As our lāhui continues to seek greater control over our lives and homeland, the voices of our kūpuna who have risen up to meet such challenges continue to inspire, energize, and guide us forward. The #HawaiianPatriots Project connects us to their voices.

As with all Kamakakoʻi endeavors, the #HawaiianPatriots Project is a collaborative, community-driven effort that aims to amplify the voices of our lāhui. #HawaiianPatriots indirectly stems from the March 2014 Kāmau a Ea 3 Governance Summit where participants were asked to identify materials that could be offered to our lāhui as educational resources.

In a breakout session at the summit, Dr. Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua spoke of a course she teaches at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa that helps students explore political paths for our lāhui. She explained that the sources her students were studying might be similarly helpful to a wider audience.

Later, we followed up with Dr. Goodyear-Kaʻōpua. When we got together, our attention was piqued by an assignment she explained had a particularly strong impact on her haumāna. It engaged them in delving into the lives, beliefs, and works of famed Hawaiian patriots — leaders who shaped and inspired the political, social and cultural movements of our lāhui over the course of the past century.

Dr. Goodyear-Kaʻōpua had haumāna bring to life the words of revered patriots by recreating their speeches (or writings, now turned into a speech). The original orators’ wisdom and strength lived on in their words. But the ea or breath of the speeches came from the haumāna who embraced those messages and gave them new life through their own leo.

Under the guidance of their kumu, Dr. Goodyear-Kaʻōpua, and the OHA Community Engagement project team, revered patriots of times past and ʻōpio of today share timeless messages.

They lead us to live aloha ʻāina--to live with a deep connection and self-less dedication to our pae ʻāina, lāhui, and our home communities. They implore us to call upon our ancestral knowledge, to take courageous stands, to ensure the continued vibrancy of our lands and people. They move us to learn more and take action — whether by shaping the political future of our lāhui, planting crops to feed our ʻohana, or simply signing a petition. They challenge us to reject complacency and be part of the solution.

Hear their voices. Follow their lead. Live aloha ʻāina.