Maui News

Alaka’ina Foundation Commits $2 Million to Grow Native Hawaiian Education

July 19, 2021, 8:45 AM HST
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The Alaka’ina Foundation announces a $2 million investment to three local programs – Ho’okua’āina Lo’i, Pauahi Foundation scholarships, and Ka Papa Lo’i O Kānewai, all aimed at the educational development of Native Hawaiian students. 

In celebration of their 50th class reunion from Kamehameha Schools Class of ‘71, Alaka’ina Foundation board members decided to make a significant impact in their community to mark this momentous occasion. To support the development of Native Hawaiian youth, Alaka’ina Foundation chose three programs that directly impact students by connecting them to their Hawaiian culture and furthering their educational journeys to become future community leaders. The gifts were announced this week in a private celebration with their classmates.

Kimo Bacon, vice president and executive director of the Alaka’ina Foundation said, “Our mission is to build leadership programs and opportunities for our nā pua o Hawai’i, the youth of Hawai’i.  To do this, we concentrate on programs supporting ‘ōlelo Hawai’i to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian language as an official language recognized by the Constitution of the State of Hawai’i; Ka Wa’a, the preservation and expansion of Hawaiian technology. We use the canoe and Hawaiian navigational techniques as a metaphor for integration of Western and Hawaiian technologies and the knowledge they provide to all; and Aloha ‘Āina, the teaching and preserving of our lands and oceans.”

Makahiapo Cashman, director of Ka Papa Lo’i O Kānewai at the UH Mānoa Hawai’inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge said, “Ho’okahewai ho’oulu ‘āina: ‘make the water flow and the land flourishes’ is the mana’o of Ka Papa Lo’i ‘O Kānewai since its rebirth in 1980. We are very grateful to the Alaka’ina Foundation for helping us make the water flow by getting more Hawaiian kalo on our tables, and supporting our research, education and outreach efforts to perpetuate Native Hawaiian culture, values and knowledge.”

“Ho’okua’āina, a name given to our organization by Uncle Earl Kawa’a, is a return to the values, lifestyle, mindset and practices of our kūpuna. We are so very thankful and honored to be supported by the Alaka’ina Foundation and others who understand the importance of perpetuating our Hawaiian culture. With deep appreciation and gratitude, we thank you. Mahalo piha,” Dean Wilhelm, Executive Co-Director of Ho’okua’āina, said.

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Pono Ma’a, executive director of the Pauahi Foundation and director of advancement at Kamehameha Schools said, “As Kamehameha Schools alumni, the Alaka’ina Foundation board members are amazing examples of ‘ōiwi leadership at work – beneficiaries of Ke Ali’i Pauahi Bishop’s legacy now paying it forward to help steward the next generation.” The Pauahi Foundation endowment gift will support at least 10 designated annual post-high scholarship recipients of Native Hawaiian ancestry.

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