Ethnic Studies Department

Ethnic Studies Faculty

Ethnic Studies > Faculty

Davianna Pomaikai McGregor, PhD, 1989, UH-Manoa, Hawaiian/Pacific History
Office Location: George Hall 336
Phone Number: 956-7068
Fax Number: 956-9494


Davianna Pomaika'i McGregor is a Professor and founding member of the Ethnic Studies Department at UH-Manoa. She is a historian of Hawai'i and the Pacific.

Davianna grew up in the ahupua'a of Kaiwi'ula in the Kapalama district of O'ahu and spent her summers with grandparents in Waiakea, Hilo, Hawai'i. She currently resides on O'ahu and Moloka'i. As a member of the Protect Kaho'olawe 'Ohana she helps to steward the lands of Kaho'olawe - Kohemalamalama O Kanaloa.


Professor McGregor teaches ES 221: Hawaiians, ES 350 Economic Change and Hawai'i's People and ES 340 Land Tenure and Use in Hawai'i, and ES 392 Change in Pacific - Polynesia. Students in her Hawaiians class participate in stewardship-related service learning projects on Kahoolawe, at Kahanahaiki/ Makua Valley, the He`eia Fishpond, Na Pohaku o Hauwahine and the Kanewai Cultural Garden.

Course Syllabi:


Her ongoing research endeavors have focused on documenting the persistence of traditional Hawaiian cultural customs, beliefs, and practices in rural Hawaiian communities, including the island of Moloka'i; the districts of Puna and Ka'u on Hawai'i; Ke'anae-Wailuanui on Maui and Waiahole-Waikane on O'ahu. This work is featured in her UH Press book, 2007, Na Kua'aina: Living Hawaiian Culture.

In 2006 she conducted studies which resulted in the following technical reports: Hurricane Evacuation Behavior Study for Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with Jon Matsuoka, December 31, 2006.

Cultural Assessment Report for the La'au Point Rural-Residential Development, 2006, assisted by Sean McNamara.

Cultural Assessment for the Mo'omomi Preserve, Kaluako'i, Island of Moloka'i, for The Nature Conservancy, June 15, 2006, assisted by Blake La Benz.

Cultural Assessment for the Kamakou Preserve, Makakupa'ia and Kawela, Island of Moloka'i, for The Nature Conservancy, June 15, 2006, assisted by Blake La Benz.

Moloka'i Responsible Tourism Initiative: A Community-based Visitor Plan for Moloka'i, for Ke 'Aupuni Lokahi-Moloka'i Enterprise Community, February 2006.


Perpetuation of Kanaka 'Oiwi subsistence, cultural and religious beliefs, customs and practices. Protection of our cultural kipuka for our Kanaka 'Oiwi culture, such as the island of Moloka'i and Waipi'o, Puna, Ka'u on Hawai'i, and Keanae- Wailuanui, Hana on Maui, etc. Cultural stewardship of Kanaloa Kaho'olawe as a sacred cultural land trust for Lahui Kanaka 'Oiwi. Organization and recognition of the Kanaka 'Oiwi governing entity. Biocultural Studies.


Title: Na Kua'aina: Living Hawaiian Culture (2007)
ISBN: 13:978-0-8248
Publication Information: Introduces the concept of cultural kipuka, the rural communities of Hawai'i where the kua'aina, longtime residents and keepers of traditional knowledge have perpetuated Kanaka 'Oiwi/Native Hawaiian cultural, subsistence and spiritual customs, beliefs and practices and 'olele makuahine/language.

Title: Statehood: Catalyst of the Twentieth Century Kanaka 'Oiwi Cultural Renaissance and Sovereignty Movement, Journal of Asian American Studies Vol 13 No 3, 311-326 (2010)
Publication Information: Overview of the origins of the contemporary Native Hawaiian Movements for land and sovereignty

Title: Recognizing Native Hawaiians: Reality Bites, in Sovereign Acts, edited by Frances Negron-Muntaner, South End Press, 2011 (2011)
ISBN: 9780896097750
Publication Information: The academic critique of sovereignty as a viable project in a global economy cannot derail a quest that has been instilled in the hearts and minds of a people for generations. Moreover, the concept of sovereignty envisioned by Na Kanaka 'Oiwi is rooted in the traditional and customary exercise of indigenous sovereignty which evolved over centuries preceding contact and commerce with European, American and Asian nation-states. "Ea"

Honors / Awards:

Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation Award for Faculty Service to the Community (2005)

Kenneth W. Balridge Prize (2007)
Description: For best book in any field of history written by a resident of Hawai'i from 2005-2007 - Na Kua'aina: Living Hawaiian Culture

Hawai'i Book Publishers' Assn. Po'okele Award (2008)
Description: Honorable Mention for Excellence in Hawaiian Culture - Na Kua'aina: Living Hawaiian Culture


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