Molokai’s Community Process

A protocol for new projects, organizations and businesses

Today, Molokai is fortunate to have a community process that protects and enhances the unique lifestyle of its people. Embedded in Molokai’s history and cultural practices, this process is a means in which the community can greet, survey and share intentions with entities not already established in our community. The combined elements of this process can be referred to as ‘protocol’, and the aim of this document is to provide a better understanding of Molokai’s method of interaction.

A Sense of Purpose

An onslaught of environmental and cultural threats has for decades forced Molokai’s community to respond reactively in order to protect its resources. Although these conficts laid the foundation for modern Hawaiian activism and the Hawaiian renaissance which followed, the constant fght has lef our community weary and, at times, vulnerable.

A great opportunity exists now, as we implement a process that proactively calls out who we are, what we value, and what type of community partners will compliment our community-building eforts.

A Traditional Means of Interaction

In Hawaiian culture, traditional protocol expects that visitors follow certain rules when arriving at another’s home or community. Accompanied by a local host, the visitor announces their presence through chanting and is expected to wait until a replying chant either accepts or rejects their visit. During these interactions, visitors are expected to communicate their intentions clearly, and to be open to reaction. Tis traditional process, fguratively and actually, remains the way in which Molokai’s community interacts with its potential guests.

What Molokai’s Protocol Is

  • A community process that means to identify the intentions of non-established entities (visitors).
  • An attempt to align visitors’ ideas and practices with Molokai’s unique lifestyle and culture.
  • An opportunity for the Molokai community to create realistic expectations for their visitors.
  • An open-ended process for all parties in which outcomes have not been decided.
  • An inclusive process meant to unlock our collective wisdom rather than trigger individual defenses.
  • Usually includes community-wide meetings, discussion and sometimes debate.
  • Can be organic in nature or structured depending on the nature of the issue.
  • Is not a law or rule; for Molokai it is a cultural norm through which nearly all successful projects, organizations and businesses have navigated in one fashion or another.

Who/What the Protocol Process is For

  • Is prompted by any project, organization or business which could potentially impact our resources or way of life.
  • Requires a host or navigator who is a long-time Molokai resident.
  • Is not only applicable to outsiders but anyone who might afect Molokai’s cultural, social, environmental or economic resources.

When Does Protocol Take Place

  • Begins prior to any other planned or expected community interaction. And certainly before breaking ground on any project.
  • Continues usually through the implementation of the project, organization or business. It is normal for our community to remain vigilant of of newly established entities for up to a decade.

Advocating for the Community

After years of protecting our open spaces and rural nature, Molokai’s community is not only providing relevancy, it is providing leadership to a world striving to live sustainably. We value those who are interested in making our island a healthy, sustainable and vibrant community.

Successful initiatives:

  • Are aligned with the vision and values embodied in Molokai, Future of a Hawaiian Island.
  • Hold the ideals of community advocacy and service.
  • Seek to collaborate and enhance existing services, rather than compete with or duplicate existing services..
  • Recognize that Molokai’s pace is cautious and deliberate.
  • Require active partners who are present within the community.
  • Sustain a long-term vested relationship with the community.
  • Account for the small and infinite scale of our community and its resources.
  • Recognize challenges and opportunities presented by our isolation relative to the state and country.
  • Are aware of Molokai’s susceptibility to invasive species and other environmental threats.

Engage with Molokai

The protocol process begins with communication. There are a number local organizations and individuals available for consultation including and not limited to:

Aha Kiole, Ka Honua Momona, Molokai Community Service Council, Molokai Dispatch, Molokai Planning Commission, Molokai subcommittee of the Maui Invasive Species Committee, Molokai Visitors’ Association, Sustainable Molokai, and others.

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