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Bruce Torres Fischer

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language has named the recipient of its first-ever Daniel and Lydia Makuakāne Endowed Fellowship. Bruce Torres Fischer, a master’s candidate at Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani, has been chosen as the inaugural awardee. Fischer’s research will focus on phonological variations in the speech of mānaleo, native speakers of the Hawaiian language, through analyzing archival audio recordings.

Established through the generosity of the Makuakane ʻohana, the fellowship is aimed to support graduate students toward completion of the research and writing phase of their masters thesis and doctoral dissertation. The endowment honors their parents, Daniel and Lydia Makuakāne for their contributions to the preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian language and cultural practices.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as the first Daniel and Lydia Makuakane Endowed Fellowship recipient,” said Torres Fischer. “Mahalo nui to the Makuakane family for establishing this important resource to support graduate students pursuing scholarship in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.”

The College of Hawaiian Language at UH Hilo, founded in 1998, is the only college in the U.S. that focuses on Hawaiian and other Indigenous languages. Notably, the college was recently awarded the lead role in establishing the inaugural National Native American Language Resource Center under the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education, with specific focus on supporting Native American Language communities and their efforts in language revitalization.

Kaʻiu Kimura, director of the College of Hawaiian Language, said, “We are so grateful to the entire Makuakane ʻohana for providing this incredible opportunity to support the next generation of Hawaiian language scholars. Their vision in establishing this fellowship will have an enormous impact by helping our students finish their degrees and go on to be leaders in language revitalization and education in Hawaiʻi.”

For more information about the Daniel and Lydia Makuakāne Endowed Fellowship, contact Kimura at or (808) 932-7414.

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