ʻĀina Organization Index: Mapping Cultural Resurgence in PaeʻĀina Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Islands)

About The Index

The ʻĀina Organization Index is a preliminary online dataset that archives the unique contemporary landscape of work about ʻĀina (Land / That Which Feeds). Also called the ʻĀINAVIS Dataset, the index focuses on mapping cultural resurgence across PaeʻĀina Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Islands). The archive was created as a study pilot by the Hui ‘ĀINAVIS (team) in collaboration with institutional and industry partners: Consuelo Foundation, After Oceanic, Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife; University of Hawai'i at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; Hawai‘i Nonlinear.

The ‘ĀINAVIS team spent three years indexing websites, social media links, and publically available online organizational reporting to gather, assemble, and double-check a revolving list of nonprofits and unincorporated grassroots groups (a.k.a. ‘Āina Orgs) committed to promoting wellbeing in the built environment in the protective form of ‘Āina (Land / That Which Feeds). We sifted through hundreds of publicly assembled records created and maintained by federal, state, municipal, institutional, community, and tribal sources. As such, this indexed dataset is the result of a humble, community-based endeavor spearheaded by a small devoted team with a limited budget.


For our deepest observations, we focused on detailing a study set of approximately 300 entities representing ʻĀina in some fundamental capacity. The Hawai‘i ʻĀina Organization Audit helps us to better engage dialogues and to anticipate the types of metrics we will need to appropriately acknowledge and understand the dynamics and trends of ‘Āina Orgs, and how they are at the forefront of some of the most crucial examples of “on the ground” efforts to promote ʻĀina as the source of wellbeing in Pae ʻĀina Hawai‘i—the physical place that we call Home.


The ʻĀina Organization Index is neither complete, nor perfect, but rather is meant to inform future intensive studies and updates to understand the protective impacts and requirements of ʻĀina transforming built environments into sources of wellbeing and sustenance. Generally, the term “‘Āina Org” is a friendly colloquialism in Hawai‘i used to describe Native on-the-ground groups and grassroots programs that are special and unique to Hawai‘i. Our goal is not to define what an ‘Āina Org is, but to acknowledge their dynamic impact on the improved quality of life in Hawai‘i. We believe this is crucial for a few of the following reasons:

Promoting Native Voices
The people working around and within ‘Āina Orgs are often overlooked, ignored, disrespected, or erased from conversations in the ordinary daily life of settler mindsets occupying and controlling the land, ‘āina. We are all responsible to ensure that the voices of the people working closely with the land are heard, acknowledged, and respected, countering the erasure from conversations in daily settler mindsets.

Safeguarding Land Stewardship
For decades, ʻĀina Orgs from all around Hawai‘i have been organizing to ensure the survivance of 'āina as that which feeds, and loves.

Empowering Local Commons
‘Āina Orgs are mostly organized by practitioners, families, community members, artists, intellectuals, students, healers, experts, and more across generations. These individuals are passionate about the restoration, preservation, observation, and protection of 'āina, fostering a strong and enduring bond with the land for generations to come. These are people who recover ‘āina; restore ‘āina; return ‘āina; reproduce ‘āina, observe ‘āina; practice ‘āina; protect ‘āina; care for ‘āina; sue for ‘āina; decide on the behalf of ‘āina; love ‘āina; stay on ‘āina, and breathe ‘āina, for generations. No amount of belabored text can express our deepest gratitude for ‘āina, it’s past, and its future.

Promoting Indigenous Knowledge
‘Āina Orgs demonstrate the relevant and responsive value of groups applying Indigenous worldviews and biocultural frameworks to address contemporary issues in Hawai‘i in solidarity with many Native communities worldwide. 

Advocating ʻĀina Org Awareness
A lack of awareness about ‘Āina Orgs directly threatens our wellbeing. With many people around the country still unfamiliar with the concept of ʻĀina Org, advocacy for these groups is critical. Our intention is not to define what an ‘Āina Org is, but to simply advocate for supporting the value of their physical presence in the built environment. Enhancing awareness and support for ʻĀina Orgs nationwide can significantly contribute to their valuable work, ensuring their recognition in research, community engagement, decision-making, and funding.

© 2023 ‘ĀINAVIS