About Kānaka Climbers
Culturally & Historically Significant Information for Hawai'i Hikers & Climbers
We are a Native Hawaiian led non-profit organization that aims to encourage a more responsible and ethical outdoor recreational community in Hawaiʻi. We focus on providing vital, culture based education surrounding hiking and climbing. We work with Cultural Practitioners, Allies who are experienced in Archaeology, Botany, History, and Locals. We hope to provide knowledge and guidance that will help people form a connection with the ʻāina (land) and in turn become better stewards. We actively engage in conversations with Kānaka (Native Hawaiian), Native Hawaiian Organizations and Locals within different recreational areas to assist in voicing and supporting area specific concerns, which often involve the protection and preservation of sacred spaces.
Everyone has a Why. Our motivations are as varied as our backgrounds, and these passions are what powers adventures big and small.
Skye Kolealani Razon-Olds climbs as a cultural practice. As a Native Hawaiian, her ancestors live in the stone that she climbs, and she educates climbers on respectful access to these places through her work as co-founder of the nonprofit Kanaka Climbers.
In this episode, we learn from Briana Mazzolini-Blanchard and Skye Kolealani, creators of the new Indigenous Field Guide. Over the course of 2021, Briana and Skye created an exceptional resource. The guide provides high-level guidance for preventing damage of cultural resources and tips for how to amplify and integrate Indigenous values regarding cultural land resources. The Field Guide received widespread praise as individuals and organizations signed on to implement these practices into their mission and operations.
The Spirit of Aloha:
Piloting Responsible Access In Hawaiʻi
Razon-Olds makes it clear that she doesn’t blame climbers for what happened last year in Kapena Falls. “Honestly, if an archaeologist hadn’t pointed them out nobody would have seen them,” she says. Still, as a climber and Native Hawaiian she feels extra responsibility for protecting a cultural legacy that is under constant threat and advocating for responsible access for a sport she loves. “I truly believe that the climbing and hiking community overlaps in so many ways with Native perspectives when it comes to environmental care,” she says. “It makes too much sense for them to work together because we intersect so often.”
Recently Skye, our Executive Director got to spend some time climbing with Kehaulani Watson. We spoke about traditional climbing practices and ways it can be used today to reconnect and connect people with spaces. Climbing is a traditional and necessary skill for cultural practitioners. Skye and our Non-Profit @kanakaclimbers work to help the state and public understand public access can be done respectfully and can aid in the fight against over development here in Hawai’i. This can be done when the Hawaiian community has a seat at the table for creating access protocols. Check out Kehaulani’s Civil Beat article to see what was her take away from our climbing session.
Sport of Climbing Continues to Rise in Hawai‘i
Hawaii Business Magazine Article:
Climbing has gained popularity in Hawai‘i and around the world in recent years, culminating in the sport’s debut at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Check out what Skye from Kānaka Climbers and Mike Richardson from Hawaiʻi Climbing Coalition have to say about the rise of climbing in Hawaii. Did you know KC helped names the walls at HiClimb?
Climbing Magazine Article Feature:
In Honolulu, Conch-Shell Horn Signals
Gym Opening Like None Other.
HiClimb in Hawai'i Honors History Beneath
and Around Its Walls
Kānaka Climbers was able to help name climbing walls at HiClimb to encourage conversation and inclusion of the Native Hawaiian Community.
CIVIL BEAT ARTICLE
These Hawaii Residents Are Using Social Media
To Fight Overtourism.
While state and county officials seek to regulate popular tourist spots, some residents are taking matters into their own hands.
Recently, Skye did an interview with Civil Beat. About residents using geotags to deter over crowding. Here are some comments that weren’t included. Not sure why, maybe because most our thoughts are that the state should be accountable for the overcrowding in our environmentally and culturally sensitive spaces. The blame should be firmly placed on our politicians and local government.