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Project summary: 

Pua Kaiaulu addresses a breadth of Native-Hawaiian-education-related programs grounded in the ancestral land and energy of Ka`ala Learning Center in Wai`anae on the island of Oahu. These hands-on learning programs will ultimately impact 1,000 K-12 students, 100 teachers, and 400 family members in the overall project’s aim of achieving community healing and enhancing the ability of youth to reconnect with their ancestry and communal past to contribute to a bright community future.


In the short-term, Pua Kaiaulu aims to:

  1. promote student engagement in learning as measured by high school graduation;

  2. increase student self-efficacy as evidenced through community service projects;

  3. enhance instructional strategies aligned to place-based instruction; and 

  4. enhance ohana engagement in education.


These objectives will be realized through the incorporation of a summer youth internship program, place-based/aina-based practices and workshops connected to indigenous sciences, as well as through professional development for teachers in partnership with health and environmental partners. This project gives students and kumu the unique opportunity to work alongside community grassroot practitioners, university researchers, and state agencies to lean into their cultural/community strengths and `ike in order to tackle and chip away at challenges brought on by generational colonization and a western approach of dominance over the environment.


  • Mentorship

  • Coordinating field trips

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