November 2022 Newsletter


Tribute to Ka`imi Alohilani Sinclair

HHAPI STAFF: Gratitude

HHAPI Webinar: Th. Nov. 17th

7-8pm PST

Mo`olelo: Namea Sells

 Attitude of Gratitude: 5 Ways for Keiki to Say Mahalo

Recipe: “Pumpkin” Gratitude Rolls

Fall Concerts & Festivals










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HHAPI Team Tribute to Dr. Ka`imi Alohilani Sinclair, PhD, MPH

It is with heavy and broken hearts that we sadly announce the passing of our leader, mentor and friend, Dr. Ka`imi Alohilani Sinclair, PhD, MPH. She was a visionary and the HHAPI team is grateful for the opportunity to carry her torch as we continue her work, her passion and her legacy.

Nicole: I don’t know where to begin. I guess I’ll start here… I wasn’t ready to start. I guess we never feel like we are ready, then something happens. Except this is not how I wanted it to happen. I wanted more time and guidance but here we are. I will honor you by doing my best at this new kuleana. You set me up for amazing opportunities and I am forever grateful and humbled by your giant heart and ability to see what I may not have seen in myself. A hui hou my friend 


Celina: Life is so precious. It passes us by so quickly and most of the time we end up wasting time. People we meet are for a reason and for a season and others become friends and stay family. In the Hawaiian way, we say we become `ohana. Ka`imi was just that to so many people. 


It's been a rough last couple of weeks for me personally after hearing about the passing of my friend, director and mentor of one of the studies I had the opportunity to coordinate-Native Strong Men Strong Communities. I am so grateful for the times I got to spend with Ka`imi, learn from her, dream with her, laugh…and laugh and laugh with her and talk story. 


I look forward to her visions continuing to be brought forward through me, Pee, Nicole and the HHAPI team and those closest to her. She made a beautiful impact on so many people especially native men in the last three years. So many times, after sharing progress, videos and pictures of the Strong Men project and participants, she shared tears of joy - she was so proud!


I can't put into words right now the love and impact Ka`imi has had and will live on through so many of us. I will continue to honor Ka`imi, her family and her life's work in a good way. A hui hou (until we meet again) Alohilani!


Marla: Ka`imi and I shared the same middle name, Alohilani (brightness of the heavens/heavenly skies). She was truly a ray of sunshine. I felt honored to work for her and the HHAPI program. I never thought I could work from Seattle and teach/impact the health and lives of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders across the nation, but her vision made that possible! She created a culture of gratitude in the workplace, like I’ve never seen before. She was thankful for us and she said it all the time! In return, we were grateful to be a part of her team, too. She made a huge imprint on me as a leader, mentor and friend. She created such a beautiful life tapestry; her legacy. She is mana wahine, and we will continue to carry out her torch and vision, as we continue the work she was so passionate about.   


Sukhneet: I had only known Ka'imi for a short time, but I am grateful for the times I did get to know her. I will remember the time we were on shift together at the Seafair powwow; she was an overwhelmingly impressive person, bringing her sunny personality to every table and creating connections with the community with ease. While we waited for the event to get started, we got to learn a little bit about each other. We learned that we both love shopping (one can never have too many mugs, and we both wanted bucket hats because they were in style), that my favorite treat is a donut (we laughed as I didn't know what to do about my sticky, jelly and powdered sugar-covered hands), and that she loved turquoise jewelry (solid choice, and one that reflected her colorful persona). Now, turquoise jewelry will make me think of Ka'imi and her hardworking and bright spirit, characteristics of hers that I admired the most, and that I will always try to embody.

Mo`olelo:  Dr. Namea Sells

Dr. Namealoha Sells was born and raised in Cedar City, Utah. After high school she went back to her roots and attended Brigham Young University-Hawaii where she double majored in Exercise and Sports Science and Hawaiian Studies.

She attended University of Utah School of Medicine and pursued family medicine and trained at Utah Valley Family Medicine Residency Program. She returned to Hawaii and practiced at several rural community health centers and clinics and enjoyed serving the underrepresented and underserved. She is currently teaching at Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine and enjoys working with students and helping train the next generation of physicians. Her priority is spending time with and caring for her four children ranging in ages from 4 to 17 years old and a dog. She enjoys running, dancing hula, cooking, piano, paddle boarding, and going to the beach with her kids.

Share your name, your `ohana/family names and your favorite `aina or wai...what land/water source are you most connected to?

Namealoha (Sells) Hekekia. I recently got remarried at the beginning of September. My father was a Curtis from Utah and was in the Navy and stationed in Hawaii and that is where he met my mom. My mom comes from the Lehano and Ka'aiwela 'ohana. She was born and raised in Oahu but origins from Big Island. I worked one year in Kealakekua on the Big Island and fell in love with that part of the island and the people there.

During difficult journeys, how do you heal and restore your health and mental well-being? 

First and foremost is my faith and spirituality. This is what keeps me grounded and helps me put everything into perspective. Running and swimming are also my outlets and are an important part of my wellness.  

What are you grateful for? 

Family. At the end of the day, they have always been my biggest supporters in all my ideas and adventures no matter how big or small they are.

What brings you joy? 

Again, my family. I love the big adventures as well as a “quiet” evening at home, if that is ever possible with four kids. I love being a part of my children’s lives and watching them grow and succeed in life.

How do you share your mana`o and mana with your keiki, nieces/nephews, etc...? 

Teaching by example and spending time with them.  

What is your favorite way to move your kino (body)? 

Running and anything in the water.

Would you share an easy, healthy-heart recipe that your `ohana enjoys? 


As with most families, our lives are busy and so I am a fan of quick meals that take minimal effort. We enjoy making beef luau stew in the instapot.  


Brown stew meat with some olive oil in the instapot for 10-15 minutes with Hawaiian salt. Roll the luau leaf and cut into smaller sections. Place in the instapot. Add 1 cup beef broth and 1 cup water. Cook for 45minutes and let slow release for 10-20 minutes. Stir and season with Hawaiian salt to taste.  

What is a quote that empowers you?

I ka wa ma mua I ka wa ma hope.

I came across this while sailing with Iosepa and Makali`i voyaging canoes. We have to look to our past and ancestors in order to move forward into the future. What we have has been built on the backs of those that came before us and we can use their knowledge and strength as we move forward to create a better world for our keiki. 

A Poem of Gratitude From Hawaii

Here in Hawai’i, we are grateful for our tight-knit island communities that place emphasis on taking care of the elderly and the vulnerable

We are thankful that our fragile ecosystem has had a chance to rejuvenate from the hustle and bustle of incessant exploitation

We are grateful for a growing movement of Native Hawaiian consciousness, rising like a mighty wave to carry us into the future

We are thankful that 2020 has been a wake-up call for us to be mindful of our loved ones, our neighbors, and our health

And we are grateful for our ocean, our forests, the sunrises, the sunsets, and each other

— Kealoha, poet laureate of Hawaii (NY Times called to poets across the nation to share gratitude amidst the Covid pandemic)

Mahalo Gratitude Chant by

Aunty Leimomi Apoliono Brown

(Waldorf Pre-School Educator)

Attitude of Gratitude: 5 Ways for Keiki to Say Mahalo

There is much to be grateful for and many opportunities for lessons in gratitude for our keiki.

By practicing gratitude, children and adults learn to be more empathetic, more mindful, less judgmental, and ultimately happier. However, in today’s world of immediate gratification, teaching keiki to feel and express gratitude can be challenging. How do we teach them how to appreciate the little things?

Finding developmentally appropriate activities to encourage and discuss gratitude can help keiki go beyond the motions of saying “thank you,” to truly understanding what it means to be thankful. Try these exercises to help keiki appreciate more of life’s intangible joys.

How to Teach Keiki To Have an "Attitude of Gratitude" - Parents And Children Together


1.  Model the behavior. When children see and hear expressions of gratitude, they are more likely to model that behavior themselves. Explaining why you are bringing back cookies for coworkers can help keiki understand how to show appreciation to others in their own lives.

2.  Give back together. Finding developmentally appropriate ways to help others in need during the holidays is one way to start conversations about gratitude. For younger kids, this might be in the form of writing thank you letters, but as children get older, volunteering at the food bank or picking out Angel Tree toys for kids in need are good ways to get keiki thinking about what they have that others might not.

3.  Talk about intention. Instead of talking about the gift itself, discuss the intention and thoughtfulness behind the present. For example, “Grandma got you socks because she wants you to be able to wear your shoes to school every day; isn’t that thoughtful?”

4.  Practice mindfulness. Take a moment out of each day to talk about gratitude. Go a step further and write down the moments everyone is grateful for and put them in a jar to read later. Try to list simple moments that might otherwise go unnoticed, like “the pleasant sweet aroma of teriyaki burgers cooking at Ala Moana Beach Park.”

5.  Enjoy being together. Discuss how time together is a gift that some families don’t get to experience. Conversations may turn to military `ohana who don’t get to spend the holidays together, or others who may have to work two jobs and can’t be home together on Christmas. By having these conversations, keiki may start to become more appreciative of the most important things in life.   

Recipe: “Pumpkin” Gratitude Rolls

This tasty bread has a surprise hidden inside, one that is just right for your holiday table.

Have your `ohana write what they are thankful for on little slips of paper. Each note will be folded up and wrapped in a small square of foil.


1.  Divide the dough into four portions.

2.  Start with one quarter of the dough. Divide it again into fourths. Do so with the remaining dough. You should have 16 pieces.

3.  Take one portion, flatten it a bit, and place a note wrapped in foil into the center.

4.  Wrap the dough around the note, sealing it on all sides.

5.  Turn it over and make eight slits.

6.  Poke a hole in the center.

7.  Brush with a beaten egg or some honey diluted with water.

8.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Insert a half of a pecan or walnut as the stem

Mahalo to for the idea.

When the dinner guests prepare to butter their rolls, have them read their gratitude notes aloud and see if they can guess who wrote it.


  • Here’s a quick & easy version—Use canned crescent rolls to make an instant gratitude roll. You can skip the pumpkin shaping part and just slip your notes (in foil) in the dough as you wrap up the roll.
  • Or use one triangle of dough to make a ball, insert the message, and shape as directed above.

Tomorrow! Visit the 12th Annual

E Ala E Hula Exhibition