It was at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu that Kanenuiakea, the millennia-old aboriginal faith and practice of the Waianae Wahipana, that Kanenuiakea ceased being huna (secretly practiced) after a century of hiding from persecution as the practice of witchcraft and sorcery—which was still prosecuted as a crime in Hawaii until 1970. The church partnered with Marae Ha‘a Koa and began learning Hawaiian values and going on field trips to historic and sacred sites in the Waianae Wahipana. They also facilitated Kanenuiakea in joining IARF.
Koa Ike, its cultural center (Marae Ha‘a Koa), and its spiritual tradition (Kanenuiakea) have become part of interfaith networks like the Hawaii Conference on Religion and Peace. It regularly shares with partners and religious communities wanting to know about aboriginal values, faith and practice.
There is a special relationship with Buddhist faith communities. Aboriginal spiritual teachings of the Waianae Wahipana are immanental; that is, that the sacred is natural and manifests from and within the natural order. Like devotional Buddhism, Hawaiian teachings can refer to many deities (Buddhas / akua), but these actually point beyond themselves and are to be understood as manifestations of the sacred, not the God or the Absolute. Parallels and differences between indigenous faith and Buddhism is shared joyously now that a new period of tolerance exists in Hawaii.
Presentations, site visits, and consultations are part of our program for our partner school, colleges, and universities.
Some of the college and university classes and programs include the University of Amherst, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, California State University Chico, Hampshire University Sapporo University, San Diego University, the University of Hawaii, and Leeward Community College.