Haumea: Transforming the Health of Native Hawaiian Women and Empowering Wāhine Well-Being


Launched in 2018 for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and National Women’s Health Week, the Haumea initiative explores exemplary assets, strengths, and wisdom of Native Hawaiian wāhine according to traditional Hawaiian culture. Haumea translates research and data using a cultural and social determinants of health framework. More than one hundred policies, practice, and programming recommendations were compiled from community action planning and culturally-informed best practices. Grounded in the Kūkulu Hou Methodology, this report explores the role of wāhine in Native Hawaiian society before forced assimilation; going on to describe current post-colonial barriers inhibiting the empowerment of their well-being today. This report analyzed numerous national surveillance systems and state population surveys to produce the most comprehensive disaggregated data set for Native Hawaiian females across the lifespan in social, cultural, environmental, and political contexts. Native Hawaiian women and girls experience severe inequities across every generation. Major content is organized into six chapters, each with a consistent framework while presenting stories from wāhine change-makers by means of testimonials. Direct recommendations for equity efforts across all sectors, in all policies, should lead a movement which prioritizes women and girls in Hawaii while simultaneously honoring their indigeneity. This report is a call to action in order to improve the health of our next generation of wāhine: we must continue to advocate for better methods of integrating cultural values and resiliency across government agencies, uplifting community-based programming and create expert coalitions across beneficiary named trusts. Several successful policies, programmatic and community development programs have resulted from this initiative and will be presented during this session as one way to measure its impact.