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Step 1: Engage with the Core Principles

Principles to guide our excellence

1a. Mānoa Strategic Plan

To engage with the core principles, read the Mānoa 2025: Our Kuleana to Hawai‘i and the World Strategic Plan. In terms of becoming a Native Hawaiian place of learning, pay special attention to pages 4-19.

1b. Core Principles

Beginning with a mo‘olelo:

Papa, earth mother, and Wākea, sky father, parent many of the Hawaiian Islands. They also have a daughter, Ho‘ohōkūkalani. Eventually Ho‘ohōkūkalani gives birth to a premature child who does not survive. He is named Hāloanakalaukapalili and they return him to Papa, his grandmother earth. From this site grows a kalo, which goes on to become a principal food for the Hawaiian people. A second child is born to Ho‘ohōkūkalani. He is named Hāloa in honor of his elder sibling. Hāloa becomes an ali‘i nui (high chief) and is an ancestor of the Hawaiian people. Hāloa, the chief and younger sibling of the kalo, cares for the land and the surrounding environment, which then allows the kalo, the elder sibling, to grow and feed the people. This reciprocal and familial relationship is maintained by the entire society, resulting in a sustainable and abundant Hawai‘i for centuries.

Core principles and relationships that emerge from this mo‘olelo can guide us in becoming a Native Hawaiian place of learning that excels in teaching, research, and service:

  • Moʻokūʻauhau: the many genealogies that shape us
  • Kaikuaʻana & Kaikaina: intergenerational interdependent relationships
  • Kuleana: our responsibilities and privileges
  • Hānai & Hoʻomalu: nourishing and protecting each other
  • Mālama: tending to and caring for one another


The many genealogies that shape us

One of the lessons from the mo‘olelo of Hāloa is mo‘okū‘auhau or the genealogies that connect us. It begins by teaching us the familial connection that Native Hawaiians have with Hawai‘i, pointing to their long-standing relationship of caring for and being nourished by Hawai‘i. At UH Mānoa, we value the deep Native Hawaiian genealogies of this place and seek to learn from their wisdom in best caring for each other and our island home. We also celebrate the many genealogies of people, places, and knowledge systems that converge on our campus from places near and far, east and west. We strive to provide opportunities for each member of our campus community to further connect to and learn from their genealogies, which include not only their family lineages but also the genealogies of knowledge systems and worldviews that have shaped them. By doing so, we cultivate a campus culture rich in diverse ways of thinking about our connections to each other and to our island earth.

Moʻokūʻauhau: Connections to ʻĀina

Mapping Moʻokūʻauhau: Overview

Mapping Moʻokūʻauhau: ʻOhana

Mapping Intellectual Moʻokūʻauhau

Moʻokūʻauhau: ʻāina

Mapping Moʻokūʻauhau of a Hui

Below are a few resources that either provide examples or further explain this principle. By no means is this an exhaustive list. Feel free to email us at if you have a suggestion for additional resources to share. Mahalo!

Moʻokūʻauhau Examples

In addition to a genealogy shaped from my parents, grandparents, and extended family, I will share some of my academic moʻokūʻauhau. I am fortunate that my parents placed a high value on school and learning, to the extent that they moved to a neighborhood that may have been beyond their family economics but gave us a solid public school education. As a result, I was successful in college and earned a doctorate in community & cultural psychology. I have many professors, classmates, colleagues, friends, and family to thank for being able to complete grad school and shape my commitment to improving wellbeing in a way that makes sense for kids and families in schools and communities across Hawaiʻi and elsewhere. Through my TRHT Pilina Circle Facilitator participation, I am gaining a clearer understanding of how white privilege and related knowledge systems entrenched in US schools and academia (including at UHM and in my own work) play a major role in my academic moʻokūʻauhau, and what that means for me vis a vis colleagues, students, community partners, projects, funders, etc in my role as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry going forward.



Our discussions of moʻokūʻauhau within TRHT have led me to engage in new ways with the many people, places, and beings that have shaped my life. By expanding my concept of genealogy beyond my immediate family histories and traumas, I’ve reconnected with ancestors who I recognize are present in my life. I feel called to this work to do some healing on our collective behalf. And in naming land as part of my genealogy, I recognize the literal common ground I share with others wherever I go, even if I am new to a place.

Moʻokūʻauhau has honestly been the Native Hawaiian principle I have most “lived” and drawn upon since learning it in TRHT. I definitely had a reverence for understanding one’s lineage, but had never considered genealogy in such fluid terms prior to my time in the pilot cohort. I have always been interdisciplinary in my work, blending education, research and art, but I had never considered how in each domain, I have one or more lineages directly responsible for my particular abilities and perspectives, and each of these is as central to who I am as my biological lineage. There is no hierarchy of importance among them because each is a unique and irreplaceable part of my identity. The fluidity in this helps me to understand myself and my connection to others. There is always a way in which any two people have one or more of these lines of ancestry in common. At some point, divisions that we think mark us as distinct (biologically, culturally, professionally, ideologically, etc.) are yet branches that, prior to their divergence, were one thread leading back to a common origin. We truly are all family.

Kaikuaʻana & Kaikaina

Intergenerational interdependent relationships 

From a Hawaiian perspective, knowing our position within a given genealogical context allows us to know our role as kaikua‘ana or kaikaina. Kaikua‘ana is an elder sibling or a senior in some respect. Kaikaina is a younger sibling or a junior in some respect. In Hāloa’s story, the natural world is born before humans and is, therefore, kaikua‘ana to humans. At UH Mānoa we celebrate the amazing senior expertise that leads and teaches in our schools and colleges across the campus. At the same time, we honor that we have much to learn from the generations of knowledge of our host Indigenous culture and our island home. Most importantly, the kaikua‘ana/kaikaina relationship reminds us that we are always in relationship with another and we celebrate and seek ways to understand those connections.

Kaikuaʻana & Kaikaina: Overview

Kaikuaʻana & Kaikaina: ʻOhana

Kaikuaʻana & Kaikaina: Intellectual Moʻokūʻauhau

Kaikuaʻana & Kaikaina: Unit Moʻokūʻauhau

Below are a few resources that either provide examples or further explain this principle. By no means is this an exhaustive list. Feel free to email us at if you have a suggestion for additional resources to share. Mahalo!

Kaikuaʻana & Kaikaina Example

I use this example frequently in my work with the future teachers that I work with. Kaikuaʻana & Kaikaina help us understand how we are in relationship with each other given our other various roles/positions in life–as teacher and student and as student and teacher. As a transplant to Hawai’i, I am Kaikaina to most of my students in that they are able to serve as geographic, cultural, political older siblings to me as I learned to navigate my way in this new land. Similarly, as their formal mathematics teacher educator, I am Kaikuaʻana, thus responsible for them learning the ways of being a math teacher.


Our responsibilities and privileges

Kuleana guides how the kaikua‘ana and kaikaina care for one another. English terms often associated with kuleana include right, dear privilege, concern, and responsibility. In the mo‘olelo, we see Hāloa’s kuleana to care for the kalo and the surrounding ‘āina so that the kalo can fulfill his kuleana to feed his younger brother and all of us. At UH Mānoa, we value kuleana because it gives each of us purpose and we seek ways to nurture and sustain the life of each of our kaikua‘ana and kaikaina.

Kuleana: Overview

Moʻokūʻauhau ʻOhana: Kuleana

Kuleana: Intellectual Moʻokūʻauhau

Kuleana: Unit Moʻokūʻauhau

Kuleana Examples

While I am still learning about kuleana, it has helped me to better understand the responsibilities and privileges I hold in creating systems of reciprocity and care. Carrying the concepts of white guilt and white privilege from the continental U.S./Turtle Island, kuleana has gifted me alternative language to name my relationships to people, place, and beings as a settler in Hawai‘i. As a guidepost, it reinforces when it’s my role to speak and to listen, how to prioritize my time and energy, and ways to hold myself accountable.

After participating in TRHT in Summer 2019, I felt kuleana to share a land acknowledgement before every workshop, presentation, public speaking event that I participated in. I feel this centers the group in theʻāina that nourishes us and gives us more purpose to our service and work. I also wanted our new students to be introduced to Mānoa from a Hawaiian perspective and created a place-based section in our New Student Orientation. This section briefly describes where Mānoa is situated from a Hawaiian perspective (pae ʻāina, moku, mokupuni, ahapuaʻa, and ʻili), the history of Mānoa Valley, Queen Liliʻuokalani’s role in creating the University, the University’s construction on stolen land, and how to honor the kuleana of being a student and or staff/faculty member of the University in present times.

Hānai & Hoʻomalu

Nourishing and protecting each other

Hānai is translated as feeding, fostering, and nourishing. Ho‘omalu refers to protecting. It is the kuleana of the kaikua‘ana to hānai and ho‘omalu those who are younger or junior in some respect. At UH Mānoa, we recognize that our kuleana is to nourish and protect our students and communities. At the same time, we honor that there are many people and places that can also nourish us. We are committed to bringing the best educators and researchers from Hawai‘i and across the world who come from a variety of cultural, geographical, and academic genealogies to nourish our amazing students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, professional programs, distance learning and outreach programs, and experiential learning opportunities. By nourishing our students with both breadth and depth of knowledge and experience, we enable them to become the leading nurturers and protectors of their communities in Hawai‘i and across the globe.


Tending to and caring for one another

Mālama is the act of tending to and caring for another. It is the kuleana of the kaikaina to mālama those who are elder or senior in some respect. For many of us, we have experienced this in the way we care for the elders in our homes and communities. At UH Mānoa, we strive to find pathways and best practices to care for the people, places, and knowledge systems that are deeply rooted in Hawai‘i and can be shared across the globe. We also create multiple pathways through service learning, internships, and place-based projects for our students to give back to the communities that continue to nourish them.

Below are a few resources that further explain this principle. By no means is this an exhaustive list. Feel free to email us at if you have a suggestion for additional resources to share. Mahalo!

Mālama Resources

Mālama Examples

At the end of Spring 2020, our advising office emotionally felt the strain of the semester being impacted by COVID-19. We also felt for our students who were having a hard time adjusting to all of the changes and the fear of living amidst a global pandemic. In these unprecedented times, we wanted to mālama and support our students as best we could, especially since the campus was closed and social distancing was being mandated. TRHT has shown me through assessment and evaluation, you can seek out the needs of the population you are trying to mālama to make sure your service is meeting their needs. To do this, I sought out help from TRHT Design Team member, Monica Stitt-Berg (UH Mānoa Faculty Specialist with the Assessment and Curriculum Support Center) to create a survey that would assess student needs and how best to serve our students during the pandemic. The result was the COE Student COVID Survey which had a successful response rate and helped guide our policy and planning in the following semesters to make sure mālama was at the core of what we did in the COE Office of Student Academic Services.

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