Conservation projects and programs, albeit well intentioned, have often used the tools of colonization to meet their goals. Such approaches have not been welcomed by Indigenous communities, and have often led to contentious relationships between Amer-European conservationists and Indigenous Peoples. The same is true in Hawaiʻi, but since the 1990s—when relationships between Native Hawaiians and American conservationists was at its lowest point—biocultural restoration efforts have provided a bridge that has helped Hawaiʻi to meet conservation goals while addressing environmental justice issues for Native Hawaiians. Some of these stories will be highlighted in Dr. Winter’s talk.
About the Speaker: Kawika Winter
Kawika Winter is a biocultural ecologist from Hawaiʻi who has focused his career on building bridges between Indigenous knowledge systems and conventional science from multiple angles.
In that regard, he wears various hats in the spheres of research, policy, and resource management. Dr. Winter is currently the Director of the Heʻeia National Estuarine Research Reserve on the island of Oʻahu with a tenure track position at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, and a graduate faculty positions in both Botany and Natural Resources & Environmental Management, as well as an Affiliate Researcher position with the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Prior to that, he was the Director of Limahuli Garden and Preserve on the island of Kauaʻi, where he led landscape-scale biocultural restoration efforts for more than a decade. He also holds seats on the State’s Endangered Species Recovery Committee, NOAA’s Hawaiian Humpback Whale Sanctuary Advisory Council, and the Hawai`i Conservation All.