Waimea, Kauai — Native Hawaiian lessees and Native Hawaiians on the waiting list for Hawaiian Home Lands in Kekaha, Hanapepe or Waimea, have organized the West Kauai Homestead Association (WKHA) to unify and support the purposes of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) enacted by Congress in 1920.
WKHA joins other homestead associations located on Kauai, Maui, Hawaii Island, Molokai and Lanai that have formed to serve specific geographic areas or regions over the last 90 years since the establishment of Hawaiian Home Land Trust.
“We are very excited to have organized ourselves into a homestead association to serve our West Kauai homestead people and lands,” said Leah Pereira, a kupuna lessee from Kekaha for over 35 years, and one of the five founding board members. “When people with common goals come together, good things can happen, and we can bring good energy and solutions to our homestead areas.”
WKHA organized in January 2013, with its initial Board of Directors as follows:
- Tano Castaneda – WKHA President
- Kaleo Hookano – WKHA Vice President
- Myrna Bucasas – WKHA secretary-treasurer
- Leah Pereira – WKHA Director
- Liberta Hussey-Albao – WKHA Director
Within the first week of membership application availability, WKHA received over 60 new members.
“There is a lot of positive energy from lessees, but also from the hundreds of families that are located all across Kauai that are waiting for a land award in West Kauai, particularly for agricultural or pastoral awards from the inventory of Waimea lands, said Tano Castaneda, WKHA President. “We are looking forward to bringing people together through membership in WKHA, and working with other organizations in West Kauai as well as the State Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.”
WKHA meets quarterly to advance its mission of service to homestead lessees and applicants on the waitlist for Hawaiian homes for Hanapepe, Waimea or Kekaha. Individuals and families are welcome to join, by emailing WKHA President Tano Castaneda at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (808) 294-2212.