Nov. 2, 2019
On the first night of Hana’s Aloha Festivals Celebration, Oct. 19, it was announced that the 2019 Tiny Malaikini Mea Kokua Award — the community’s highly coveted recognition for public service — was awarded to co-recipients John Lind and Tweetie Lind.
The couple were chosen because they are founders of the Kipahulu Ohana, a land-based nonprofit most well-known for the Kapahu Living Farm near Oheo Gulch that grows traditional Hawaiian wetland taro and provides educational programs for Hana’s youths and other groups. In addition, they were important in the restoration of the Wailua Loi. They also operate the certified commercial Kipahulu Kitchen at Kalena Center to help process the foods grown in Kipahulu.
They are founders of the Hana District Pohaku to help Hawaiians reconnect with the land. And they have fought for indigenous land rights throughout East Maui.
As far back as 1977, they were active participants in the Protect Kahoolawe Ohana, which, after many years of struggle, successfully got the island of Kahoolawe returned to the State of Hawaii.
With others, they helped found the Hana Canoe Club, the Hana Surf Club, the East Maui Taro Festival and the Kauiki Council. Later, they helped form the Na Mamo O Muolea organization that eventually was able to get the County of Maui to purchase Muolea Point for protection and preservation.
Not active just on land but also in the ocean, they developed the Kipahulu Community Based Fishing Subsistence Area with a goal of having a fishing preserve that is indigenous, sustainable and pono. Through that they do shoreline management and support an opihi “rest area,” a no-take zone next to Haleakala National Park, and they were the 2018 grand marshals for these Festivals of Aloha.
John Lind is a lifelong farmer, fisherman, hunter and butcher, as well as a spark plug for many substantive organizations that help the people of Hana over many decades. He is a traditional konohiki of the Kipahulu moku and is an entrepreneur for the Kapahu Living Farm. He served on the Hana Community Advisory Committee for the Hana Community Plan update. And he was awarded the 2008 Hawaii Tourism Authority’s “Keep It Hawaii” individual award.
For two decades, Tweetie Lind hosted educational groups and interpretive hikes at Kapahu Living Farm. With her focus on the education and genealogy for Hana’s ohana, she helps to preserve Hana’s culture and traditions. She is manager of the Kipahulu Kitchen. For many years, she was the chair of the ag tent committee for the East Maui Taro Festival. She served on the HTA tourism strategic planning committee and was president of the Kipahulu Community Association.
Established in 1992, the Malaikini Award is awarded annually for the person who has given most selflessly for the betterment of the Hana community.