Puakea Foundation - Perpetuating Pacific Islands Canoe Culture

Puakea Foundation

The Puakea Foundation of Hawai‘i, Inc. was founded in 2005 in honor of Bobby Puakea, aka Uncle Bobby. The foundation is dedicated to preserving Pacific Island Canoe Culture.

We are fully funded!

We wanted to share the great news with you! Last week, we received financial support from both Matson as well as the Laurence H Dorcy Hawaiian Foundation. With their support we have reached our original fundraising target!

We really need to thank each and every one of our donors, from First Hawaiian Bank and the Castle Foundation, who’ve been with us since the beginning, to the individuals who have given through Facebook and Amazon Smile and at our annual Casino Night Fundraisers. You inspire us with your love and support of all our waʻa.

We are so excited to have met the criteria for a generous matching grant from the Ching Foundation.

If you’re in the area, stop by to see the volunteers hard at work!

  • Amount Raised So Far: 100% 100%
Uncle Bobby and students who attended his Make Your Own Paddle workshop


Education is a core part of our mission. Every year, Uncle Bobby teaches a three-week course on How to Make Your Own Paddle. He also frequently hosts visitors and school groups who watch him work repairing koa canoes at the halau.
Read more.

Women's crew approaching the finish line of the Na Wahine o ke kai race


Canoe culture is deeply centered around the art and sport of outrigger canoe racing. The Puakea Foundation promotes the traditional use of koa canoes in races throughout the U.S. and also supports Men’s and Women’s teams.
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photo of the Ho‘ola koa canoe


In 2015, the Puakea Foundation began a long-term project to identify and catalog all of the koa wa‘a (canoes) here in Hawai‘i. We estimate there are close to 100 of them, and we are gathering details of their history and current location.
Read more.

Articles from Our Blog

photo of Uncle Bobby with students from the Make Your Own Paddle Workshop

Paddle Workshop 2019

Uncle Bobby’s once a year paddle workshop is a rich experience in learning about Hawaiian culture, tropical woods, and the ocean sport of outrigger canoeing. Learn how paddles are made and repaired....
Casino Night Fundraiser 2018 for Puakea Foundation

Casino Night Fundraiser: Oct 21, 2018

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2018 Time: 1-5 pm Puakea Learning Center Blessing: 1 - 1:30 pm Location: He‘eia State Park, Kaneohe Cost: $40.00 online, $50.00 at the door Includes '500 Bobby Bucks' and 1 drink...

Learning Center Update Photos – March, 18, 2018

We are continuing work on the site as well as on our GoFundMe fundraising page! We hope you enjoy the progress photos and appreciate any support you can provide us. Mark Kalahele President The...