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Promoting the Practices of Hānai and Luhi

Promoting the Practices of Hānai and Luhi

By Chris Molina

Today, a disproportionate number of Native Hawaiian kamaliʻi are in foster care. Recent data (2014-2018) reveal Native Hawaiian kamaliʻi comprise almost half of all children in care. Sadly, the experience of foster care may cause further damage to kamaliʻi, mākua, and their relationships with each other.

When looking for helpful responses to support families under stress, we can heed the advice of our ancestors: “ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope,” and look to traditional practices for solutions to today’s problems. Our ancestors knew the importance of permanency, support, and family unity and developed practices that promote resilience, abundance, and shared kuleana. This includes the practices of hānai and luhi.

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