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The Pikoʻokoʻo Initiative will enable an interdisciplinary group of Native Hawaiian and other faculty at UH Mānoa to plan, implement, and evaluate an interdisciplinary conference and produce a publication that will showcase how our institution is a Hawaiian Place of Learning (HPL). The Initiative will also identify best practices for those wanting to make their classrooms or departments more of a HPL. The publication will also serve as a resource for courses on sustainability and resilience. Pikoʻokoʻo honors the importance of supporting our piko (core, center), which is grounded in Native Hawaiian custom and tradition. This initiative will:

  1. Provide opportunities for campus-wide networking and collaboration.
  2. Train students, junior faculty, emerging scholars, and administrators in HPL.
  3. Showcase incubator programs at UH Mānoa already anchored in HPL.
  4. Re-engage the larger community with the current work of HPL.
  5. Document the current work of UH Mānoa on HPL while highlighting students, faculty, administrators, and community partners.
  6. Leverage scarce resources to demonstrate interdisciplinary commitment to HPL.

A two-day conference at Mānoa, to take place in the fall of 2018, will define and give meaning to a Hawaiian Place of Learning. It will highlight the ways in which Native Hawaiian scholars and programs at UH Mānoa support, encourage, and engage with communities throughout our islands to address the serious social, economic, health, educational, cultural, and environmental challenges we face. It will also showcase the traditional ecological knowledge and biocultural wisdom shared by members of those communities to inform and culturally-ground the work, research, scholarship, and teaching of Mānoa faculty. The topics covered in this conference will enable faculty to incorporate it into their coursework and have students from different disciplines across campus attend as part of their learning process.

We anticipate between 250–300 participants, including UH Mānoa faculty and staff, Kānaka community participants, and UH Mānoa and high school students. The first full-day of the conference will include keynote speakers, panels, and workshops at which Mānoa faculty and their community partners will showcase and discuss their research, findings, student participation/ instruction, and scholarship. The second day of the conference will include panels and workshops as well as half-day field-trips to sites on Oʻahu where the research and scholarship of emerging Kānaka scholars and other junior faculty is grounded in both HPL and community.

The faculty, scholars, and community members participating in the conference will be invited to submit articles and essays highlighting their research, findings, and perspectives, which will be compiled into a publication. The conference papers have the potential to form the piko of enhanced courses at UH Mānoa on Hawaiian culture, land, and natural and cultural resources. The publication will be a valuable resource for students, faculty, and staff that will draw attention to the ways in which UH Mānoa is a Hawaiian Place of Learning that learns from and shares with the community in order to advance Hawaiian knowledge, traditions, and customs.

Pikoʻokoʻo collaborators

Jon Osorio (Interim Dean, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge), Noreen Mokuau (Dean, Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work), Melody K. MacKenzie (Acting Dean, William S. Richardson School of Law), Jerris Hedges (Dean, John A. Burns School of Medicine), Willy Kauai (Director, Native Hawaiian Student Services), Kapua Sproat (Director, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law & the Environmental Law Clinic), Keaweʻaimoku Kaholokula (Chair, Dept. of Native Hawaiian Health, JABSOM), and Kaiwipuni Lipe (Native Hawaiian Affairs Program Officer).

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