Kalama Heritage Festival
The Kalama Heritage Festival is a beautiful, culturally rich event that celebrates the impact on the Pacific Northwest region by the Hawaiian Kanaka (humans) that were brought over by the Hudson Bay Fur Trading Company in the mid-1800s. John Kalama was one of the earliest Hawaiians employed by Hudson Bay.
The Festival honors the blended bloodlines contributing to the early historical impact of the cultures between Kanaka and the Pacific Northwest Native Americans. The city of Kalama is named in honor of John Kalama and his contributions to the area. Bill and Gloria Nahalea, the founders of the festival, spent many years researching the progression of the coming together of these two vital peoples. It was not easy, as there simply was not very much information available at the time. Their passion for wanting to learn kept them searching, and because of this, they were able to connect with descendants of the original Kanaka. They were rewarded with many captivating stories, particularly involving a very renowned Hawaiian named John Kalama.