“Hawaiian Immersion Graduates.” An article you must read!!

The Honolulu Magazine has recently published an article about three Hawaiian immersion graduates profiling where they are now.

I am very proud to say that my older sister, Ku’uwehi Hiraishi is part of the third Hawaiian immersion graduating class from Ke Kula o Nawahiokalani’opu’u in 2001. 


Ku’uwehi Hiraishi

She is amazing at what she does, especially making sure my twin sister and I are on track with college and the transition from Hawaiian immersion.

Please take time to read this article about how far she has come through the Hawaiian immersion program, along with two other astonishing Hawaiian immersion graduates. I’m sure their stories will inspire you, aloha!!

Link to Article: http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/March-2012/Na-Puka-Kula-Hawaiian-Immersion-Graduates/index.php


Native American Languages being discouraged, what a shame!!

“Menominee Seventh Grader Suspended for Saying “I Love You” in her Native Language.”

Seventh grader Miranda Washinawatok, Menominee

This was a recent article published in the Native News Network, an online media outlet for Native Americans to connect.

In Shawano, Wisconsin, Miranda Washinawatok, a seventh grader who is part of the Menominee Native American Tribe was suspended for speaking her native language in class.

Miranda speaks two languages: Menominee and English and she is also on the school basketball team. Miranda was told that she was suspended from a basketball game because her coach heard from two of her teachers that her attitude has been very poor and she shouldn’t be allowed to play.

Miranda’s mother believed that her daughter was a highly respectful individual so her mother fought until she got answers from the coaches, teachers, and principal of the school.

Please visit this link below to read the rest of these unethical actions of the Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano, Wisconsin:


Support our other native languages as others don’t understand the true value of it, OLA KA ‘OLELO!!

Akaka Commemorates the Hawaiian Language

Daniel Akaka Commemorates the month of February as the month of the Hawaiian Language.

” I rise today in celebration of the Hawaiian language.  February is designated as the “Month of the Hawaiian Language” by the State of Hawai’i.  Speakers and students of the language use this time to foster and promote Hawaiian through festivals, spelling bees, and speech and debate competitions where the Hawaiian language is the primary medium.”

Here is the link to the article:


Please help up revitalize the Hawaiian language as we celebrate not only in this month of February, but for the rest of our lives. E ola mau ka ‘olelo Hawai’i!!


‘Aha Wahine 2012

In August 2012 the first ever wahine-only conference will take place in Hawai’i. The focus of this conference is to reconnect women to their Hawaiian culture to help them prosper.

The women’s-only conference is largely based on the success of the ʻAha Kane, a males-only health conference.

Here is the link to read and see a video of a sneak-preview of the 2012 ‘Aha Wahine:


For you wahine out there I encourage you to register for this conference and learn about your language, culture, and identity.

To register or for more information visit ʻAha Wahine. Or contact Mehanaokalā Hind at AhaWahine2012@gmail.com or by phone at (808)392-1861.

Hui Malama Ola Na ‘Oiwi

For you Native Hawaiians out there, have you ever needed medical or health care services but just could not find an affordable and stable organization?

Well Hui Malama Ola Na ‘Oiwi is a non-profit organization for native Hawaiians that provides a wide variety of health enhancement services to Native Hawaiians through advocacy, accessibility and education.

Services include, but are not limited to, facilitating access to health care through outreach, referrals, transportation and health screening and networking with other health care providers, State and County Agencies, Schools and Community Organizations.

Other services include health risk appraisals, medication management, blood pressure and glucose checks and health assessments; and health promotion disease prevention programs which focus on Native Hawaiian health, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer awareness, smoking cessation, nutrition, weight management, prenatal care, and substance abuse.

Traditional healing practices such as Ho`oponopono, La`au Lapa`au and Lomilomi are available through referrals.



Hawaiian Television Survey

Aloha mai kakou,
Sorry I haven’t been blogging for awhile but I’ve attached a link to take the Hawaiian Television Survey on behalf of ‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola and ‘Oiwi TV.
For those of you who are not familiar with these two organizations, they are basically Hawaii’s only highly organized and sophisticated Hawaiian language media outlet that write stories about Native Hawaiians and residents of Hawaii that are making a difference in the Hawaiian language and culture.
This survey will provide feedback for Hawaiian language TV in how to improve their segments as well as supporting their shows.

‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola Features Individual Talents

‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola has been interviewing many native Hawaiian individuals recently and their accomplishments in relation to the Hawaiian language and culture. Their project is called “11 for 2011” in which they speak with ambitious members of the native Hawaiian community and show they talent and dreams for the future.

One of my favorite individuals to listen to was Ezekiel Lau who is a senior at Kamehameha Schools and talked about his passion as a surfer and his plans about making it to the top of the junior surfing world. To learn more about Lau here is his website http://www.ezekiellau.com/

Another interesting story is about a young native of Hawaii, Kealoha HawaiiSlam as he likes to call himself. Kealoha shares his passion with slam poetry, as he believes that it is the perfect combination of thinking, writing, and theater. What I found interesting about Kealoha is that he graduated from the Massachussets Institute of Technology with a nuclear engineering degree but now is devoting his time to slam poetry because it’s his passion.

Here is his website: http://www.kealohapoetry.com/

I also enjoyed ‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola’s story on Ka’iulani Murphy who is an educator for the Polynesian Voyaging Society.  Murphy talks about her experiences on one of Hawaii’s famous voyages, Hokule’a and her future plans in relation to voyaging.

Another interesting story that I enjoyed is on Kamu Kapoi, a local boy born in Waianae, O’ahu who works for the Makaha Studios  Hawaii’s young digital storyteller media services business and is also captain of Wa’a E ALA – Kekoa O Wai’anae. He shares his adventures and love for film and voyaging.

For more interviews on individuals please Visit ‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola’s website.

New literature written for Native Speakers

Author David Harrison’s new “The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World’s Most Endangered Languages,” is a must-have for you linguist and passionate indigenous speakers out there. The media such as the L.A. Times and the Huffington Post has been writing about this amazing piece of literature.

“A language that was on the brink of extinction can and actually has been revitalized. I think a very formidable success story is the Hawaiian language.”

–          David Harrison

In Harrison’s book he mentions that the Hawaiian language was down to a small number of speakers and was in an advances state of endangerment. He commented saying that if things had not changed then Hawaiian might have been extinct today, but the community pit forth an enormous effort.

Harrison did his research and shared with his readers that when native Hawaiian speakers were trying to bring the language back they created nests, they raised a new generation of youngsters (such as myself) speaking the language and now there are speakers of Hawaiian all around Hawaii.

He also stressed on the idea of how there are native Hawaiian speakers of all ages, not just older grandparents, which was the case in the beginning, but now Hawaiian is even becoming  one’s first language.

Harrison mentioned on an interview that he always hears critics saying that “It’s inevitable that these languages will die, so why even try?” In response Harrison believes that it’s simply not true and the Hawaiians as well as the Mohawk and Cherokee have proved that to the world.

Personally, I have just started reading this book and if you are very passionate about linguistics and cultures I suggest you pick it up.

E Malama I Ke Kai Annual Awareness Fundraiser

This year Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o will be holding their annual “E Malama I ke Kai Awareness Fundraiser on Saturday May 14th, from 10am to 3pm at Kapi’olani Park Bandstand, Honolulu, HI.

E Malama I ke Kai means to care for the sea, basically an annual ocean awareness fundraiser that has been hosted by Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o for a little over a decade. This event is a free concert with exhibitors and activities to support Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o one of the Hawaiian immersion preschools on the island of O’ahu.

Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o has fostered a unique connection to the ocean through its teachers who engage their students in ocean awareness because they themselves are great watermen and women. Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o is trying to obtain a more sustainable learning community through their curriculum, making ocean awareness a must because the ocean is an important part of the Hawaiian culture.

The event will feature an outrigger canoe race from Maunalua Bay to Waikiki, followed by environmental education arts and crafts, games for the whole family, good food, and great entertainment. Last year approximately 5,000 people attended this event.

Having attended this event in the past I believe that it is a great way to get the community involved in learning about the local ocean conservation as well as perpetuating the Hawaiian language and culture with all the art exhibits and activities.

19th Annual Celebration of the Arts

The Annual Celebration of the Arts is an event that happens every year bringing Hawaii’s finest artisans, educators, cultural practitioners, speakers, and entertainers together for the Hawai’i community. Throughout this weekend from April 22-24 the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Kapalua, Maui is hosting the event.

This year’s theme for the celebration is , “E na Aumakua,” which is in honor of our ancestors. Clifford Nae’ole who is the cultural advisor and event chair said that this years theme, “Embraces the call to our ancestors and all things natural.”

The event includes a full schedule of cultural panels, films, hands-on art, demonstrations, music and dance. According to the Hawaii Tourism Association this event is a past recipient of the “Keep it Hawai’i Kahili Award” and was rated as the number one cultural event by the Hawai’i Modern Luxury Magazine.

The event opens with traditional ceremonies at sunrise on Friday, April 22 and concludes with a Celebration Lu’au and Show on Saturday night, April 23, followed by an after-hours party at the hotel lobby.  There will also be an Easter Brunch and Easter Egg Hunt on the Plantation Lawn on Sunday, April 24th.

Most of the events try to incorporate earth day in their activities along with the theme which is honoring our ancestors. I believe that this is a great way to get the community involved with learning cultural practices as well as the Hawaiian language through a series of fun events.

Taken from the 2010 Annual Celebration of the Arts: