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  » The Hawaiian Voyage
   by Thomas K. Kalukukui, Jr.
Historical Background
Key Points in Hawaiian History (PDF)
Ke Ali’i Bernice Pauahi Bishop
Will and Codicils
Charles Reed Bishop
Mr. Bishop’s Founder’s Day Speech


Kamehameha Schools
Admissions Policy Lawsuit

(Emails to Kamehameha Schools)

I am a divorced mother of 2 children, ages 6 and 11. We do homeschooling and I run a business from home.  We live on the Big Island ( Kea'au ) .

Although my children are multi-cultural (Mexican, Black, Dutch, Swedish, German, Norwegian, Welsh, and Native American) they are not of Hawaiian descent.  I am all for your organization having a strict policy/preference for enrolling children of Hawaiian background.  No one on the mainland is trying to enroll ( and subsequently complain when denied...) their children into Native American schools on tribal land, so I don't see why your schools should have to be any different.

From my point of view, both school systems are for children of an Indiginous Culture who had their lands taken by foreigners.  The least that can be done is for children of these cultures to learn about their past alongside others of their (sadly dwindling ) ethnic background .  I also strongly believe that ALL children should learn a more truthful version of our country's history.  One that tells it like it was regardless of where blame may or may not lay.  This is main reason why I homeschool, in addition to teaching my kids in more than one language.

Anyways, I read in the Tribune-Journal about a Kamehameha School near the Kea'au area and I just wanted to let you know that it will be a much welcomed and very enriching addition to the Island.

Kaarin Nieto
Kea'au, Hawaii


I was moved to tears after listening to Nainoa Thompson.  Nainoa's passion for all people and the Hawaiian race, makes me proud to be of Hawaiian ancestry.

I attended the recent Cultural Fest on [Nov. 2] and took my grandchildren, [aged five and three]. I wanted them to experience part of the learning community, that Kamehemeha provided for me. I walked away from that event realizing, that even today, 30 years after graduating, that Kamehameha is still educating me.

The event was informative for my whole family.  I was impressed with the trustee's presence and interaction with the people.  We need to fight to maintain Pauahi's Will.  This strength will come with knowledge, love, and faith in God to guide us.

Harolyn Kanoelani Meheula Morgenstein
KS Class of 1975

I hope this letter reaches who ever thinks that the schools policy is not a good idea. My name is Kenneth E. White. I have been following this story for some time now and I am overjoyed that the government didn't try and make your school change its rich heritage.

I understand that this school is an institution that my black or African American children could not attend. but all the same, I still think its a good idea for you not to compromise your values to " fit" society. Is it so bad that you can't attend this school if you weren't of Hawaiian descent?

If you think it is, explain to me how can companies that profited off of the back of slaves still be allowed to operate without ever acknowledging the fact that they did, or even donate money to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF)?

I wish I had  the opportunity to go to an African heritage school where I could learn more about my history and be able to pass that to my children. All I have is knowledge learned from people who wrote the history, and as you can imagine, most of them didn't resemble me or my ethnic background in any way -- not even from the physical view. The closest thing I could do was go to an Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

Anyway I'm glad you guys won and my prayers are with you.

Kenneth E. White
Louisville, Kentucky

I just read about the lawsuit and its outcome. I want to congratulate the Kamehameha Schools victory. The government in my opinion has no business dictating the policies for a legal private school. The parents of the child in question have disrespected your institution and themselves by not honoring your right to self-governance. Should this go to appeal I am certain you will prevail again!

In my opinion if you own a business, it is yours to run as you choose. This is no different than having an all gender school. I wish people would understand that what you are doing is of immense value. Making sure that Hawaiian culture lives on through the children is very important. America has historically stifled/eradicated indigenous cultures over the last three hundred years. It needs to finally stop and drawing the line with the school and your autonomy would be a great thing.

I feel for the family of the non-Hawaiian child. It is very difficult to pay for superior education and in an odd way they are paying you a compliment by recognizing the quality of your education.

Brian Tipsword
Salem, Oregon

I just read [an online article announcing Judge Alan Kay's ruling that supports Kamehameha School's admissions policy]. I'm a 1955 graduate of Saint Louis, and while I am not a Native-born Hawaiian, I am in spirit and am very pleased that you won the case.

James V. Sweeney
1955 graduate of Saint Louis High School
Altus, Oklahoma

I am a product of Kamehameha. I went to college, then to law school. I have been practicing law in Hilo for 10 years. Kamehameha gave me the opportunity to be a good and industrious citizen as Princess Pauahi promised in her Will.

I had no ambitions to become a lawyer until I attended Kamehameha. I am the first and only one of three generations of my ‘ohana to become a lawyer and I owed most of it to our Princess' trust. There is no question to me that had it not been for Kamehameha, I would not be a where I am today.

While attending public elementary schools here on the Big Island, it was a struggle for me. I felt, at an early age, that I was being left behind by a public education system that did not really care to educate struggling Kanaka Maoli such as myself. I also saw, first hand, other Kanaka Maoli struggling in an education system that did not seem to account for our people.

But at Kamehameha, I witnessed an institution that believed in and nurtured us. Kamehameha Ohana not only nurtured us, but also believed in us to succeed in an increasingly competitive society. I have plenty aloha for Kamehameha, whom I consider to be part of my ‘ohana. I am deeply grateful for some of the people in that institution who set examples for me as a youth. I deeply feel that Kamehameha is a blessing from Akua to help Kanaka Maoli thrive as a people. I recognize that these lawsuits are a very serious attack on our hope and opportunity to thrive and we must stand up in every way to fight for our children.

Louis Mendonca
Hilo, Hawai‘i

For what it's worth . . .

I wanted to extend my support of the Kamehameha Schools' admittance policies. I never attended Kamehameha. On the contrary, I attended Punahou from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I have always been impressed by Kamehameha Schools and the desires of Bernice Pauahi Bishop to establish a school for those of Hawaiian ancestry. Your institution is a invaluable part of Hawaiian culture, providing the community with a service that cannot be duplicated anywhere in the world. Please don't let the attorney's twist something good to make it look bad!

I have no Hawaiian blood, but my family has lived in Hawai'i since the late 1800s. The many friends I have who graduated from Kamehameha now have children attending there and they deserve their dedicated portion of the limited educational resources available to them through your Trust.

Randy Baird
Punahou Class of 1977

I want to thank you for keeping me abreast about the Kamehameha ‘ohana, of which I take pride in being a part of. As an educator for 32 years, teaching in the state of Ohio, I am so interested in any news of the Schools. You are all doing a fine job of keeping the legacy of our beloved princess alive for the future of the Hawaiian people. If I had remained in Hawai‘i, Kamehameha is where I would have wanted to teach. I was blessed to have been given the opportunity to be educated there and then on the mainland. The foundation of hard work, perseverance, and being a life-long learner was instilled in me at Kamehameha. I have worked hard at being an outstanding educator and community servant. I take pride in what the Schools have done so mahalo to all of you and keep the light burning! Imua!

Alice Sandborn Kern

For what my opinion may be worth as a mainlander who loves Hawai‘i and it’s people – I wholeheartedly applaud your efforts to educate those students of native Hawaiian ancestry and support your right to do it. I would hope that in the Island school system, there are programs to nurture the more gifted students as well as giving the others the benefit of an excellent education such as here in the state of New Jersey. Once again, my thoughts are with you – Good luck.

John Gabbamonte
New Jersey

I am an Australian Aboriginal woman who was recently visiting your beautiful homelands. I was shocked, angry and saddened to hear of your most recent court action to allow a non-Hawaiian student to attend your school. I urge you to stay strong and continue to protect the rights of Native children.

Like you, we have serious problems with high absentee rates as well as extremely low levels of literacy and numeracy. Unlike you, we don't have schools like Kamehameha that can provide an environment where our children can be proud of their culture and heritage and enjoy learning. What you do is essential to give our kids the skills they need to be future leaders; what you do is important.

I hope and pray that justice and common sense will prevail and that you will be allowed to continue to provide educational, social and cultural opportunities to Native Hawaiian youth in the future. My warmest and best wishes to you all.

Lori Richardson

I am a 1991 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, and I presently reside in Portland, Oregon. I was just informed about this lawsuit and started getting petitions signed by people in Oregon. So far I have 30 signatures and my goal is 500. I am deeply saddened by the fact that the general public is NOT respecting the will and testament of our Princess. The Kamehameha Schools is no different than any other school that is private and can make it's own rules like schools that are for only girls, boys, religious schools, etc. Well I hope what little I can do will help.

Marlene Kanehailua

I am a Kumu Hula of a Marin County, California based Halau Hula, Na Pua O Ka La‘akea. Our members are not a majority of Hawaiian ancestry.

I have been traveling home to O'ahu once a month for the past 2 years, in order to further my study of Hula with Hula Master, Mae Kamamalu Klein. During this time, I became aware of the troubles regarding the admission policy of Kamehameha Schools, and have been keeping my Halau informed as well. Today, we are signing the petition, and sending in at least 100 signatures, stating our desire to keep the policies AS IS, and therefore, continuing to honor the will and legacy of Bernice Pauahi Bishop. We are certain that by doing so, the future of Hawai'i and every Native Hawaiian will be preserved.

We send our warm mahalo to Nainoa Thompson, for his passionate plea. It was very moving.

Kumu Hula Shawna kealameleku'uleialoha Ngum

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