Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao, comprised of representatives of each campus, is a presidential appointed work committee tasked with developing, implementing and assessing strategic actions to make the University of Hawaiʻi a leader in indigenous education. The phrase simply means Hawaiʻi Foundations of Enlightenment/Knowledge. The deeper application of this name is cosmogonic, for in the name is Papahānaumoku (Papa) and Wākea (reflected in his Ao form), original parents of Hawaiʻi Consciousness.
Since January 2012, the Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao Report set goals and objectives to address the higher education needs of our indigenous people—Native Hawaiians—by creating a model indigenous serving institution.
The purpose of the Pūkoʻa Council of the University of Hawaiʻi is to provide a formal, independent voice and organization through which the Native Hawaiian faculty, administrators and students of the UH system can participate in the development and interpretation of system-wide policy and practice as it relates to Native Hawaiian programs, activities, initiatives and issues.
The UH programs and projects supported by Title III funding range from tutoring and peer mentoring services to bridge/transition programs, to creation of affirming and culturally rich spaces on campuses.
The University of Hawaiʻi aspires to be the world’s foremost indigenous serving university and embraces its unique responsibilities to the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi and to Hawaiʻi’s indigenous language and culture.