Maui Business

Hawaiian Language Educator to Speak at MNHCoC Annual Meeting, June 12

June 5, 2018, 2:23 PM HST
* Updated June 5, 12:31 PM
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Kili Namauʻu, Director of the Hawaiian language immersion preschool, Pūnana Leo o Maui

Kili Namauʻu, Director of Pūnana Leo o Maui is the featured speaker at the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting slated for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 12 at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, in the Pāʻina Food Court.

Following Namaʻuu’s presentation, the Honorable Boyd Mossman will install the chamber’s newly elected board and officers for FY 2018-2019.

Kili Namauʻu has been director of the Hawaiian language immersion preschool, Pūnana Leo o Maui, for 25 years.

It is one of 13 Hawaiʻi preschools under the direction of ʻAha Pūnana Leo, Inc., an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Hawaiian language.

The language immersion schools have become a model for early learning in an endangered indigenous language.


Pūnana Leo o Maui was founded in 1987 on the grounds of Kaʻahumanu Church in Wailuku. The school currently serves 30 children and their families. Pūnana Leo o Maui is accredited by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.


Namauʻu is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Hawaiian Agencies and Organizations. Governor Ige appointed her to the state’s Board of Education in July 2017. Namauʻu received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and her Masters of Education, with an emphasis on early education, from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

“Indigenous languages around the world are going extinct at an alarming rate,” said MNHCoC President Teri Freitas Gorman. “People may believe it doesn’t personally affect them, but that’s just wrong. Each language carries a unique worldview that is transmitted through speech from one generation to the next. There are two official languages in Hawaiʻi and Kili’s work ensures this will always be the case.”

During the Annual Dinner MNHCoC members will elect a board of directors and officers for the new fiscal year beginning on July 1. The Honorable Boyd Mossman will say a few words about “kuleana,” or the privilege and responsibility, of community service before the installation ceremony. Judge Mossman is the founding president of MNHCoC, having established the new organization in 2005. He continues to serve as a cherished friend and advisor.


Prepaid admission, that includes a traditional Hawaiian dinner, is $25 for members or $30 for non-members. Reserve online at or pay by phone at (808) 757-3045 by Sunday, June 10, 2018.

MNHCoC’s mission is “to promote and sustain Hawaiian values and culture, and enhance the socio-economic status of Native Hawaiians in business and as individuals.” Membership is open to anyone with an interest in perpetuating the spirit of Aloha through commerce, culture and community. The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce welcomes Hawaiians and Hawaiians at Heart to share in their mission.

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