January 15-19, 2014 ~ Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium

He waʻa ke kula; na ka ʻōlelo e uli. (Schools are canoes; language steers them)



The beginning of a movement.
Thirty years ago, less than fifty native Hawaiian speakers existed under the age of eighteen. Due to legislation requiring that only the English language be taught in schools in 1896, the Hawaiian language was teetering on the brink of extinction. Along with the destruction of the language, the knowledge of the Hawaiian culture was in danger. A small group of educators with a vision to one day see the Hawaiian language thrive once more created the ʻAha Pūnana Leo. The successes of the ʻAha Pūnana Leo have grown to include 11 Pūnana Leo preschools, 4 laboratory public charter schools, the nation’s first news program broadcast through a native language, a vast online Hawaiian language learning program, and much, much more.

Our work is not complete. With the successes of the Hawaiian Medium Education system come many challenges in balancing being true to our mauli ola Hawaiʻi (our source of life which binds us to the knowledge of our ancestors) while working together with the shifts in modern ways of living. We will be focusing on the following: curriculum development, government testing, and family involvement.


Join us at the newly completed Hawaiian language building, Hale ʻŌlelo, located on the University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo campus.

  • Wednesday, January 15th to Sunday, January 19th, 2014

  • For registration information, please visit the SILS website.

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