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Lia O’Neill M.A. Keawe

Associate Professor, Kamakakūokalani

Dr. Lia O’Neill M.A. Keawe is an Associate Professor. Her teaching focus and research interests are located in the intersections of comparative politics, historical and political “myths”, body politics of Kanaka Maoli identity and culture, indigenous studies and cultural semiotics. She is also an affiliate faculty at the Center for Teaching Excellence on the Mānoa campus. Dr. Keawe holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hawaiian Studies. Office Phone: 808-956-0637 Office Fax: 808-973-0988 Office Location: KAMA 209F E-mail:

Kekuewa Kikiloi

Assistant Professor, Kamakakūokalani

Dr. Kekuewa Kikiloi focuses primarily in the Mālama ʻĀina concentration and his research interests include Hawaiian resource management, indigenous knowledge, traditional society, genealogies, cultural revitalization, and community empowerment.  His research spans the main Hawaiian Islands, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and greater Polynesia.

Office Phone: 808-956-0558

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 103D




Noah Keola Ryan

Instructor, Kamakakūokalani

Keola Ryan was born and raised in the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī on the island of Oʻahu.  Thanks to his family he grew up with a deep appreciation for Hawaiian culture, natural environment, and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM).  Partially raised by his grandfather, civil engineering professor Dr. Paul Hummel, Keola grew up on the Mānoa campus and has always considered it a second home.

After graduating from Kamehameha Schools, Keola attended UHM and entered the Hawaiian Studies program.  He has since earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish Language and Hawaiian Studies as well as a Master’s Degree in Hawaiian Studies specializing in mālama ʻāina and kumu kahiki.  His thesis entitled Rapa Nui-Hawaiʻi Connections: A Translation of Geo-Etimoligia de la Isla de Pascua analyzes Rapa Nui place names in comparison to those of Hawaiʻi and the greater Pacific.

Outside of academia Keola has studied the art of hula for several decades under William Kahakuleilehuahaunuʻu “Sonny” Ching.  In 2011, he successfully completed the ʻūniki rights before a panel of loea hula and graduated to the rank of Kumu Hula.  He has since written a hula class (HWST 327: Mele Hula o Pelehonuamea) and teaches it at Kamakakūokalani.

In addition to his work at the university, Keola and his wife run a conservation based eco-tour company in Waialua, Oʻahu.  This venture brings his interests in Hawaiian culture, natural environment, and education together in a way that positively impacts the local community.

Office Phone: 808-956-0553

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 103A


Noelani Puniwai

Assistant Professor, Kamakakūokalani

Noelani Puniwai is passionate about cultivating the next generation of students to mālama ʻāina. She has been trained academically (PhD in Natural Resources and Environmental Management, UH Mānoa; MSc. in Environmental Science, Washington State Univ; BA in Marine Science, UH Hilo) to practice malama ‘āina/kai. Yet through her experiences in her culture, science training, and student mentorship, she’s recognized that feeling aloha ‘āina, he alo a he alo, face to face must also be practiced, moving beyond exclusively intellectual pursuits. Her research interests include coastal ecosystems, cultural geography, knowledge co-production, and seascapes. Noe believes that we can use the rigor and methodologies of pono science, the foundational wisdom of our kūpuna, and our experiential daily practice of aloha ‘āina to awaken responsible action for the future of our Hawai’i.

Office Phone: 808-956-0597

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 209BB



Keahiahi Long

Librarian II

Keahiahi Long lives in Maunalua, Oʻahu, is a practicing mea hula, and is the Librarian at Kamakakūokalani.  Her primary duties are to support the creation of, access to, and use of materials related to ʻike Hawaiʻi, and to manage the Laka me Lono Resource Center collection so it best aligns with the curriculum of Kamakakūokalani.  Keahiahi holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and Bachelor’s Degrees in Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Office Phone: 808-956-0589

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 208C


Long-CV-Dec -2017

Eva Pualeilani Santos

Facilities Manager, Kamakakūokalani

ʻAnakē Pua is our Facilities Manager at Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies.

Office Phone: 808-956-0550

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 101AB



Malia K. H. Akutagawa

Assistant Professor, Kamakakūokalani

Malia Akutagawa is an Assistant Professor of Law and Hawaiian Studies with both the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge – Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies and the William S. Richardson School of Law. Malia earned Baccalaureate degrees in Philosophy and Biology from Whitworth University in 1993. Malia is a 1997 alumnus of the William S. Richardson School of Law, having earned a Juris Doctor and Environmental Law Certificate. She was admitted into the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association in 1998.

Malia’s scholarship includes State and federal laws protecting iwi kūpuna (Native ancestral burials), preserving cultural and historic sites, and engaging Native communities and stakeholders in consultation on these matters. Malia is also involved in community-based resource management efforts along traditional land divisions (ahupuaʻa) and district/regional (moku) levels within the context of State watershed management partnerships and Community Based Subsistence Fishing Areas (CBSFAs). Malia is particularly interested in the integration of Native, Indigenous Hawaiian methodologies, customary law, and governance principles founded by the ancient ʻAha Kiole (People’s Councils) and incorporated into law under the StatewideʻAha Moku Advisory Committee (AMAC). The AMAC is comprised of representatives from each of the eight main Hawaiian islands. It advises the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) on Indigenous best practices for the management of natural resources in Hawaiʻi.

Malia is part of Hui ʻĀina Momona, a consortium of scholars throughout the university community charged with addressing compelling issues of indigenous Hawaiian knowledge and practices, including the legal regime and Native Hawaiian rights associated with mālama ʻāina, and with focus on cross-disciplinary solutions to natural and cultural resource management, sustainability, and food security.

Office Phone: 808-956-0559

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 103DD




Konia Freitas

Director, Associate Specialist, Kamakakūokalani

Konia Freitas was born and raised in Hawaiʻi on Oʻahu island.  She is a Specialist faculty member and the director of Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.  As a Special Projects Coordinator, she works in the area of program planning, curriculum development, and program assessment and evaluation.  For several years, she worked in the area of community engagement and engaged scholarship in the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.  Projects funded under the “Community Engagement” initiative linked education, research and practice together in ways that reinforced the fundamental importance of place, Hawaiian culture and philosophy.  Prior to this, Konia co-wrote a successful application for a US DOE grant which funded the Kōkua A Puni program, the precursor to the Native Hawaiian Student Services program currently in operation today.  Her academic areas of interest span indigenous planning, Hawaiian-focused education and indigenous research methodology.  She has professional land use planning experience and holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning.  She serves as affiliate faculty at the UH Manoa campus in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Center for Teaching Excellence.  Her doctoral research examined the link between education to the necessity of land among Hawaiian-focused public charter schools.

Office Phone: 808-956-0591

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 209AC


Freitas_CV_12.11.2017 Final

Dr.Lilikalā Kame’eleihiwa


Dr.Lilikalā K. Kame’eleihiwa is a senior professor at Kamakakūokalani. Trained as a historian, she is also an expert in Hawaiian cultural traditions, and in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, and has served as executive producer of the 2005 DVD Natives in New York, Seeking Justice at the United Nations, and as co-scriptwriter of the 1993 award winning documentary An Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation.  Her books include Nā Wāhine Kapu: Sacred Hawaiian Women, He Mo’olelo Ka’ao o Kamapua’a: A Legendary Traditional of Kamapua’a, the Hawaiian Pig-God, and Native Land and Foreign Desires: Pehea Lā E Pono Ai?

Office Phone: 808-956-0592

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 103E


Kameʻeleihiwa CV

Rochelle Piʻilani Hussey Kaʻaloa

Assistant Specialist, Graduate Chair,   Kamakakūokalani

Rochelle Piʻilani Hussey Kaʻaloa is a faculty assistant specialist at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies and is currently the Hawaiian Studies Master’s Program Graduate Chair.  In her position she additionally provides Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge information technology consulting around distance education, the school knowledge well (digital repository), and technology assistance and integration projects. She holds a Master’s degree in educational technology and has over 15 years experience as an educator working and researching in the areas of indigenous education, distance education, and instructional design.   Her current research agenda is in Native Hawaiian education, particularly in the area of access and use of technology by Native Hawaiian teachers and students.  Her doctoral research focuses on working closely with higher education faculty and staff to support the integration of emerging technology for teaching and learning in higher education.

Office Phone: 808-956-0588

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 208A


Kaʻaloa CV

Kekailoa Perry

Associate Professor

As an Associate Professor at Kamakakūokalani, Kekailoa Perry teaches courses on Western law in Hawaiʻi and the application of Hawaiian rights. As a Hawaiian studies undergraduate student in the late 80s, he learned to question, think critically, and analyze clearly. When he entered law school at Mānoa, he understood the limits of law, as well as the need to live up to laws, and to test them before changing them. While he has a particular cultural and activist viewpoint, he encourages students to form their own viewpoints. He believes students are the future and he wants to empower them. He has learned that taking an idea apart is not enough: “How do you rewrite it into something that’s good for us or find some value in it and rebuild the foundation? Critical analysis needs to be more than just breaking down. It has to include the rebuilding.”

Office phone: 808-956-0636

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 209E


Tino Ramirez

Academic Support, Kamakakūokalani

Tino Ramirez provides support for Kamakakūokalani’s academic programs and projects.  He has a BA in English from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Office phone: 808-956-0548

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 101AA


Kamanamaikalani Beamer

Associate Professor

Dr. Kamanamaikalani Beamer is an associate professor at the Center for Hawaiian Studies in the Hui ‘Āina Momona Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a joint appointment in the Richardson School of Law and the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.  Previous to this role Dr. Beamer was the president and chief executive officer of The Kohala Center.  Beamer’s research on governance, land tenure, and Hawaiian resource management, as well as his prior work as the director of ‘Āina-Based Education at Kamehameha Schools, prepared him for his continuing service as a director of Stanford University’s First Nations Futures Institute, a resource management development program for indigenous leaders developed by Stanford, Kamehameha Schools, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in New Zealand.

Beamer has revitalized and maintained lo‘i kalo (taro ponds), providing him and his children opportunities to mālama ‘āina, deepen connections with cultural traditions, and derive leadership lessons from the land. In 2013 he was nominated and confirmed to a four-year appointment on Hawai‘i’s Commission of Water Resource Management and was reconfirmed in 2017 for an additional four-year term. In addition to numerous academic publications, in 2014 Beamer published No Mākou ka Mana: Liberating the Nation, which received multiple awards including the Samuel M. Kamakau Book of the Year Award from the Hawai‘i Book Publishing Association.

Book Publications

Beamer, Waiwai?—Water and the Future of Hawai‘i, (currently being placed into manuscript form).

Beamer, No Mākou Ka Mana—Liberating the Nation, Kamehameha Publishing, (2014).

International and National Peer Reviewed Journals

Beamer, Kawika Winter, Et. Al. The Moku System: Managing biocultural resources for abundance within social-ecological regions. Sustainability, Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources, Special Issue on Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi. (2018)

Beamer, J. Osorio, Sullying the Scholars Craft: An Essay and Criticism of Judge James S. Burns Crown Lands Trust Article, University of Hawai‘i Law Review, vol. 39 No.2 (2017).

Beamer, W. Tong, The Mahele Did What? Hulili Multidisciplinary Research on Native Hawaiian Well Being, vol. 10 (2016).

Beamer, L. Gonschor, Toward an inventory of ahupua‘a in the Hawaiian Kingdom: A survey of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century cartographic and archival records of the island of Hawai‘i, The Hawaiian Journal of History, vol. 48 (2014).

Beamer, Ke ao naʻauao maoli, Aboriginal Education World, No. 47. (2012).

Beamer, Ali‘i Selective Appropriation of Modernity—Examining Colonial Assumptions In Hawai‘i Prior to 1893, AlterNative An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples (5) pp. 138-155. (2009).

B.K. Beamer, T.K. Duarte, I palapala no ia aina—Documenting the Hawaiian Kingdom, A Colonial Venture? The Journal of Historical Geography (35) pp. 66-86. (2009).

Book Chapters

Kamanamaikalani Beamer, “The Kingdom of Hawaiʻi,” in Voting and Political Representation in America:  Issues and Trends, Edited by Mark P. Jones.  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO (Forthcoming 2019)

Kamanamaikalani  Beamer, “Only 20 Ahupuaʻa Away,” In Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawaiʻi Aikau, Hokulani K. and Vernadette V. Gonzalez, editors. (Duke University Press, forthcoming Fall 2019).

Kamanamaikalani  Beamer, “Tūtū’s aloha ʻāina grace” in, The Value of Hawai’i 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu: (Goodyear-Kaʻopua &Yamashiro eds., 2014).

Kamanamaikalani Beamer, “ʻŌiwi Leadership and ʻĀinain, I Ulu I Ka ʻĀina: The Hawaiʻinuiākea Monograph Series Vol II, University of Hawaiʻi Press & HSHK, Honolulu: (Osorio, Andrews, & Benham eds., December 2013).

Kamanamaikalani  Beamer and Peter Vitousek, “Traditional Ecological Values, Knowledge, and Practices in Twenty-First Century Hawaiʻi” in, Linking Ecology and Ethics for a Changing World, Cary Conference Proceedings, Springer Press, New York: (Rozzi, Pickett, & Palmer eds., December 2013).

Panels, Presentations and Keynote Addresses

Keynote Speaker, He Au Honua Indigenous Research ConferenceMaui, HI (2019)

Keynote Speaker, Hoʻoulu Hawaiʻi—King Kalākaua Era at Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu (2018)

Graduation Speaker, First Nations Futures Institute Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, (2018)

Science, Culture, and Agriculture: using the past to inform our future, Stanford University, Palo Alto CA.   (2018)

Aloha ʻĀina and Circular Economies Presenter, University of Augsburg Germany (2018)

Plenary Speaker, 2nd Annual Hawaii-Germany Clean Energy SymposiumHonolulu, HI (2018)

Panelist, “Balancing Competing Water Demands Under the Public Trust Doctrine—Exploring the Decision to Amend East Maui’s Interim In-stream Flow Standards. Hawaii State Bar Association, Honolulu, HI                          (2018)

Plenary Speaker, Pīkoʻokoʻo Hawaiian Place of Learning Conference, Honolulu, HI (2018)

Keynote Speaker,USGS Water Conference, Honolulu, HI (2017)

Panel Presenter, Hawaiʻi Congress of Planning Officials, Honolulu, HI, (2017)

Plenary Speaker, Ike Wai Water Conference EPSCOR Hawaii State Conference, Honolulu, HI (2017)

Plenary Speaker, American College of Trial Lawyers, Wailea, Maui (2016)

Plenary Speaker, Hawai‘i Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations Conference, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (2015)

Keynote Speaker, Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference, Hilo, Hawaiʻi(2015)

Indigenous Forum PanelistFoodand Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy (2015)

Hawaiʻiʻs Ahupuaʻa: Mapping a NationThe Hawaiian Historical Society, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. (2015)

World Parks Congress Conference Invitation, Australia (2014)

Koe Nae Ke Kuleana, Uncovering Hawaiian Rights in the Lands of Hawaii: Indigenous Agency and Trust Relationships in Hybrid Situations, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, Austin, Texas (2014)

Ascent: Building a secure and Sustainable Water and Energy Future in Hawaiʻi, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi (2014)

Aloha ʻĀina resource management, Hawaiʻi Ecosystems Conference, Hilo, Hawaii, (2013)

Ke ʻano o ke kolea—An introduction to Hawaiian place, Conference on U.S. Recreational Water Quality Criteria: A Vision for the future, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi (2013)

He aliʻi kaʻāina,ʻAha Nauā Lelepā ʻŌiwi Leadership Institute, Kamehameha Schools, Kona, Hawaii. (2013)

 Science, Culture, and Agriculture: using the past to inform our future, Stanford University, Palo Alto



Manu Ka‘iama


Manu Kaʻiama hails from Kaʻelepulu, Oʻahu. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and two master degrees, one in Accounting from the Shidler College of Business and the other in Hawaiian Studies from Kamakakūokalani Center of Hawaiian Studies. She enjoys a joint appointment as an instructor at both the School of Accountancy, Shidler College of Business and at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies. As a serious supported of higher education for our Nation, she has fundraised over 15 million dollars to be used predominantly for scholarship support for Native Hawaiian students.

As a cultural practitioner in hula and chant, she is fascinated by researching mele. Manu’s interests include value-driven Native Hawaiian businesses, Island sustainability and “thrivability,” successful economic models for independent island Nations, among other topics. She is a serious supporter of justice for Hawaiians.

April A. H. Drexel

Associate Professor, Kamakakūokalani

As an Associate Professor at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, Kumu April’s teaching focus is on Native Hawaiian visual culture, customary practices and contemporary arts, politics of “imaging,” history, mythology, land tenure and cultural studies.

Alika K. Maunakea

Alika K. Maunakea is an Assistant Professor in the Native Hawaiian Health Department out of the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Mehana Ka‘iama

Mehana Ka’iama is an Instructor at Kamakakūokalani, Center for Hawaiian Studies, currently teaching HWST 107, The Center of the Pacific.  She is a 2001 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools who attained a BA in Hawaiian Studies from UH Mānoa with an emphasis on Modern Political Issues in 2004 and an MBA from the Shidler College of Business in 2007.

While working on her undergraduate degree, Mehana was selected to testify at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations in New York.  She presented on the abuse of land and cultural resources by the United States Military.  She also participated in a study abroad with Otago University in Aotearoa.  While there she focused on critically analyzing similarities and differences in culture, modern issues and political movements between Hawaiian and Māori.  While working on her graduate degree, Mehana spent a summer in the South Pacific traveling to Tahiti, the Tuamotus and the Marquesas.  Here she looked at the benefits and disadvantages of an economic model that uses traditional art practices to generate revenue.  While working on her MBA, Mehana was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma due to her scholastic achievements.   Currently, Mehana works part-time at Paepae o Heʻeia, a nonprofit organization that manages an 800 year old traditional Hawaiian Fishpond, serving as fiscal manager.  Mehana has been active in community events and Hawaiian politics.  In the classroom, Mehana works to instill a sense of cultural awareness, sensitivity and responsibility in her students.

Office Phone: 808-956-0553

Office Fax: 808-973-0988

Office Location: KAMA 103A



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