Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Indigenous Community Networking in Hawai’i: The Pu‘uhonua o Waimānalo Community Network

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Abstract:  Shaping digital inclusion policy and practice to meet community-defined goals requires more than access to digital devices and connectivity; it must also enable their effective design and use in situated local settings. For the Nation of Hawai’i, a Kānaka Maoli (Hawai’ian) sovereignty organization with a land base in Pu‘uhonua o Waimānalo on the island of Oahu, these activities are closely associated with broader goals of Nation-building and sovereignty. Recognizing there are many different approaches to sovereignty among diverse Kānaka Maoli, in this paper we document how the Nation of Hawai’i is conceptualizing the ongoing evolution of their community networking project. We suggest that the Pu‘uhonua o Waimānalo initiative reflects one Indigenous organization’s efforts to frame community networks as a means to generate a “sovereignty mindset” among members of the Nation, as well as share resources and experience among local community members and with other communities in Hawai’i and beyond.

Keywords:  community networks; digital divide; digital inclusion; digital inequalities; Indigenous media; Indigenous peoples; Indigenous sovereignty; Native Hawaiians; rural broadband



© Rob McMahon, Wayne Buente, Heather E. Hudson, Brandon Maka’awa’awa, John Kealoha Garcia, Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.