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E Hoʻi i ke Au a Kanaloa
Return to the Cycles of Kanaloa

Cultural Impact Assessment (Part I) & Legal & Ka Paʻakai Analysis (Part II) For the Nomination of the Papahānaumokuākea MarineNational Monument as a National Marine Sanctuary

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument - 
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources.

Nohopapa Hawai‘i, LLC (Nohopapa), completed this Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) as Part 1
and Legal Analysis (LA) as Part 2, inclusive of but not limited to a Ka Pa‘akai Analysis, on behalf
of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF), and in partnership with the State of
Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR-DAR).
The studies assess the cultural impacts of the proposed designation of the marine portions of
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) as a National Marine Sanctuary, in
order to inform a joint federal/state Environmental Impact Statement and satisfy State
environmental compliance review requirements.

A breadth and depth of Hawaiian oral traditions, cultural resources (practices and features), and
knowledge streams associated with Papahānaumokuākea were revealed during background
research and community consultation for the CIA and LA. Both yielded a multitude of evidence

  • The Kūpuna Islands as an ecological, physical, spiritual, and cultural continuation of the pae ʻāina (southeastern islands of the Hawaiian archipelago) and incubator of sea life, cultural practices, resources, and traditions;

  • Papahānaumokuākea as the realm of Pō (realm of the gods) and a wao akua (realm of the gods), specifically but not exclusively Kanaloa;

  • Traditional, continued, and ever-evolving awareness of and pilina (relationships) to Papahānaumokuākea.

CIA and LA consultation also resulted in complex, nuanced, and detailed ‘ike (knowledge,
information) and mana‘o (perspectives and insights) regarding an array of potential impacts to
cultural resources (see detailed discussion in the CIA and LA segments of this report) and desired
mitigations and recommendations for pono (righteous, just, proper) stewardship of
Papahānaumokuākea. To this, Nohopapa Hawai‘i has added supplementary considerations from
our experience in wahi kūpuna (ancestral spaces and places)1 stewardship and the more narrow
and silo-d purviews of historic preservation compliance/cultural resource management.

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