Maui News

Friends of Moku‘ula Offers 2017 Scholarships for West Maui Residents

February 28, 2017, 10:30 AM HST
* Updated February 28, 5:02 PM
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Maui Nei Native Expeditions is an educational program of the 501c(3) nonprofit cultural organization, Friends of Moku‘ula. By creating educational programs and operating authentic Hawaiian cultural tours, Maui Nei is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the royal Hawaiian complex of Moku‘ula Island and Mokuhinia Pond located in the National Historic District of Lahaina. Maui Nei grew out of community interest to conserve the sacred site’s natural and cultural resources, while educating residents and visitors on its significance along with Lahaina’s historic landmarks.

Friends of Moku‘ula and Maui Nei Native Expeditions are offering two Akoni Akana Po‘okela Scholarships to West Maui residents in 2017.

Scholarships in the amount of $500 each will be awarded to a student who is graduating from high school this year, and a student who is currently enrolled in University of Hawai‘i Maui College.

High school seniors and college students who reside in West Maui are encouraged to submit a written statement that describes how they will use the scholarship award to advance their education, whether it be in the pursuit of Hawaiian cultural arts or skills, enrolling in courses at a college or university, or enrolling in a vocational school. Full legal name and contact information should be included.

Scholarship requests must be submitted no later than April 28, 2017 by email to: [email protected] (Attention: Program Director).

Akoni Akana was the first executive director of Friends of Moku‘ula. After his death in 2011, a scholarship fund was established by the organization in his honor. The intended purpose is to perpetuate sharing Native Hawaiian culture and history, cultivating traditional practices in a new generation, and encouraging stewardship of important lands to benefit youth as they grow into the leaders of tomorrow.


For more information, call the Friends of Moku‘ula office at 808-661-3659. Visit


Friends of Moku‘ula, a 501(c)3 nonprofit cultural organization, was established in 1995 to cultivate awareness of the Hawaiian culture through restoration, preservation, education and revitalization of Moku‘ula Island and Mokuhinia Pond in Lahaina.

The freshwater pond contained a one-acre sandbar island called Moku‘ula, which was home to the high chiefs of Pi‘ilani since the 16th century and a royal residence for the Kamehameha line in the 19th century. It was guarded by mo‘o goddess, Kihawahine.

Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III) ruled Hawai‘i from Moku‘ula between 1830 and 1845 when Lahaina served as the kingdom’s capital.


In the early 20th century, Mokuhinia was filled with coral rubble dredged from the Lahaina roadstead and by 1918, the acreage was handed over to the County of Maui for use as Malu‘uluolele Park.

Today, the Friends of Moku‘ula are dedicated to breathing new life into this sacred Hawaiian site.

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