University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
|For Immediate Release:||
November 29, 2001
Dr. Pila Wilson, (808) 974-7454
|Grant Received for Indigenous Language Revitalization|
The University of Hawai`i at Hilo's Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of
Hawaiian Language and the `Aha Punana Leo are pleased to announce the recent
grant award made by the Ford Foundation to fund the Hale Kipa 'Oiwi Project,
an office dedicated to the hosting of visitors from around the globe interested
in indigenous language revitalization.
The `Aha Punana Leo is credited for pioneering the Hawaiian language immersion education method and has worked with the Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language since the College's inception in 1997. Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikölani College of Hawaiian Language is the first public institution of higher learning in the United States to offer a bachelor and masters degree through the Hawaiian language, and currently oversees, in a consortium with `Aha Punana Leo and the State of Hawai`i's Department of Education, three immersion research K-12 schools sites across the State.
The importance of private-public partnerships has recently been highlighted by the Bush administration as an effective means of providing much needed collaboration on matters of education. The Hale Kipa `Oiwi Project was conceived in response to numerous requests from other indigenous peoples to visit the College and its research laboratory school sites. The project is managed by the Executive Director Ms. Namaka Rawlins of the `Aha Punana Leo, directed by Dr. William "Pila" Wilson of Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani, and staffed by Becky Niniaukapeali`i Kawaihae. Rawlins and Wilson are familiar to many in the field of indigenous language revitalization, the latter having published many articles on the Hawaiian language revitalization movement here in Hawai`i. Kawaihae is a recent graduate of UH Hilo with a degree in political science and is also the Harry S. Truman Foundation Scholar 2000 for the State of Hawai`i.
"Being able to share our work with those interested in perpetuating their own indigenous languages is an exciting contribution for me as a Hawaiian," stated Kawaihae. "Through the efforts of the `Aha Punana Leo and the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, we now have an indigenous language revitalization program that is recognized and emulated worldwide."