Lā 309: Please read, support, and share!! This is painful on so many levels. Kākoʻo!! I support these mana wahine.

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As many of you know, Kai Palaoa is comprised of native Hawaiian cultural practitioners who in their individual and collective practices have been called to stand, serve, defend and protect what is at the core of our practice; our ʻāina (land), our kai (ocean) and our akua (deities).

Kealoha Pisciotta, founder of Kai Palaoa, is also the president and spokesperson of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou and lead litigant in the Mauna Kea case against TMT that was recently ruled on by the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court. Although the court ruled in favor of the Mauna Kea Hui, this case will now move on to its second contested case hearing phase.

Simultaneously, NOAA recently issued formal federal citations against Roxane Stewart & Kealoha Pisciotta (and Kai Palaoa) alleging “illegal take & transport” stemming from our June 2014 stranding response in Kawaihae where we were honored to care for “Wānanalua”, a small melon-headed whale who stranded, later passed on and was transitioned to the pō i hoʻi ʻole mai.

As Hawaiian cultural practitioners, we stand and take to heart our kuleana (responsibility) in caring for our distressed Kanaloa (the Hawaiian cultural term for whale, dolphins, and other marine mammals) as they are important in maintaining the natural balance and survival of our oceans.

We have retained legal counsel with whom we are currently working to defend our practice and right to maintain our relationship with our poʻe Kanaloa. This stand is imperative, because we are being forced to defend ourselves, our organization and our culture against NOAA’s unjust accusations.

Our warmest mahalo to all of you who have stood with us over the years in our work as practitioners and as festival coordinators in our efforts to place our poʻe Kanaloa in the center of our consciousness for the good of Hawaiʻi and the world whose oceans they traverse.