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A Generation on the Rise

In 2015, Kamehameha Schools embarked on SP2020 – a five-year strategic plan that would guide us toward our Vision for the year 2040: To see a thriving lāhui by putting Hawaiian learners on a path to postsecondary success. These are the stories of our progress toward cultivating Kūhanauna – a generation on the rise.


Our strength comes from a commitment to our native culture. By teaching our haumāna and employee ‘ohana the value and wisdom of Hawaiian language and culture, we continue to grow as a Native Hawaiian organization. We demonstrate our dedication to nohona Hawai‘i through support of Native Hawaiian leadership development, advocacy for Hawaiian issues, and by partnering with other Hawaiian-serving organizations.

‘Ōlelo Kahua – A foundation of Hawaiian language

In 2015, Kamehameha Schools made an organized commitment to uplift language and culture. One part of this commitment was our ‘Ōlelo Kahua program, which was an unprecedented initiative to normalize ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i at Kamehameha Schools. The move to have monthly employee training sessions on Hawaiian language and culture was a true investment in staff – a unique gift of professional development—and a catalyst for change.

‘Ōlelo Kahua

KS CEO Jack Wong extends a heartfelt “mahalo” to KS staffers for working diligently to normalize ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i throughout the organization: “We are living proof that Hawaiian identity is key to Hawaiian success – something Princess Pauahi knew all along.”

Cultural principles define our Hawaiian identity

To nurture our growth as Native Hawaiian organization, Kamehameha Schools developed cultural principles of Hawaiian identity to serve as a foundation for all that we do. KS groups, campuses and divisions flexed their cultural change muscles and identified their own initiatives around the principles of:

Practicing our cultural principles

Members of our Strategy & Transformation Group embrace the cultural principle of loina Kamehameha (shared customs and practices) by fashioning lei out of laua‘e fern and lā‘ī (ti leaves).


Developing Hawaiian leaders for our Pacific World

While in-person gatherings and exchanges have been put on hold as communities around the globe remain mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic, a robust network of cultural collaborations continues to thrive throughout the Pacific. For the first time in its history, Kamehameha Schools has created and continues to build a Pacific network of indigenous partnerships that promotes ancestral knowledge and worldview to help shape local and global solutions through cultural, educational, and professional exchanges.

‘Aha Moananuiākea Pacific Consortium encompasses KS, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Bishop Museum, and the University of Hawai‘i System, and is led and organized by KS’ Ho‘okahua Cultural Vibrancy Group. Based at the Ka‘iwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center, an emerging Pacific indigenous institute on the KS Kapālama campus, the consortium’s purpose is to honor the ancestral oceanic home of Native Hawaiians – Moananuiākea – where profound human achievements have taken place for millennia.

The relationship-building and cultural exchange at the heart of ‘Aha Moananuiākea are critical, for at this juncture in human history, climate change, sea level rise, and the threat to our oceans are curricular imperatives for education. And native peoples have important knowledge and insight that can lift humanity and help make the world whole.

KS consortium builds pilina with French Polynesia

The ‘Aha Moananuiākea Pacific Consortium – gathered for an ‘aha hoʻokipa at KS’ Ka‘iwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center to ceremonially welcoming the Honorable Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu – minister of Culture and the Environment for French Polynesia – to Hawai‘i. The purpose of the event was to explore the possibilities for a Hawai‘i/Tahiti cultural partnership. A partnership was eventually forged and Maamaatuaiahutapu and President of French Polynesia Édouard Fritch signed a declaration representing French Polynesia’s commitment to a cultural, educational and environmental partnership with ‘Aha Moananuiākea.

Kanaeokana – A network of Native Hawaiian schools

Kamehameha Schools is a founding member of Kanaeokana – a network of over 50 Hawaiian language, culture, and ‘āina-based schools and organizations (preschool through university level) collaborating to develop and grow a Hawaiian education system. That system will nurture the next generations of leaders strengthened by a strong Hawaiian language and cultural foundation. Kanaeokana is supported by the KS Kealaiwikuamo‘o Division, which facilitates and supports the needs of the network by providing communications services, advancing network projects and initiatives and producing resources for network members that amplify Hawaiian perspectives.

Kanaeokana, KS partner with Duolingo to teach ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i

‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i is the language of Hawai‘i, and learning it opens up the stories and history of Hawai‘i as the Hawaiian culture lives on and is transmitted from generation to generation. In an effort to share ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i with learners around the world, Kanaeokana and Kamehameha Schools partnered with the language education platform Duolingo to make Hawaiian language accessible to everyone from keiki to kūpuna.

Kawaiaha‘o Plaza

567 South King St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 523-6200

KS Hawai‘i

16-716 Volcano Rd
Kea‘au, HI 96749
(808) 982-0000

KS Kapālama

1887 Makuakāne St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 842-8211

KS Maui

275 ‘A‘apueo Pkwy
Pukalani, HI 96768
(808) 572-3100