Ho’oikaika Annual Conference

E Holomua i ka ʻIke Kūpuna

Moving Forward in the Wisdom of Our Ancestors


The Ho’oikaika Annual Conference is one of the primary ways we build our capacity as health and human service providers.  To join the conference planning committee, apply to present, or become a sponsor, please contact Ho’oikaika Coordinator Deb Marois.


Our 2022 theme reflects our desire to return to our roots in our work with children and families. The conference took place Thursday September 29 from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm.

From the beginning, Ho’oikaika Partnership’s mission has focused on educating providers and the wider community about protective factors as a fundamental strategy to prevent child maltreatment and strengthen families. We aim to deepen our understanding of protective factors and trauma-informed approaches, with a particular focus on integrating traditional Hawaiian knowledge and honoring the diverse cultures represented in Maui County.

A message from our keynote speaker Dr. Kimo Alameda – Vice President of Business Operations, Hawaii Island Community Health Center

Learning Goals:

Our intention is to go beyond “what are protective factors and why are they important” and offer practical ideas and culturally responsive approaches to apply these concepts in our work. Additionally, we will offer “how to’s” to strengthen our collective capacity to advocate and mālama – ourselves, our ‘ohana, and our organizations.

Sessions will support both new and seasoned staff by providing:

    • Foundational refreshers to help us stay mission-focused and prevent “drift,”
    • Opportunities to deepen our understanding of familiar concepts,
    • A focus on integrating traditional Hawaiian values and honoring diverse cultures,
    • New inspiration to mālama – for ourselves and the greater Maui ‘ohana.

Learning Tracks:

• Applying Protective Factors with a Cultural Lens

This track seeks to increase participants’ foundational knowledge and provide relevant tools to enhance cultural humility, improve service delivery and strengthen protective factors for families. Protective Factors are characteristics that help children, youth or adults adapt to different levels of hardships and buffer the effects of risk, stress, or trauma. Exploring and building protective factors that align with a family’s culture can help decrease the risk factors of individuals. However, cultures are diverse and there are significant differences that are fundamental to take into consideration in our interactions and in providing services. Presenters will offer practical approaches for using the protective factors framework in culturally appropriate ways, drawing on the wisdom of many traditions and encouraging a holistic approach to avoid the dangers of attributing or adhering to a narrow perspective that can lead to stereotyping.

• The Intersection of Hawaiian Values and Protective Factors

This track seeks to increase participants’ capacity to work with Native Hawaiian clients by providing culturally relevant tools to improve service delivery and strengthen protective factors for families. Native Hawaiian’s are disproportionately represented in many systems including child welfare and juvenile justice; it is essential that health and human service professionals understand how to incorporate specific Native Hawaiian strategies when working with children and families. Presenters will address how protective factors align with Native Hawaiian cultural values and traditional healing practices. Questions to explore may include: What did our ancestors practice in building protective factors?  How can we strengthen our practice by blending the wisdom of our ancestors with the protective factor framework?  What are the best and promising practices for incorporating Native Hawaiian values into service delivery?

• Trauma-Informed Interventions for Diverse Cultures

This track will highlight how to effectively provide trauma-informed interventions that acknowledge, respect, and integrate families’ cultural values, beliefs and practices. Interventions for diverse cultures emphasize an understanding of a person’s background, ethnicity and belief system while incorporating cultural sensitivity, respect, differences in opinions, values and attitudes of various cultures and different types of people. A trauma-informed culture includes an understanding of culture, history, race, gender, location and language with an acknowledgement of the impact of structural inequity and responsiveness to the unique needs of diverse communities.

• Can You Hear Me Now? Tools for Child and Family Advocacy

This track will provide information and tools to support providers in advocating for policy and systems change at the organizational, community, state and national levels. Sessions also will explore lessons learned from the successes and challenges of advocates who have come before us. With the midterm elections this November, it is even more important to understand how to engage with the government, media and political system to get your voice heard. Skills such as communication, collaboration, presentation, and maintaining a professional relationship are needed by anyone who speaks up on behalf of children. But these skills don’t necessarily come naturally – it can be difficult to find your voice and get your message across effectively when interacting with elected officials and agency administrators. These sessions will help make the process more understandable, less intimidating and help build your confidence in speaking up on behalf of your program, agency and Maui ‘ohanas and keiki.

• A Journey to Healing: Ourselves, Our ‘Ohana and Our Organizations

This track will provide different cultural and evidence-based practices that each of us can do as providers to care for ourselves and create a culture of resiliency in our own lives, families and organizations. Taking care of our own personal healing and mental health is extremely important especially when working with vulnerable populations. It is our kuleana as human and social service professionals to face our own biases, thoughts, feelings and experiences – “our own stuff” – in order to help participants work through their issues. Coming out of a two-year pandemic, it is especially vital for everyone to learn how to care for their mental health, manage complex emotions and heal. Fitting in self-care is essential so that we don’t experience burnout, vicarious trauma or compassion fatigue.  As we move forward in the wisdom of our ancestors and those professionals that came before us, cultural and evidence-based practices can help everyone better cope with the demands of work, family, and life and all the feelings that happen in between.

Questions Presenters May Address in their Sessions:

    • How do we blend the wisdom of our ancestors with the modern Protective Factors/Trauma-Informed approaches?
    • What practical ideas and culturally responsive approaches can you share to help providers apply these concepts in our work? 
    • What are you doing in your work that could provide new inspiration to others? Especially as it relates to infusing culture, taking a trauma-informed approach and applying Protective Factors into our work with children, families and communities.
    • What are some of your best/promising practices and lessons learned?
    • Who are the ancestors and wisdom keepers you have learned from and how can that knowledge inform our work today?

Mahalo to our generous sponsors:

Past attendees have made the following comments:

Overall, attending this conference has ignited more passion within me to rise up and step into my position on the canoe and paddle in unity with everyone else around me.

Today’s conference was extremely heartfelt and inspiring. I was blown away by moʻoleloʻs, cultural protocol, and cultural practices shared, the conference enlightened me and provided me with new tools for my cultural competence tool kit.

The overall conference was amazing. Every session that I attended was filled with take-aways and resources that I will utilize with my staff and program.