$40K Grant Awarded to ʻAha Pūnana Leo for the Stabilizing Indigenous Language Symposium
Hilo, Hi, January 8, 2014: The ʻAha Pūnana Leo, Language Nest Foundation, has been awarded a forty thousand dollar grant to bring in native language revitalization leaders from across the United States for a unique indigenous language conference to be held in Hilo: the Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (SILS). The already sold out conference, hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, has registrants from 17 states and 12 countries. The event is scheduled for January 15-19, 2014 and will take place at both the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and the University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo campus in the newly completed Hawaiian language building, Haleʻōlelo.
The grant awarded by the Lannan Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity, will be used to strengthen the conference primarily by funding the travel of various Native American language revitalization school representatives across America. Fourteen separate tribes are included.
The symposium will be focusing on Hilo, as it has the highest concentration of young Native American language speakers anywhere in the United States; a drastic change from fifty years ago when no children in the area spoke Hawaiian.
A guided tour of the entire preschool through doctoral Hawaiian language program, run through the ʻAha Pūnana Leo and Ka Haka Ula O Keʻelikōlani, including the Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu campus, is set on the agenda, which will also include various speakers highlighting issues relating to indigenous language revitalization including curriculum development, government testing policies, and family engagement.