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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 Our hui also utilizes Hawaiian language in our research in order to draw from a broader range of historical documents to understand historical land use and practices.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 recently 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 10 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.
Dominique Leu Cordy grew 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 free-lance research across the pae ʻāina. Focusing on land in Hawaiʻi, she specializes in archival research 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 17 experience in the field of Cultural Resource Management (CRM) in Hawaiʻi; archaeology, EA and EIS review, community ethnography, Historic land and historical research, GIS research, and has guest lectured for 6 years for the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program (WKIP) as well as at the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu. Ms. Cordy 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 (cultural resources) and is a participating member of the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective, the Waioli Taro Valley Hui, and is on the Board of Kīpuka Kuleana.
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 received his M. A. in ʻIke Hawaiʻi in 2021, and his B.A. in ‘Ike Hawai‘i and ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i in 2015. He has been working with Nohopapa Hawaiʻi for over seven years as a project lead, researcher, field assistant and alakaʻi on various Wahi Kūpuna Stewardship (WKS, previously known as cultural resource management or CRM) projects across the pae ʻāina from Hawaiʻi Island to Papahānaumokuākea. His primary strengths 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. Kepoʻo is currently a student in the PhD program in the department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Lilia Merrin was born and raised in Wailua, Puna, Kauaʻi and currently resides in Kīlauea. She has her an AA in Liberal Arts from Kapiʻolani Community College, a BA in Hawaiian Studies (with a minor in Hawaiian Language), and in 2019, she received her Masters in Hawaiian Studies with a focus on Mālama ʻĀina (Cultural Resource Management) from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Since her participation in the 2014 Mālama ʻĀina Field School, she has assisted with the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program and has work as a field assistant on Nihoa and Mokumanamana of the Papahānaumokuākea National Monument. Lilia has also served as the lead Graduate Assistant at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at UH Mānoa under Jon Osorio, Kekai Perry and Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa, and has interned with Bishop Museum’s Anthropology Department, Kamehameha Schools Natural and Cultural Resource Division, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs Land Assets Division. She now works Nohopapa Hawaiʻi as a Cultural Research Specialist as well as a WKIP Instructor and Communications Officer for Huliauapaʻa.
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. Rachel possesses 15 years of academic and applied heritage preservation experience throughout the Pacific Rim, including five 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, pono allyship, and working to actualize culturally-appropriate, place and communities-based wahi kupuna stewardship.
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.
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.
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