Grandmother. Mother. That which feeds. ‘Āina is that and so much more.
Founded in 2008, Kawaikini is a Hawaiian culture, language, and ‘āina-based K-12 school on Kauaʻi. Their haumāna spend a lot of time learning on the land, but more importantly, learning from the land. Kalaemanō, Keālia, Pa‘aiki, Nā Pali are not just places on a map, they are precious kumu to Kawaikini haumāna.
Although they have their normal campus space with whiteboards and walls, their learning environment is vast and extends out in all directions. You can find the Kawaikini students at the sea cultivating limu at Kalaemanō, in the lo‘i at Keālia, in the forests of Pa‘aiki, up on the ridges of Na Pāli, and everywhere in between. The world is their classroom and ‘āina nurtures, guides, and grows them every step of the way, a way of learning that builds connections that last.
As these students in this video show us, Hawaiian culture is something that goes way beyond a simple subject or a single period in a day’s schedule. It’s a way of life that generations of kānaka have thrived on, a way to live harmoniously with the natural world, an urgent change in lifestyle that can be applied worldwide as humanity faces the extreme challenges of a world approaching a point of no return.
When we as kānaka listen and learn from and with the land, we strengthen our connections, and together, grow practices of aloha ʻāina that will feed us and generations to come.
Hawaiian culture, language, and ‘āina-based education are transforming education. To learn more about Kawaikni Public Charter School, visit kawaikini.com.
To learn more about the larger movement, visit kanaeokana.net.