Mission and Goals

Hā Kūpuna speaks of the giving of hā, or breath of life, from the older to younger generations. In Native Hawaiian culture, kūpuna traditionally are recognized as the major sources of wisdom and the transmitters of knowledge and training to younger generations. In order to provide kūpuna with the opportunity to pass hā to younger generations, we must consider ways to promote their well-being, health, and access to long-term care. It is our mission to improve health and increase life expectancy of kūpuna.

The goal of Hā Kūpuna is to enhance knowledge about and to share the lived experiences of Native Hawaiian kūpuna to inform the development, testing, and enhancement of culturally informed strategies to improve their health and well-being. Our focus is strengths and resiliencies.

Selected Activities

  • Provide technical assistance to the local aging network and organization specifically serving Native Hawaiian elders.
  • Partner with ALU LIKE, Inc. to conduct a series of interviews with program participants that document the strengths and resiliency of kūpuna and their experiences and care preferences when working with service providers
  • Engage in collaborative projects with the other National Resource Centers on Native Elders
  • Create an updated demographic profile of Hawaiian kūpuna using 2020 Census data
  • Conduct secondary data analyses of physical health, mental health, well-being, and service use variables as measured on the 2014 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Search the Hawaiian language newspaper archive for materials relevant to Hawaiian conceptions of aging, caregiving, and the role and status of kūpuna in society.
  • Create culturally anchored and sensitive curricular materials for students and service providers in the field
  • Increase awareness of issues important to the lives of Native Hawaiian kūpuna through broad dissemination of findings through journal articles, fact sheets, conference presentations and social media.