The Hōnaunau Ola Mau Loa project was designed and launched by Keōua Hōnaunau Canoe Club, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974.

Keōuaʻs mission is “to perpetuate the ancient art and culture of Hawaiian outrigger canoe paddling as traditionally practiced on historic Hōnaunau Bay; to develop community awareness and interest in the traditional and cultural heritage of the native Hawaiians; to promote and encourage the identification, preservation and appreciation of historical, cultural, and archaeological sites and artifacts within the State of Hawaii, especially in Kona, Hawai‘i.”

The activities undertaken by Keōua, however, go far beyond the core mission. Keōua’s programs promote environmental awareness; Hawaiian cultural concepts of family (‘ohana), cooperation (laulima) and making things right (ho‘oponopono); and include instruction in Hawaiian language associated with traditional outrigger canoe paddling, construction, operation, maintenance, and repair.

Keōua Hōnaunau Canoe Club is especially dedicated to serving its youngest members through a well-developed youth program, which has served more than 1,000 community youth over the years of the program’s operation. A high percentage of the youth members of the club are Native Hawaiian.

Keōua has also been a community leader in the areas of marine resource protection, working in partnership with state and federal agencies to bring more awareness to the importance of reef and marine mammal protection in Hōnaunau Bay, an area heavily visited by tourists and local families from around the island.

Keōua is, essentially, an “anchor” organization at Hōnaunau Bay, and the club’s prominent presence and numerous community support activities have earned Keōua a leadership role in this small community. These activities have included local trail and site restoration projects, major fundraising campaigns for needy families and families in crisis, providing a site and canoes for memorial services for local families, and mentoring Maoli youth in crisis through inclusion in various club activities.


The Hōnaunau Ola Mau Loa project was designed to achieve two important objectives by the end of the two-year project period, which began October 2015 and was completed in October of 2017.

Objective One: The traditional hale halawai at Hōnaunau Bay, Hale O Ho‘oponopono, will be re-established, involving a hale builder training program for five haumana (interns) that will provide skills towards participants’ certification as Certified Hale Builders, and a series of community hale building workshops.

Objective Two: An Ahupua‘a Boundary Marker system for the four ahupua‘a in the project area will be completed, affirming the identity and cultural importance of these sacred lands.

The project was funded by the Administration for Native Americans and carried out with a project team and a network of community members and project partners.