Mapuna Lab Logo

Māpuna Lab

Hoʻi ka ʻoʻopu ʻai lehua i ka māpunapuna

Our Mission

The MĀPUNA LAB is a place of respite for those experiencing colonial trauma. Our work is nāʻau centered and focused on health and healing. Guided by ʻōhiʻa lehua as our teacher, an endemic Hawaiian tree, we work in reciprocity and partnership in healing the chronic and existential pain of historical and intergenerational trauma with our Pacific Islander brothers and sisters.

Viewing the land as our communities and health as water cycle resilience, this series looks to the cloud catching, truth-telling, ʻōhiʻa lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) for ways to hoʻi ka wai, to remove seen and unseen emotional blockages to restore waters (waiwai) stolen by trauma.

Aimed at creating safe spaces for co-learning, the Māpuna Lab convenes all those who believe that when Indigenous leadership is uplifted, wellness is accessible to all.

Our Vision

Ho‘i ka ‘o‘opu ‘ai lehua i ka māpunapuna.
The lehua-eating ‘o‘opu has gone back to the spring.
Said of one who has gone back to the source.
(Pukui 1034)

Mural Aunties

Community Centered

We create context around data disaggregation to center people, places and stories from across Oceania, especially the United States Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).

Man with Net Mural


We work in servitude to the next seven generations. We resist sterile hierarchies and call out to those who know truth, to those who recognize and nurture ea in ways that are pono.

Mapuna Lab Logo in Black and White

Core Values

Culturally Grounded

We are ʻāina-based scholars and mauli ola practitioners for health equity. We make space for kānaka scholarship to grow and thrive and for our maoli to lead us in supporting the perpetuation of ʻike kūpuna Hawaiʻi and throughout Pākīpika for the survivance of our earth.


We offer open, safe and creative spaces for community engagement and social justice advocacy. We use our gifts to address cultural disparities, paradigms that no longer serve us, and move at the pace of consensus.

Canoe images from mural painting

Service Leadership

He aliʻi ka ʻāina; he kauwā ke kanaka
The land is chief; we are its servant. (Pukui 531) We strive for kuleana-driven leadership where to the distribution of waiwai accessible to all.


(c. 1540-1634)

Kakuhihewa is an aliʻi of Oʻahu famously named in the mele “Kaulana Nā Pua.” Kakuhihewa was a kind and friendly chief who was born in Kūkaniloko and raised in the ʻEwa moku. His primary endeavor was farming, and it is said that his abundant harvests on Oʻahu could be smelled from Kauaʻi.

Today, there is a state office building named after him in Kapolei.