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aerial of puuloa

native shark pattern with our kipuka text overlay

“Alahula Puʻuloa, he alahele na Kaʻahupāhau.”
“Everywhere in Puʻuloa is the trail of Kaʻahupāhau.”

Said of a person who goes everywhere, looking, peering, seeing all, or of a person familiar with every nook and corner of a place. Kaʻahupāhau is the shark goddess of Puʻuloa (Pearl Harbor) who guarded the people from being molested by sharks. She moved about, constantly watching.

Nā ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #105

Native Hawaiian Center at Pu‘uloa

Aloha Mai Kākou, ​

I welcome you to the Native Hawaiian Center at Puʻuloa at UH Leeward Community College. This is our Kīpuka and we are excited to share with you all the services that our unit can provide for your well-being as you travel on your path to secure a good life for you, your family and community.

We are here to serve and advocate for your success while in college. Our mission is “To provide a trusted Kīpuka, where students learn and cultivate a sense of belonging rooted in Aloha ʻĀina.” The staff of our Kīpuka seek to improve your lives by offering comprehensive services to include but not limited to counseling and academic advising, reliable program strategies, dependable support networks, financial aid and scholarship workshops, cultural activities and sound career exploration anchored in ʻIke Hawaiʻi—Hawaiian knowledge and understanding informed by aspects of Hawaiian culture.

It is my belief that moʻokūʻauhau (genealogy) determines who we are by our connection to our lands. When asked, “Where are you from?” one elegant and classic answer is, “I belong to the land of my birth”. Here is the sense of intimate belongingness that permeates the psyche of the people. We belong to the land the way all life belongs to it. Thus, our bloodlines and birth place speak of our identity.

So, I begin with genealogy. Born on Homestead lands, I descend from two lines; one lineage from Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island, and another from Kalihi on Oʻahu. I currently reside on Homestead lands in Waiʻanae, Oʻahu.

I also believe that students possess a solid core that makes each one of you special, that you will make a difference in the lives of those around you, and armed with the knowledge and experiences from Leeward CC you will make it through whatever comes along.

I was a student first at Leeward CC all those years ago and have had the pleasure of becoming a colleague to those who were once my professors. Having had many role models along my own personal journey, I will do my very best to be worthy of this position and its responsibilities.

We believe in you. Come to our Kīpuka and experience a sense of belonging, in college, in the classroom, with your classmates and new found friends.

Ke Aloha Nui,
Momi Kamahele
Coordinator

photo of smoking volcano with plants growing out of lava rocks

Our Mission

The mission of the Native Hawaiian Center at Puʻuloa is to provide a trusted Kīpuka, where students learn and cultivate a sense of belonging rooted in Aloha ʻĀina.

Our Kīpuka is a respite from the storm. A place that over time and given the right conditions gradually permeates its stagnant surroundings igniting it with vitality. Out of something that has come to symbolize a void, something entirely lacking vibrancy–emerges the life-giving sanctuary that is Kīpuka.