BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mālia Kaupe is a wahine ʻōiwi, born and raised in Wailuku, Maui. She is a wife and homeschooling mother of two. She has personal experience with both hospital and home birth. She is passionate about all things birth and babies. Mālia is a full time koʻokua (doula) as well as a midwife’s assistant, childbirth educator, Indigenous breastfeeding counselor and haumāna pale keiki (student midwife). She is very proud of her involvement with Kalauokekahuli as a co-founder, Executive Director and koʻokua. Mālia has had the privilege of serving over 120 families in her 6 years of birth work here in Hawaiʻi and is so excited to continue to serve!
Wahinehula Kaʻeo is a co-founder of Kalauokekahuli. She is a postpartum and birth doula, student midwife, and artist.
Born and raised on Maui and a proud graduate of Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Maui, Wahinehula is passionate about providing ʻohana with quality, accessible prenatal, birth, and postpartum support rooted in ʻike kupuna.
ʻIolani Brosio is a wife, māmā, and a co-founder of Kalauokekahuli. She currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Secretary and is the hui's Grant Writer.
In addition to empowering ka lāhui Hawaiʻi and Pasifika birthing people through her work with Kalauokekahuli, she teaches English composition and literature courses at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.
Raised in rural Waipiʻo Valley, Pōlanimakamae Kahakalau-Kalima is a loving wife and makuahine. A proud graduate of both Hawaiʻi Community College with an AA in Hawaiian Studies, with emphasis on Hula, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo with a BA in Performing Arts. Pōlani serves as the President of Kalauokekahuli. She is also the Executive Director for EA Ecoversity, a culture-based higher education and career exploration and training for Native Hawaiian youth and young adults, ages 15 - 30, created by KŪ-A-KANAKA. She also serves as a culture consultant for KAʻEHU, a non-profit organization, where she shares Hawaiian culture and knowledge with various programs on the island of Maui. Since becoming a Kumu Hula, Pōlani and husband Noʻeau Kalima opened Hālau Hula Kauluola on Hawaiʻi and Maui. Pōlani strives to protect, preserve, and perpetuate her Hawaiian culture and serve her community at large.
Tyra Maukaʻa Fonseca-Smith was born and raised in Puʻuloa, Oʻahu and currently resides in the ahupuaʻa o Waiau. She is a wife and māmā to her daughter Emalani, an Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor, and a Birth Doula. She is passionate about Native Hawaiian Practices such as ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, pule, oli, and is currently studying more in-depth traditional Native Hawaiian birth and breastfeeding practices while obtaining her Masters in Public Health at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa specializing in Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health.
In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Tyra's kuleana is to serve as an advocate for breastfeeding families in the state of Hawaiʻi and to empower the voices of the community. She is also passionate about educating and perpetuating the ways of her kūpuna by staying grounded in traditions.
Kaitlynn Holt Felipe serves on the Board of Directors. She was born and raised on the island of Oʻahu and currently resides in the ahupuaʻa o Wailuku on the island of Maui. She is a wife and lomi lomi practitioner, and she is currently getting her Masters in Social Work at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She is passionate about holistic mind-body health and is planning to specialize in sex therapy, sexuality, and sexual health education. Kaitlynn is honored to be a part of such an amazing group and looks forward to supporting our māmās and ʻohana in anyway she can.
Welina mai me ke aloha. My name is Mālia Williams. I was born and raised on the east side of Hawaiʻi Island. I am a hula dancer and I work at the ʻAha Pūnana Leo as the administrative assistant. Recently I graduated from UH Hilo with my Bachelors of Arts in Hawaiian Studies. I am a mother of 2 beautiful girls, Maliʻuleihua, who is 9 years old, and ʻŌlapalaukapalili, who is 2 years old.
It is such an honor to be a part of such an amazing group that supports māmās and ʻohana in such an important part of their lives.
KIANA LEI VALLENTE
Kiana serves on the Board of Directors. She is the proud māmā of Kamaluolīhau Kauai, a student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo studying Business and Agriculture, and a non-profit organization management professional. Kiana is passionate about making practical life skills accessible to keiki and youth in Hawaiʻi’s communities.
Aloha mai e ka mea heluhelu mai ka lā hiki i Haʻehaʻe a ka lā kau i Lehua, aloha nō. ‘O wau nō ʻo Leilani Digmon, a i Lahaina ma ka mokupuni ʻo Maui wau e noho ai me kuʻu kāne, ‘o Kapali Keahi, a me kā māua mau keiki. Greetings readers from the rising sun in Haehae until the setting sun in Lehua, greetings indeed. My name is Leilani and I live in Lahaina on the island of Maui with my husband Kapali Keahi and our children. I am a 39 year old Kanaka Maoli birth worker (student midwife, haumana pale keiki, doula, koʻokua, childbirth educator, Indigenous Lactation Counselor), cultural practitioner, and homeschool mother of an 11 year old, 9 year old, and 7 year old.
Kanaka Maoli traditions and beliefs surrounding childbirth and childrearing is my passion. This passion began during my Hawaiian language and Hawaiian studies undergraduate education at UH Mānoa and was fueled by fellow Kanaka Maoli friends who were reclaiming practices into their wā hāpai and wā hānau (pregnancy and birth), and ignited by the three pregnancies and home births of my keiki in 2011, 2012, and 2014. During our pregnancies, births, and postpartum time, we incorporated several cultural practices and protocols. I believe so strongly these practices contributed to a healthier me and the health of our babies. They helped me feel a strong connection to my ancestors and their wisdom, which in turn made me feel safe.
While my birth experiences left me feeling fulfilled, one very obvious reality was revealed to me: the underrepresentation, and sometimes complete absence of Kanaka Maoli birth workers. I began attending home births in 2015, began midwifery trainings in 2016, and enrolled in midwifery school in 2017. Currently, I am in my final stages of completing midwifery school and hope to become a licensed midwife in 2023. I have partnered with Indigenous Midwife Connie Perkins (CPM, LM, BSM), and together we are starting a midwifery practice this summer serving the island of Maui as the newly formed Midwifery Services for Kalauokekahuli. Our practice will center Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander pregnancies with place-based and culturally appropriate care and uphold the vision and mission of Kalauokekahuli. I cannot tell you how excited I am to serve our community and to help foster the reclamation of Kanaka Maoli birth practices. E ola nō ka ‘ike hānau Hawaiʻi!