CULTURAL LITERACY AND PLACE BASED EDUCATION INITIATIVES ON LĀNA‘I

Native hawaiian education (NHE) act grant (2012-2015)

The U.S. Department of Education-Native Hawaiian Education Act sponsored place-based education program, “E ‘Ike Hou Iā Lāna‘i–Embracing Lāna‘i’s History Through Language and Literacy,” is a three year program that began in 2013. The year-round programs are offered free of charge to Lāna‘i residents and those interested in our island history.

As a part of the year two (2014) programs, the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center (Lāna‘i CHC) has been hosting a series of cultural landscape and literacy workshops, and offered a three-week field school in Hawaiian Lifestyles, Archaeology, Marine Biology, Watershed Systems, Stewardship, and Literature. The summer enrichment camp was open to students entering grades 6-12 and recent high school graduates. Activities engaged participants in programs rooted in the native lore and practices of Lāna‘i, and linked traditional knowledge with modern skills in environmental resource management programs. Upper Lāna‘i High & Elementary School students and recent graduates who completed the three-week course also recieved college credits in English 100, and basic background in Anthropology 200.


The program integrated traditional Hawaiian language accounts penned by natives as early as the 1830s, and foreign accounts of Lāna‘i into literacy initiatives. The historic literature documents practices, beliefs, and changes that have occurred on Lāna‘i over the last 180 years.  The program also incorporated place based knowledge of land, sea, water and people that are uniquely ours on Lāna‘i. 


Students in the summer program participated in both classroom and field work. The activities included: (1) surveying a traditional Hawaiian fishpond at Waia‘ōpae along the windward shore of Pālāwai Ahupua‘a, (2) mapping ancient lo‘i kalo and other cultural-archaeological resources in Maunalei Valley, (3) engaging in programs of literacy in Hawaiian and English, and (4) exploring the marine environment with Hawai‘i Pacific University marine biologists and visiting the Sea Education Association (S.E.A.) 135 foot research sailing vessel.  Lāna‘i CHC has been working closely with Lāna‘i High & Elementary School, Pūlama Lāna‘i, Honua Consulting, UH-Maui College, Hawai‘i Pacific University/S.E.A., Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, and community partners to create an engaging place-based curriculum for Lāna‘i. Instructors included specialists in a wide-range of fields; including archaeology, marine biology, musicians, university professors, as well as long-time Lāna‘i resident fishermen, anthropologists, environmentalists, and cultural practitioners.


Through a revival of traditional knowledge, history, and sense of place, E ‘Ike Hou Iā Lāna‘i seeks to inspire wise use, stewardship, and cultural sustainability among Lāna‘i’s present and future generations. 


The drop down menu in this section of the site provides viewers with details of programs and place-based curriculum activities offered through the NHE Grant.


Article from Lanai Today Nov. 2012, prepared by KepĀ maly.