Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana

Na Lei Naʻauao Education with Aloha is having a significant impact for our keiki

*Trustee’s note: Mahalo nui to Taffi Wise of Kanu o ka ‘Aina Learning ‘Ohana for her
contribution to this trustee column. Holomua kakou.

“Why,” by Ernest Tavares, Kanu o ka ‘Äina New Century Public Charter School, Class of 2012

This day marks the end of my 11th year at Kanu. It has been an honor learning alongside my peers and teachers who are like crewmates sailing with me into the unknown like our ancestors did eons ago. Kanu is and forever will be a place for pioneers. It is the first Hawaiian charter school and it has birthed a curriculum so radical that I myself am amazed at what I learn each day.The possibilities are endless:in one class I may learn how to solve derivatives in calculus and in the next, I learn how to translate a Hawaiian story that has been resting for centuries. My experiences at Kanu have shaped me into a confident, young Hawaiian ready to tackle any challenge. I am confident not because of what I know, but because I recognize how much more there still is to learn. I anticipate testing the knowledge that Kanu has bestowed upon me and applying it to the world of business as I attend the University of Pennsylvania. Without my learning family, who over the years has literally
become my family, I could not have achieved all of the things that I have. 


We all have these successes in our schools! To all of our soldiers in the trenches leading Nä Lei Na‘auao (NLN), mahalo nui loa for your perseverance, determination and ingenuity:
  • Alvin Parker – Ka Waihona o ka Na‘auao
  • Kaleimakamae Ka‘auwai – Kawaikini 
  • Pat Bergin and Allyson Tamura – Kanu o ka ‘Äina
  • Charlene Hoe – Hakipu‘u Learning Center
  • Hedy Sullivan – Kula Aupuni Niihau A Kahelelani Aloha
  • Haunani Seward – Ke Kula Ni‘ihau o Kekaha
  • Kauanoe Kamanä – Ke Kula ‘O Näwahïokalani‘öpu‘u
  • Laara Allbrett – Hälau Lökahi 
  • Susie Osborne and Keiki Kekipi – Kua o ka Lä
  • Mapuana Waipa – Ke Ana La‘ahana
  • Ipo Torio – Kanuikapono
  • Huihui Kanahele-Mossman – Ka ‘Umeke Kä‘eo
  • Mahina Paishon Duarte – Hälau Kü Mäna
  • Meahilahila Kelling – Ke Kula ‘o Samuel M. Kamakau
It is working!

Kanu o ka ‘Äina Learning ‘Ohana is a Native Hawaiian Organization that serves Native Hawaiians throughout the state of Hawai‘i. The piko of the communities we serve is NLN. They have created community-designed and controlled models of education that embrace Hawaiian cultural values, philosophies and ideologies. Collectively, we believe in the indigenous right of self-determination and community control over education to promote educational interests grounded in traditional practices that advocate cultural vitality, environmental stewardship and community sustainability. United, we are committed to sustaining lifelong learning through education, thus preparing the children of Hawai‘i to
thrive in the modern world, free from oppression, with pride in their heritage. The public charter school movement serves as the venue for NLN to pursue its quest for relevant learning experiences for the haumäna. Despite a perpetual struggle to prove its worth to the state, NLN students have risen above these challenges proving their resilience by demonstrating impressive results. Consequently, public education is being redefined because NLN visionaries refuse to give up. We are accountable, transparent, we are still here and our students deserve equitable and adequate resources for their education. OHA has continued to be one of our strongest advocates in self-determination and empowerment. OHA has believed in NLN Education with Aloha, validating our educational epistemology by investing $1.5 million continually for the past four years, directly impacting over 12,800 students. Without the support of the Ali‘i Trusts, OHA and the Kamehameha Schools, we would not be in existence. Education is the social injustice issue of this generation! 


Haunani Apoliona, MSW
Trustee, At-large




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