Donna "Kahiwa" Kahakui has worked to increase ocean awareness through her many long distance paddles. By pushing herself to the limit, Kahiwa demonstrates how one person can make a difference through determined action.
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Hale'iwa to Ni'ihau, June 2004 This was the last paddle to connect the inhabited Hawaiian Island Chain. The vision was to connect all islands via one-person canoe and show that we are all attached and need to come together to take care of our ocean. This paddle represented not only a completion of the dream by Donna Kahakui to send a message to all about the need and responsibilty to care for our ocean for the next generation, but also a passing of the torch as she was accompanied by Nahina Leeloy and Vaimana Connor, canoe paddlers of the the next generation. From start to finish this was a journey full of wonderment and appreciation. It began with a group of women, Lei Papahi, who came together to work for a greater purpose of blessing, supporting and being a part of this environmental message and ended at an Island that marks one of our oldest living ancestors, Ni'ihau. It is with great hope that through these environmental paddles the message has been sent to the next generation and that message being "We are all connected. It is time to take responsibility for ourselves, our communities and our ocean. For without it, we are nothing."
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