The Kaho`olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) has been selected to receive funding for a FY2016 Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services award. KIRC was one of 21 organizations nationwide to receive the funding.
The $49,976 federal grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services is geared to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.
The award–with a $50K award ceiling–will fund a KIRC project seeking to advance access to the culture of the Reserve. The project will support the developing Kaho`olawe “Living Library,” a virtual museum offering a new means of access to Kaho`olawe. The project will focus on two major activities: the expansion of the KIRC’s digitized pilot project collection of archived Kaho`olawe materials, as directed by public demand and core program consultants; and the design of an interactive application for mobile use. The app will feature a fully functioning map of Kaho`olawe that enables the user to virtually explore the Reserve and discover the archived collection.
“To the people of Hawaii, especially Native Hawaiians, Kaho`olawe is a symbol of resilience and an opportunity to rebuild a cultural heritage,” said KIRC Executive Director Mike Naho`opi`i in a statement. “As the only major island in the Pacific that has been archaeologically surveyed from coast to coast, with the entire island listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Kaho`olawe Island Reserve’s current inventory contains 3,000+ historic sites and features- encompassing an intact and unique record of Hawaiian history & culture.”
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research helps libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.
“By creating access to these resources, we further our mission of providing access to Kaho`olawe,” KIRC spokesperson Kelly McHugh said. “The benefits offered through the history, culture and ecology of Kaho`olawe are boundless. This is just one way that we can share and enhance those benefits for and with our community.”
The Kaho`olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) was established by the Hawaii State Legislature in 1993 to manage the Kaho`olawe Island Reserve while it is held in trust for a future Native Hawaiian sovereign entity. The KIRC’s mission is to implement the vision for Kaho`olawe in which the kino (body) is restored and na poe o Hawaii (the people of Hawaii) care for the land. The Commission has pledged to provide for the meaningful and safe use of Kaho`olawe for the purpose of the traditional and cultural practices of the native Hawaiian people and to undertake the restoration of the island and its waters.
Photo: Andrew Wright/KIRC