What is a G.I.F.T.?
These are regenerative gatherings that introduce communities to heart-centered approaches of problem solving specifically related to public and community health.
Facilitate ceremony and ritual
Allow for group connection
Plant seeds for solidarity
Build trust beyond ideology
The Empowerment Manual is a comprehensive manual for groups seeking to organize with shared power and bottom-up leadership to foster vision, trust, accountability, and responsibility. This desperately needed toolkit provides keys to:
Understanding group dynamics
Facilitating communication and collective decision-making
Dealing effectively with difficult people.
Support local food sovereignty and healing systems rooted in Indigenous values
Build resilient & sustainable coalitions
Return to the land
Embody horizontal leadership structures
"It was understood that the individual was a whole person and that the spirit, mind and body were not separate entities requiring separate treatment, as they are seen in the Western medical system. A person's health was also seen in relation to their place within community. Furthermore, cultural understandings of social functions and the importance of abiding by cultural protocols are also a significant aspect of individual and community wellness."
- Renee Linklater
Indigenous Stories and Strategies
Create compassionate agreements
Develop civic literacy
Cocreate policy & Calls to Action
The insights of compassionate communication (Nonviolent Communication/NVC) are integrated into the context of decision making. Meeting format and design, including facilitation skills and processes that ensure that all voices matter in decision making. Feedback processes for evaluating the effectiveness of meetings, policies, workflows, and role performance support an ongoing learning cycle and continuous improvement, not just in production and delivery but in the embodiment of equality itself.
Data from past GIFTs
Read what residents stated as their most urgent concerns:
Access to holistic childcare
Affordable housing for caregivers
Systemic and structural racism in healthcare system
Shortage of healthcare practitioners (doctors, nurses, therapist, social workers)
Increased wait times to see providers
Poor quality of care due to healthcare provider burnout increases patient deaths
Must travel to Oahu for specialty services/trauma/surgery
Expensive insurance coverage
Lack of natural, healthy foods to local community (Hawai'i islands import over 85% of foods)
Need more preventative care options
Spiritual healing vs. medical healing
Lack of access to land
Lack of support with breaking unhealthy habits/patterns/addictions
Isolation of the elder population
Better knowledge of plant medicine and herbal formulations
Greed as a motivator in providing treatment
To learn more about these issues, check out the following resources: