In further encouraging UH West Oʻahu to grow as a model indigenous-serving institution, an important piece of our identity is our Hale Halawai (meeting house), which is now open to students, faculty, staff, and the community. It is envisioned to host cultural classes, demonstrations, and talk story sessions from practitioners and kupuna. Student clubs are encouraged to use the space for meetings and service learning.
We were fortunate to enjoy a blessing with ono food on March 2, hosted by the staff of Ka Piko Project.
The grand opening of the Hale reminded me that a conversation is needed about how we can further expand our indigenous-serving presence on our campus. Is it a campus oli? A ceremony specifically designed for our campus? What should we do to make the steps to be a model indigenous-serving institution, in alignment with Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao? One of the core themes of UH West Oʻahu’s Strategic Plan is Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi, or to be indigenous serving – ensuring active support for Native Hawaiians through vigorous programs of study cultivating the Hawaiian language, history, and culture. Our goal is to be a physical, cultural, spiritual, and interactive environment that exemplifies Native Hawaiian knowledge and values. The Strategic Plan identifies four objectives:
- Establish a Center of Hawaiian Knowledge that combines instruction, research, student services, and community outreach.
- Create Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island Degree Programs.
- Increase the number of Native Hawaiian administrators, faculty, and staff.
- Promote holistic growth for all students in a rich, engaging community to increase Native Hawaiian student success.
Please share your ideas about how we can achieve these objectives and move toward a model indigenous-serving institution by contacting me at email@example.com.
Thank you to President Lassner for coming to Kapolei to visit our campus and meet with our students, faculty, and staff. It was great for the campus to hear his thoughts on the current Legislative session being more positive for UH, and where he sees our campus – as a huge source of pride that is grounded in community.