Kanu o ka Aina to host 2017 Kui ka Lono Indigenous Education Conference

  • Students from Kanu o ka Aina and other schools participate in the Kui ka Lono conference in the Volcano area in 2015. (COURTESY PHOTO/KALO)
    Students from Kanu o ka Aina and other schools participate in the Kui ka Lono conference in the Volcano area in 2015. (COURTESY PHOTO/KALO)

WAIMEA — The 15th Annual Kui ka Lono Indigenous Education Conference will take place at Kauhale Oiwi o Puukapu at Kanu o ka Aina in Waimea on Feb. 20 and 21.

Kui ka Lono, meaning to spread the news, includes all of Hawaii’s public charter schools, and allows educators to share and discuss innovative curriculum, instruction and assessment practices, organizational advances, fundraising strategies, and fiscal, bureaucratic and legislative challenges.

Featured presenters include Dr. Manulani Aluli-Meye, University of Hawaii West Oahu’s director of Indigenous Education; Dr. Ember Junge, a former state senator from Minnesota and member of the National Charter School Hall of Fame; Dr. Sione Thompson from the State Public Charter School Commission; and Mayor Harry Kim.

In addition, various legislators from the County of Hawaii will participate, along with representatives from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), Kamehameha Schools, Native Hawaiian Education Council (Youth Legislation), Innovative Schools Network, Office of Hawaiian Education, McREL International — a nonprofit education research and development organization, Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the governor’s office, and Kanu students.

An important part of the Conference, the Hawaii Island Legislative Youth Summit brings high school aged charter and immersion school youth from around the island to learn about county and state legislative processes. Students will have a chance to engage with seasoned government officials, non-profit leaders and legislators, and to learn the mechanics of law-making and how they can participate.

They will also participate in a forum to identify student priorities for legislation, to be presented alongside recommendations from the Na Lei Naauao culture-based charter school alliance and the Native Hawaiian Education Council.

The event will culminate with the presentation of a student-produced mural, in partnership with Hoala Arts, that will be housed in the campus’s new multi-purpose gym. School tours can be arranged for Feb. 22.

In 2000, 12 Hawaiian communities from Kauai, Oahu and Hawaii Island joined forces to bring about positive changes in education at the community level. Na Lei Naauao, Alliance for Native Hawaiian Education (NLN), was created to use the national charter school movement to provide viable choices to Hawaii’s public school students. Today, more than 4,000 students — 75 percent of Hawaiian ancestry — are enrolled in Hawaiian-focused public charter schools with a positive focus on Education with Aloha (EA).

Kui ka Lono provides a unique venue to share best practices in Indigenous Education with native students and educators from around the world, and to celebrate the students who play a major role in the event, as living proof that EA is highly effective. This valuable conference is supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Native Hawaiian Education Council, the Innovative Schools Network, Bank of Hawaii Foundation-Monty Richards Community Award and Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana (KALO).

Visit www.innovativeschoolsnetwork.com for registration and presentation details or contact kaiulani@kalo.org.

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