Education Leaders
Kula & Organizations
Array of supporters (KS)

On February 28th, 2020 52 educational leaders and supporters came together to review Kanaeokana’s progress and to harness their collective intelligence to guide their work going forward. Here’s a link to the slide deck of the meeting to get an in-depth perspective. For a quick overview, please see the table below.

*Additional invitees had scheduling conflicts but voiced an interest in joining future meetings.


Here’s a summary of the day’s activities:

Wehena – Ke Welina, e nā lālā hou o Kanaeokana The day began with everyone joining together and reaffirming their pilina and shared pahu hopu.

  • Participants registered, enjoyed breakfast and hoʻolauna time, and pulled up the slide deck for the day
  • Pule: Nā ʻAumākua
  • Welina: Offered by Taran Chun whose campus opened up their Ka‘iwikīloumoku building for the meeting
  • Mele lāhui: The new mele, Auē ke aloha ē, composed by Chad Takatsugi and Zack Lum was shared with those assembled by Chad. Everyone enjoyed trying it out together a few times. A great way to start the session!
  • An orientation to the day offered by Kōmike Hoʻokele member, Kū Kahakalau
Opening Keynote – “How to explain hope to an 8 year old” Kalei Kaʻilihiwa shared her original poem and a glimpse of her role as a mom of an eight year old. It made us bus’ laugh, think hard, and pause with tears flowing freely. We were reminded in a most uplifting way about why we are working together to ensure that we never forget who we are. And in giving us an example from her own home, we saw a beautiful glimpse of what we’re nurturing together: A new generation that’s not so familiar with pilgrims and the Mayflower but who can build their understanding from a foundation of familiarity with Hōkūleʻa and Nainoa! Mahalo nui, Kalei, for strengthening our resolve.
Hawaiian Education System: Cascading from the Kanaeokana Ala Nuʻukia and Nuʻukia Mahina Paishon-Duarte walked us through the steps that Kanaeokana participants have taken to move from our nuʻukia and ala nuʻukia referencing a Hawaiian Education System to developing a more focused, specific draft declaration articulating our view of a Hawaiian Education System. From there, the group engaged in several scaffolded activities:

  • Reviewed this draft Palapala ‘Ōnaehana Ho‘ona‘auao Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Education System Declaration)
  • Jotted down on white, red, or blue cards ideas related to the draft that they wanted to kākoʻo, edit, or add.
  • Affixed their cards to a hae Hawaiʻi that their cards collectively created.
  • Enjoyed a refreshing mocktail and networking time with the awesome folks in the room.
Interactive Workshops: Session 1 Kōmike Hoʻokele member Malia Nobrega-Olivera introduced the three interactive workshop sessions.

In Session 1 everyone had a chance to choose two of three activity options to engage in during Session 1. Each activity ran for 25 minutes. Choices included:

  • Conditions of collective impact
  • Ho‘okuluma ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi: Hearing from Kahoʻokahi Kanuha of ʻAha Pūnana Leo about a survey for ʻohana who have been engaged in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. The survey aims at supporting ʻAPL’s goal of creating more opportunities for ʻohana to use ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi in their everyday lives. Learn more about this effort by checking out this video.
  • Recruiting and Retaining Hawaiian Culture-Based Educators: Participants heard about how this kōmike has been at career fairs talking with haumāna about the joys of being a kumu. This Kumu Careers website has been used both in and out of such career fairs to have haumāna hear encouraging messages directly from kumu role models. Throughout the day participants were also able to have a professional portrait taken of themselves, which they could use for their Kumu Careers entry or their Waihona profile.
  • Kāleka iki, ʻIke nui – Tiny cards, big impact! This session introduced and gave participants a chance to play with Tiny Cards, a simple, free way to create digital flashcard packs using the target language (e.g., ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi) on one side and on their other a photo, drawing, or words.
Interactive Workshops: Session 2 Everyone had a chance to choose two of three activity options to engage in during Session 2. Each activity ran for 25 minutes. Choices included:

  • Hālau ʻŌiwi/Hei Manu: The Hālau ʻŌiwi kōmike introduced participants to their new Hei Manu card game and gave each attending organization a free set. This game plays like Go Fish, but has players trying to hei (snare) manu (bird) pairs from the pool of cards. The set comes with simple directions about how to play ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. So all players jumped into playing ma ko kākou ʻōlelo makuahine!
  • Advocacy and Hālau Olōlo: Participants discussed what questions should be posed to candidates in the 2020 election cycle via a short candidate survey. Their answers will be reported to the general public to better inform everyone about candidates’ stances on matters of greatest interest to the lāhui, as was done in the 2018 election cycle.
  • Waihona: Diving into this new Kanaeokana platform opened up for participants a whole new way to think about how our community of educators can solve the perennial problem not having a large supply of teaching resources for Hawaiian focused and kaiapuni settings. The Waihona provides a user-friendly platform for kumu so share resources and ideas with one another. Check it out!
‘Aina Awakea Complementing the lunch spread was an opportunity for even more productivity:

  • One on one networking time with colleagues from across the pae ʻāina.
  • Open mic announcements: We heard from ʻIlima Long about UH Mānoa’s Native Hawaiian Student Services planned conference, and from Kahoʻokahi Kanuha about ʻAPL’s ongoing survey.
  • Participants got to see the top candidate questions selected in Session 2 and received 4 dots to indicate their favorites to assist the Kōmike Advocacy and Hālau Olōlo with their Election 2020 voter education plans.
  • Kealaiwikuamoʻo also had a chance to report back on how it has advanced the July 12, 2019 ʻAha Kūkā decision to ramp up Maunakea advocacy efforts. Check out the series of slides starting here for a visual summary.
Interactive Workshops: Session 3 This last session included five options that people could visit and have fun with at their leisure.

  • Education Art session: Participants had a first-hand opportunity to see how UHM’s Native Hawaiian Student Services combines political history, political activation, and t-shirt designs in one highly memorable activity.
  • Papa yoga ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi was led by a inspiring mother-daughter pair, Mālia Kāne and Makana Kuahiwinui. This was a perfect pick-me up for tired bodies at the end of the day.
  • ʻĀina: Back by popular demand, this game in development by Solomon and Meredith Enos engages players in a community effort to return ʻāina back to vitality. The unique game play involves collaboration not competition!
  • Pāʻani Kahiki, Pāʻani Hou, E Pāʻani Kākou! Kū and ʻIʻini Kahakalau brought their Cards for 808 for everyone to have a blast with! A great way to kick back and enjoy hanging out with friends.
  • Hae Hawaiʻi heat press: The Kealaiwikuamoʻo team had three heat presses set up and ready to apply hae Hawaiʻi on whatever printables were present.
Ka Panina At the close of the meeting, participants heard a few reminders:

  • Next meeting: Hinaiaʻeleʻele, Pōʻalima, June 26, 2020
  • To keep in touch with what going on with Kanaeokana, check out the Kanaeokana Dashboard.

The day ended with the beautiful voices of everyone assembled joining in the mele, Makahehi Aloha ʻĀina.


  • Be on the lookout for an email announcing the next ‘aha kūkā meeting date.
  • The six kōmike will continue meeting to forward their work streams.
  • The Kōmike Ho‘okele will be meeting prior to the next Kanaeokana Plenary Meeting