In the first half-hour, Co-Host Anne Keala Kelly (Kanaka Maoli) interviews Mikilani Young, a Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) traditional kumu hula and cultural practitioner who lives and walks a spiritual path set by her ancestors and guided by ke Akua (Creator/God). As a kumu hula she teaches the ancient dance of hula, and as a cultural practitioner she is grounded in teachings that began when she was a year old with her Aunty Puluelo Naipo Park who was her hanai aunty/mom. Raised in Hawai'i on Kakuhihewa (Oahu), knowing and practicing the ways of her kupuna (elders) is central to her spiritual practice and the knowledge she shares with students and other Indigenous peoples beyond Hawaii. Mikilani has been a kumu for 26 years, both in Hawaii and on Turtle Island (Northern hemisphere) where she currently resides on Sierra Miwuk Ancestral Lands. She has taught hula (dance) and oli (chanting) to hundreds. However, when protests to stop construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) and further desecration of Mauna Kea by the astronomy industry began, Mikilani's work took became more akin to that of a kahu (spiritual leader). For over three years, Mikilani conducted and led live, online, daily pule (prayers) for the mauna, a practice that demonstrated and modeled the essence of Indigenous Hawaiian values and cultural protocol. Her courageous approach to the practice and teaching of Indigenous Hawaiian ways is both suited to, and challenged by, the times we live in; sharing, but not selling, giving, but being discerning so as not to exploit or diminish the mana of her own knowledge; Mikilani's path is a prayerful, thoughtful balance between human needs that adhere to the soulful premise of existence, while maintaining and honoring the Creator's guidance. Mikilani's journey has taken her between First Peoples Nations (Tongva, Winnemem Wintu, San Carlos Apache, Kumeyaay, Acjachemen, Pomo, Coastal Miwuk, Klamath, Moduc, Maidu, Colville Confederated Tribes, Wabanaki Confederacy, Kewa Pueblo, Tonoho O'odham, Akimel O'odham, Hopi, Lakota, Nakota, Dakota, Warm Springs, Dine', Mohawk, Yavapai, Payomkawichum, Kwatsaan, Tatavium, Lisjan Ohlone, Wintun, Onasatis). She is at her most grateful and skilled when she can be a unifier of people across and beyond the land she lives on, and joyous because she lives with complete trust that her ancestors guide her path. For Mikilani, pule is the first and last course of personal, political and cultural action. She formed the non-profit (United Pillars of Aloha as well as Kaiapuni Ho'ola Piha Sanctuary) in service of Mother Earth and the unborn generations. For more information, visit mikilaniyoung.com.
In the second half-hour, we feature several selections from First Voices Radios Top Listener Favorite Songs of 2022.