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An amazing cultural transformation is happening throughout the State of Hawai‘i. Championed by the Office of Broadband Strategy, and an international community formally organized as the “Internet Society,” Native Hawaiian communities are building their own network infrastructure, and training up their residents with technical skills and functional networking knowledge in order to connect their communities with the world and provide a means to the global marketplace.

There are some shining examples currently at Pu‘uhonua O Waimanalo, and more recently, Pu‘uhonua O Wai‘anae. We had an opportunity to check out the latter and found a village that is being developed based on the vision of native Hawaiian Leadership and the Hawaiian sovereign movement to regain independence and sustainability from within the community.

Pu‘uhonua O Wai‘anae is an inspiring model of how a homeless encampment at the boat dock in Waianae is designing it’s future village deeper into the valley at a new location on their own land:

Community plans include infrastructure and A-frame Hale (meaning house, pronounced hah-lay) that are reminiscent of ancient Hawaiian architecture and thatched roof housing. The hale will be grouped around shared facilities. A community network will serve residents and allow them to receive government services, telemedicine, distance learning, remote work opportunities and connectivity to the rest of the world.

Model communities such as these are shining examples of bridging the digital divide – increasing both digital equity and digital literacy for residents. Check out this amazing cultural shift:

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