The Native Hawaiian Place of Learning Advancement Office at UH Mānoa focuses on implementing recommendations from Native Hawaiian reports authored over the last 30 years that guide UH Mānoa in becoming a Native Hawaiian place of learning. We have four focus areas:

Native Hawaiian Student Success
Native Hawaiian Staff and Faculty Development
Native Hawaiian Environment
Native Hawaiian Community Engagement

We cannot do this work alone. It is our mission to foster the potential within each of you to positively contribute to our collective kuleana to make UH Mānoa a Native Hawaiian place of learning. These monthly newsletters are meant to keep you connected, highlight your work and continue to inspire you.
  • Native Hawaiian students are holistically supported from recruitment through post-graduation.
  • Best practices are gleaned from efforts to support Native Hawaiian students and are applied to student success strategies for all students across the campus.
Weekly Office Hour Check-Ins
By: Punihei Lipe
Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa, Professor, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies

During the second half of the spring 2019 semester when classes went online, Professor Lilikalā Kame‘eleihiwa  noticed how stressed out her students were over the pandemic and all the related factors. She decided to begin her classes on zoom by checking in with each student and prioritizing their well-being while also teaching them the content of the courses. By the end of the semester, it was clear that her students were longing for continued connection over the summer. Therefore, she has committed to weekly office hours online throughout the summer in which her students can check in. It is not mandatory, but she finds that each week she has students who zoom in to talk about what is going good and not so good. She gives them advice, provides space for them to be heard, and most importantly lets them know that someone cares. The practices of aloha and mālama  have always been integral to Native Hawaiian student success (and we think for all students to succeed) and we see here a simple yet profound example of how it can be expressed, even in these times of social distancing. We invite you to think about how each of us can engage in aloha and mālama of our students throughout the summer and into the fall in both small and big ways to keep them connected and supported.
  • Native Hawaiian staff & faculty are holistically supported from recruitment through promotion and leadership development in every unit across the campus.
  • All staff & faculty at UH Mānoa are more knowledgeable and culturally rooted in Mānoa and Hawai‘i.
Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT)
& Ethics of Care
By: Sonya Zabala
Staff, Faculty and Community TRHT Cohort, Summer 2019

We gathered on Zoom in May with Kristin Bacon and Siobhán Ní Dhonacha to explore ways in which Ethics of Care as a philosophy contributes to thought and action for a Hawaiian place of learning. In essence, this philosophy resonates with relationship building, the ways in which we as a society intentionally care for one another, and via a Hawaiian lens, care for ʻāina in efforts to build genuine security. Its critical approach looks at the myriad of effects of social arrangements, inequities, and systemic injustices, while offering concrete pathways and approaches for positive and meaningful policy action. What is unique about our TRHT gatherings and this one in particular, is that when we advocate for change, we hold ourselves accountable and capable of being an integral part of the transformation process and we support one another, a key ingredient in ethics of care in that process. One participant shared that this worldview “puts caring for others above getting yours.” Another member summed up ethics of care as a “love of the land takes precedence over other things and that leads to other things working out.”

Please see below for a few resources on Ethics of Care:
UH Mānoa campus is a physical, cultural, spiritual, and interactive environment that exemplifies the values of ‘ohana and community, mālama ‘āina, and kuleana; thereby, perpetuating Native Hawaiian values, culture, language, traditions, and customs.
Aloha ʻĀina Fridays:
Fall 2019-Spring 2020 Report
By: Pua Souza
Aloha ʻĀina Fridays Campus Tour Participants during our ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi campus tour

As we collectively continue to close out this academic school year and reflect on what we have accomplished, our office wanted to share one way we have been reflecting and documenting our own work. We put together an Aloha ʻĀina Fridays Summary Report for our Fall 2019-Spring 2020 academic year. This report offers a small look into the first year of our Aloha ʻĀina series, which would not have been possible without the participation of our UHM students, staff, faculty and community members. We look forward to learning and growing alongside each of you at our future Aloha ʻĀina Friday Events. Our team is working hard this summer to bring you virtual programming for the fall. See you soon!
Institute of Hawaiian Language Research and Translation:
By: Paige Okamura
Partial Map of Hilo by E.D. Baldwin, 1891

I’m always grateful for the opportunities to launa with people through this work, and be able to kūkulu pilina wherever I go, even if it’s only through email during this pandemic. For the past couple of years, my research has been translating volcanic eruptions which led me to settle my focus on the 1881 eruption. This led to a connection to a friend of Kumu Kapali Lyon via email, who is from Hilo and whose home sits on Hālaʻi Hill, which the lava passed within a thousand yards of. One of his kupuna was a partner in the hui that founded the first sugar plantation on Hawaiʻi island in Waimea in 1835. Among other accolades, his kupuna also owned the first bowling alley in Hilo. I truly appreciate his willingness to share his moʻolelo. Even in times of disconnect, we can still find pilina through the stories of our kupuna. Please click here to search for translated articles.
Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT):
Statement on Black Lives Matter
By: Sonya Zabala
TRHT and Black Lives Matter Logos

Racial and socio-economic inequities have been made a lot clearer during the COVID-19 pandemic. It continues to remind us why our UHM Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation work is so important. As a TRHT campus center we practice 1) envisioning, 2) remembering and 3) radical re-imagining of what a just and equitable world looks like, one that is relational and deeply connected to one another and the environment. In case you missed it,  here is a link  to the TRHT statement in echoing support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
UH Mānoa and Native Hawaiian communities are consistently connected and engaged in order that there can be reciprocal teaching and learning for positive impact throughout Hawai‘i.
Ua Ao Hawaiʻi:
Free Online Hawaiian Language Classes
By: Ākea Kahikina and Paige Okamura
Ua Ao Hawaiʻi Class at UHM Campus Center Courtyard

Ua Ao Hawaiʻi, our free online Hawaiian language classes sponsored by ASUH and HSHK, has started back up! Mahalo nui to everyone who sent in testimony to support the course; we have officially been funded for the next three semesters. This would not be possible without each of you continuing to be present with us as allies of Kānaka Maoli and our culture. This is integral for creating a better Hawai'i for tomorrow.
We have changed class hours to accommodate working 'ohana and our own waha Pukikī; class will now be from 5-6:30pm. We are starting from where we left in the spring; if you need a refresher, please review the previous streams and presentations. We will be following the UHM academic calendar, so six weeks on, take a short break, and continue into Summer Session II. Mahalo for joining us, and we hope to hear from you in class!

Papa ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i livestreams:
The Obama Foundation and Black Lives Matter
By: Punihei Lipe
Obama Foundation Asia Pacific Leaders design for the Kuala Lumpur convening

Needless to say, countless numbers of people have been waiting for President Obama to re-enter many conversations. The current Black Lives Matter movement definitely topped the list. I was delighted when I received a message from the Obama Foundation directing our attention to Anguish and Action. I continue to share this great set of resources. I was further enthused when it was announced that President Obama would be holding a townhall on racial justice and police reform.  You might ask: How is this all related to advancing a Native Hawaiian place of learning? The Obama Foundation and the worldwide community that is standing up against racism is such an important part of our process in Hawai‘i and at UH Mānoa. Let's utilize and connect with these various organizations to scale up and deepen the work we must do in order to live into our collective kuleana to advance our campus as a Native Hawaiian place of learning.
Title III Evaluation Report
By: Punihei Lipe
University of Hawaiʻi System Logo

In the autumn of 2015, the University of Hawai‘i (UH) was awarded a supplemental grant by the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III program to conduct a system-wide evaluation of the Title III-funded programming and projects on each UH campus between 2008 and 2014. The federal Title III program provides funds to post-secondary institutions serving Native Hawaiians and Alaska Natives in order to increase institutional capacity to support student success. In brief, the evaluation sought to discern what impacts the Title III program had on both campuses and students over the period under evaluation. The evaluation report was recently completed. We invite you to read the final report  to glean lessons about how we can best support Native Hawaiian students across our campus.