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Hale Kipa ʻŌiwi


Hale Kipa ‘Ōiwi is an outreach project dedicated to provide technical assistance to Native American groups interested in the revitalization and survival of their traditional language.  This project began in September of 2001 and targets indigenous leaders and educators interested in visiting Hawaiian language revitalization sites here in Hawai‘i.

After working to remove the ban on the use of Hawaiian in Hawai‘i’s school system, the ‘Aha Pūnana Leo joined with Native Americans to convince the U.S. Congress to reverse federal policy to remove Native American languages from Native American communities.  Since the passage of the Native American Languages Act in 1990, there have been increased efforts throughout the United States to save the some 200 remaining Native American languages from extinction.  Many of these languages have only a handful of speakers and only twenty still have children speakers.  The ‘Aha Pūnana Leo is the nationally recognized model for Native American language revitalization programs in the United States.

Through grants from the Lannan Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation, other indigenous groups visit ‘Aha Pūnana Leo model sites and programs.  These visitors also meet with key individuals responsible for the success of our programs and receive follow up support through continued communication with the program. 


“As an ecologist I have learned that everything is connected! It is wonderful to see that this is so much a part of the Hawaiian tradition and that it is so effectively infused into your educational programs.”

R.C. Murphy, Ambassador of the Environment Ocean Future Society

“I was moved by your hospitality & genuine greeting. You are all blessed to be moved towards your culture as indigenous people of this ‘āina.… I’m proud –because of what you have achieved – to be Hawaiian!”

Duke Aiona, Lt. Governor

“Nyah weh shanoh! I give thanks that our paths have crossed. My visit here has renewed my spirit. Keep on being the leaders for indigenous protection of language & land & culture.”

Osah Gan Gio (aka Valerie Johnson), Kellogg Foundation

“Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse of a remarkable program that can clearly be the model for the future of the Hawaiian children. I stand in awe of what you’ve accomplished.”

Gail McClure, Kellogg Foundation

“Dear People on behalf of the Squamish… Peace to each of you. Thank you for sharing your beauty, your treasures, your inheritance – your children. We will take many messages home. The strength of your collective ancestors is worn well by the example of the children, & their advisors& the teachers.”

“It is the dream of my people, the Alutiiq, to grow a new generation of fluent speakers and cultural knowledge holders. Viewing your school has inspired us.”

Shauna Hegna

“It has been a privilege for me to be here and experience the heart of your school. I feel as if everyone here is family, it brings something different to the outlook of schooling for me.”

Kai Bartlett, World Renown Outrigger Canoe Competitor, Multi-time winner of Moloka‘i Channel Six-man and One-man canoe races

“Thank you to all of you! You are definite living visions for all indigenous peoples.”

Patsy & Gary Hill

“We have come to learn about your language programs so that we can emulate your good work at home with our people. It is a privilege and an inspiration to see young people strong and assured of who they are. Thank you for our leadership and vision. You are a service to Native people around the world.”

Michael Shepard, Lummi Nation, Washington State