As the 2018-19 academic year begins, our mission to work together to nurture and inspire students continues. One critical component of our work is our commitment to Native Hawaiian students and the indigenizing of our college.
Fortunately, Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao, which means "Hawai'i Foundations of Enlightenment/Knowledge," is an initiative which is designed to make the University of Hawaii and its 10 campuses model indigenous-serving institutions.
Native Hawaiians have a rich cultural heritage and history. Hawai'ʻi Papa O Ke Ao encourages using this rich cultural tradition as the bridge to success for our students. The plan of Hawaii'i Papa O Ke Ao is to increase the success of Native Hawaiian students, and in doing so, also increase the success of all students, thereby creating thriving college communities.
UH aspires to be the world’s foremost indigenous serving university and embraces its unique responsibilities to the indigenous people of Hawai‘i and to Hawai‘i’s indigenous language and culture. To fulfill this responsibility, the university ensures active support for the participation of Native Hawaiians and supports vigorous programs of study and support for the Hawaiian language, history and culture. In addition to the Native Hawaiian student success agenda within the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative, the following tactics align with the thematic areas set forth in Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao, UH’s plan for a model indigenous serving university.
Leeward CC has a strong Native Hawaiian program led by passionate and knowledgeable Native Hawaiian faculty, who are willing to provide guidance and support. As such, in our preparation for the accreditation visit, they have been offering a series of workshops which teach the Hawaiian protocol and role of oli. The beauty of this is oli, “Halau Pu`uloa” is that it honors the surrounding landscape of the Pu`uloa campus.
I encourage all faculty and staff to attend one of these sessions so that you will feel comfortable when we welcome our accreditation team. By learning the oli, we honor our heritage, and we work towards our aspiration to indigenize our campus.
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