaiʻi Principal and Archaeologist, Rachel possesses 17 years of academic and applied heritage preservation experience throughout Oceania, including seven years of managing cultural resources management projects throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and innovating LiDAR and remote sensing archaeological services. Her passion and interests lie in heritage policy advocacy, allyship, and working to actualize place and community-based wahi kūpuna stewardship. In addition to her role with Nohopapa, Rachel serves as a Historic Preservation Specialist and Project Coordinator with the non-profit Huliauapaʻa and an adjunct professor in Anthropology at UH Mānoa.
Pua O Eleili Pinto is from Kailua, Oʻahu. In 2014, she participated in a summer internship with Nohopapa in Kohala, Hawaiʻi Island. There she learned about Community Ethnography, deeply connecting with some of the kūpuna in Kohala. Supporting the telling of stories from the kupa of that ʻāina became her growing passion for the years to follow. PuaOEleili received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in 2015 and Master’s in 2019 in ‘Ike Hawai’i from the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa. Her focus was on ʻōiwi childbirth and its relationship to healing practices and ʻāina. Kekuewa Kikiloi was her MA chair. His mentorship in research helped prepare her for receiving a part time position at Nohopapa as a community ethnographer for wahi hoʻōla. Pua OEleili is also trained in Lomilomi (10years), lāʻau lapaʻau (7years), and pale wahine (7years). She is a mother of 2 keiki.
Kalama‘ehu Takahashi is a resident of the Kāʻanapali moku on the island of Maui. He received a M.A in Hawaiian Studies in 2021, B.A. inʻIke Hawaiʻi with a concentration in Mālama ʻĀina (Cultural Resource Management) from Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies and a B.A. in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi from Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language in 2015. A pivotal experience in the beginning of his graduate and professional career was participating in the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Stewardship Program (2015, Hāmākua, Hawaiʻi),where he researched traditional land tenure and highlighted applications in contemporary stewardship practices. Kalamaʻehu is continually inspired by community and place and seeks to highlight these connections in his work as a researcher for Nohopapa. He has worked on various Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship (WKS, previously known as cultural resource management) projects with specialization in Ethnohistorical Research and Writing since 2021.
Amber Souza is from Honomakaʻu, Kohala, Hawaiʻi Island and currently resides in Waiākea, Hilo. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Hawaiian Studies with a concentration in Mālama ʻĀina (Cultural Resource Management) from Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies and holds a Masters in Social Work with a specialization in Child and Family from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She was a participant in the 2019 Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program where she inventoried historical changes of the Waipā kahawai to aid in strengthening stewardship practices and has worked within Huliauapaʻa initiatives since 2020.
Kalena Lee-Agcaoili was born and rasied in Kīhei on the island of Maui and currently resides in the malu of Wailuku. She received her Bacherlors of Arts in Hawaiian Langauge and Hawaiian Studies with a concentration in Mālama ʻĀina (Cultural Resoruce Management) from Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, and holds a Masters in Hawaiian Studies, as well as a Masters Certificate in Public Administration Non-profit Managment from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She was a participant in the 2019 Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program where
she researched and identified the traditional names of water resources belonging to Waipā, Kauaʻi utilizing historic documents in efforts to allow the acnestral names of place to be returned to the memories of today’s community and the lands of which these names belong to. Kalena began working with Huliauapaʻa in 2020 serving as a Community Workshop Coordinator and as the Sustainability Kākoʻo (Grant Writer). She also helps to support the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective. She currently serves as the Pae Moananuiākea Hub Coordinator for the Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledge and Sciences, and works with Nohopapa Hawaiʻi as a Cultural Research Specialist.
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