UH delegation attends National Indian Education Association annual convention in Hartford, CT

The highlight of the trip was the ceremony recognizing Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u Hawaiian language immersion school as the recipient of the William Demmert Cultural Freedom Award, one of the highest awards given by the National Indian Education Association.

By Susan Enright.

Group photo of delegation.
Educators from UH Hilo, UH West O‘ahu and UH Maui College, and two students from Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu immersion school attended the National Indian Education Association Convention in Hartford, CT. (Front row, l-r) Gail Makuakāne-Lundin (Executive Assistant to the Chancellor), Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa (Director, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani), Laurie Harper (Director of Education, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe), Amy Kalili, (Coordinator, Mokuola Honua, Global Center for Indigenous Langauge Excellence), ʻAipono Valente, (Student, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahiokalaniōpuʻu), Kaʻinapu Sato (Student, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu), Teresa Makuakāne -Dreschel (Former Board Member, National Indian Education Association). (Back row, l-r) Nāmaka Rawlins (Director, Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration, ʻAha Punana Leo), Yuliya Manyakina (Project Director, Lakota Immersion Nest, Sitting Bull College), Tipiziwin Young (Lakota Language Instructor, Lakota Immersion Nest, Sitting Bull College), Leslie Harper, (Director, Ojibwe Language Immersion Program), Kauanoe Kamanā (Associate Professor, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani, and Director, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu), Rene Holt (Project Director, College of Education, Washington State University, Pullman Campus). Oct. 12, 2018. Courtesy photo.

Educators from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, UH West O‘ahu and UH Maui College, and two students from Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu immersion school, attended the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) annual convention and trade show held last week, Oct. 10-13, in Hartford, CT. The theme of the convention was “Building Education Nations through Culture, Creativity, and Critical Thought.”

Group photo of Lalani ʻelua H-ʻĀ, Kaʻinapu Sato, ʻAipono Valente, and Kauanoe Kamanā. The two young men, in the middle, are holding plaque.
Representatives of Ke Kula ‘o Nāwahīokalani’ōpu’u attended the National Indian Education Association annual convention to receive the 2018 William Demmert Cultural Freedom Award, one of the most prestigious awards bestowed by the association. (L-R) Lalani ʻelua H-ʻĀ, (Teacher, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahiokalaniōpuʻu), Kaʻinapu Sato (Student, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu), ʻAipono Valente, (Student, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahiokalaniōpuʻu), Kauanoe Kamanā (Associate Professor, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani and Director, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu). Hartford, CT.

The highlight of the trip was the ceremony recognizing Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u Hawaiian language immersion school as the recipient of the William Demmert Cultural Freedom Award, one of the highest awards given by the NIEA. The laboratory school, run by UH Hilo Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, is recognized for its work in Hawaiian medium-immersion education in Hawaiʻi. The award is an NIEA board-nominated award that recognizes an organization for its success and the positive impact it has on native student academic achievement.

“From humble beginnings and through the tenacious commitment of its leadership, teachers and families, Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u has been a trailblazer in the advancement of Hawaiian medium education,” says Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, director of Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language. “William Demmert was a strong advocate of language revitalization programs, which makes this prestigious recognition a special honor.” (See full story about the award.)

While at the convention in Hartford, members of the Hawai‘i delegation participated in the cultural events of the convention including the welcome reception, cultural night, and closing powwow hosted by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut.

Group photo: Lalani ʻelua H-ʻĀ,, Kauanoe Kamanā, Nāmaka Rawlins, Amy Kalili, ʻAipono Valente, and Kaʻinapu Sato.
Members of the Hawai‘i delegation at the National Indian Education Association annual convention held in Hartford, CT, last week. (L-R) Lalani ʻelua H-ʻĀ, (Teacher Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahiokalaniōpuʻu), Kauanoe Kamanā (Associate Professor, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani and Director, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu), Nāmaka Rawlins (Director, Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration, ʻAha Punana Leo) Amy Kalili,( Coordinator, Mokuola Honua, Global Center for Indigenous Langauge Excellence), ʻAipono Valente, (Student, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahiokalaniōpuʻu), Kaʻinapu Sato (Student, Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu.

Members of the Hawai‘i group attended workshops that covered such topics as student success, scholarships, the promotion of research that enhances Native inclusion,indigenous-based leadership and curriculum, community led solutions to support Native students, and key legislation that impacts Native programs and students in P-20 education, among other topics.

Members of the Hawai‘i delegation also assisted the Native Hawaiian Education Association to promote He Au Honua, an indigenous research conference that will be held at UH Maui College during the week of March 19-22, 2019.

Oct. 18, 2018: The name of the award has been corrected. It is the Cultural Freedom Award, not the Freedom Fighter Award.

 

Story by Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.