It's been a while since we last spoke, fam. But we're back to talk about another huge topic - wai or water. There is so much to be said about this vital resource that we literally can't live without. It is no coincidence that indigenous peoples and Native Hawaiians, also known as Kānaka Maʻoli or Kānaka ʻŌiwi, hold this resource sacred.
We tried to encapsulate this major topic, like we do in all our seasons, by speaking with a mix of kāne and wāhine educators, environmental scientists, artists, cultural practitioners, farmers, lawyers and more. However, there are countless voices with vast knowledge and perspective from the front lines of protecting wai. Like always , we did our best to capture an array of folks we could schedule within our time frame. By no means do we think one season could do wai justice but we are seizing the moment to get the ball rolling #radicalhonesty
What a time to be talking about the importance of wai. Many of our listeners already know that Oʻahu is experiencing a water crisis as a result of another leak from the U.S Navy's bulk fuel storage facility on Kapūkakī, aka Red Hill. Military families' drinking water was poisoned with jet fuel during the holiday season. Now, The Board of Water supply has shut down three of Oʻahu's water wells as a precaution since the facility is positioned just 100 feet above a major aquifer that supplies drinking water to more than 400,000 residents across the island. In response, there has been an inspiring groundswell of activism. Hundreds of Kānaka ʻŌiwi, environmentalists, government agencies, and other concerned residents, are protesting the U.S. Navy’s negligence and desecration of a sacred resource- some of them have been in this fight for years. Now that global activism and attention, the fight grows for the Navy to decommission Red Hill and restore Kapūkakī. More on that in our bonus episode since we actually wrapped this season before the leak happened.
This is just one example of many struggles to protect and defend water systems from foreign interests, militarism, and profit seeking landowners. In this season, we spoke with water protectors throughout our islands to capture the many place-based struggles and sought to weave a thread of deep reverence for wai's resilience.
You can check out our first episode that serves as a snapshot for what to expect this season. You will also get to meet our guest host, Lala Nuss; a regenerative practitioner, local wahine, and soulful storyteller who weaves her deep admiration for wai, social justice, and aloha ʻāina with grace and power! Our beloved Tina took a break to finish her dissertation and is now on the frontlines organizing against the Navy. Though she is missed, we are grateful for her fearless voice and leadership resisting the military industrial complex and calling for a decolonized future. #walksthewalk
We look forward to you joining us on another huakaʻi. Ola I Ka Wai, water is life.