Humanitarian Awards


Tula Mapuana Striffler

San Diego Businesswoman and Pacific Islander Community Advocate

‘A ‘OHE LOKOMAIKA’I I NELE I KE PA NA’I. No kind deed has ever lacked its reward. Give for the pleasure of giving, do not expect something in return. Old Hawaiian Proverb

Tula Mapuana Striffler

San Diego as well as most of Southern California Pacific Islanders experienced a cultural disconnect from Pacific Islander traditions for many years. Traditional mele (music) and hula events, open to all, were not to be found; cultural fairs celebrating the rich histories and traditions of Polynesia were few in number and limited in scope; and gatherings to discuss and communicate the feelings of Pacific Islander Communities were enjoying, at best, limited access.

As sailors coming across the Pacific Ocean looking for the North Star for guidance, so too, did all the groups look for unification, for direction. Enter Auntie Tula. Tula became San Diego’s hokule’a, that shining star. Tula initiated conferences, concerts and cultural fairs.

Need some help on a project? Auntie Tula was there with a heartfelt smile of aloha asking nothing in return. Individuals or groups needing to find a better way to communicate with each other have found Auntie Tula ready to pilot everyone to recognition of malama pono, all that is good.

What is it that makes Tula so beloved? Is it her smile, her wit, her generous service to the community? Is it her dedication to the Pacific Islander Community? Her ability to work with all community members? Her ability to support diverse ideas and perspectives? Simply put, Yes, and more. Tula embraces us all as part of the larger Ohana (family) to which we belong, Humanity.

It is with great joy that I put forth the deserving name of a true kanaka ma’oli, (Hawaiian daughter of the land) Tula Mapuana Striffler, for this most significant community recognition.

In giving back to the community, Tula Striffler is currently active with the following organizations:

  • Tula Productions, providing traditional Hawaiian entertainment for San Diego County
  • Hui O Hawaii of San Diego Civic Club, Past President
  • Aha Hui Kiwilia Hawaii of San Diego, Past President and Charter Member
  • Na Mea Lima Hana , Hawaiian Cultural Fair, Creator
  • Kama’aina Club of Orange County, 2007 Humanitarian Award
  • Pacific Islander Festival Association, Charter Member
  • Samoan Community Council of San Diego, Member

Tula Mapuana Striffler was nominated by:

  • Donald C. Weir, Ph.D. Kailua, HI
  • Advisor to Jonathan Tarr Foundation
  • 2006 JTF Humanitarian Award Recipient

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