2017 Na Wahine O Ke Kai
Meahilahila Kelling: Community Educator
Dr. Meahilahila Kelling received Kamehameha Schools 2017 Native Hawaiian Community Educator of the Year award in October in recognition of her work engaging learners in Hawaiian culture and language.
Kelling is the director of Ke Kula ʻo Samuel M. Kamakau Laboratory Public Charter School, a K-12 Hawaiian language immersion school. The mother of three found her calling while volunteering with preschoolers at Pūnana Leo o Kawaiahaʻo to fulfill her Hawaiian language requirement while attending the University of Hawaiʻi.
“At that moment, I was committed. I realized the power of education and especially the significant impact that Hawaiian language and culture have on the total well-being of families and communities,” Kelling said. Her own educational journey earned her Doctor of Education certification from the University of Southern California.
“I would welcome and encourage anyone considering Hawaiian culture-based education as a career with this ʻolelo noeau: ʻE lauhoe mai nā waʻa; i ke kā, i ka hoe, i ka hoe, i ke kā; pae aku i ka ʻāina,’ which translates as ‘Everybody paddle the canoes together, bail and paddle, paddle and bail and the shore is reached,’” Kelling said. “It takes everyone to paddle in unison to get to our destination and when we arrive, there are always other places to go.”
“Dr. Kelling has devoted countless hours to the Hawaiian Focused Charter Schools (HFCS) and Kula Kaiapuni (Hawaiian Surrounding Environment Schools), and her dedication to the educational well-being of all Native Hawaiian learners exemplifies leadership in Hawaiian education,” said Kūamahi Community Education Managing Director Waiʻaleʻale Sarsona.
Yosihiko Sinoto: 1924 – 2017
In 1977, anthropologist Yosihiko Sinoto unearthed the remains of a 1,000-year-old Tahitian voyaging canoe on Huahine Island, material evidence that confirmed accounts of ancient deep-water voyages remembered in Polynesian legend and chant. Sinoto’s discovery of the 65-foot ocean voyaging canoe renewed interest in Hawaiian navigation and voyaging and, along with other archeological finds and restoration work, spurred cultural reawakening on several islands in French Polynesia.
Over six decades of work at Bishop Museum, Sinoto’s field research led him to island groups throughout the Pacific, significantly advancing what is now known about Polynesian voyaging and the Pacific’s indigenous people. As an advocate, he called for stronger preservation laws and educational programs to raise awareness of the need to protect Hawai‘i’s cultural legacy. On Oct. 4, Sinoto died at age 93.
Born in Japan in 1924, Sinoto came to Hawaiʻi in 1954 and worked as a research assistant to Kenneth Emory at Bishop Museum while attending the University of Hawaiʻi. After earning his doctoral degree at Hokkaido University in Japan, Sinoto returned to Bishop Museum to serve as chairman of its anthropology department. In 1989, he was named the Kenneth Pike Emory Distinguished Chair in Anthropology.
“Dr. Sinoto is recognized globally and will long be cherished for his tremendous achievements and contributions to the world’s understanding of Pacific peoples and their history,” said Linda Lee Kuuleilani (Cissy) Farm, Bishop Museum’s interim president and chief executive officer.
“Keaualaka” film to premiere in December
Ka ʻImi Naʻauao o Hawaiʻi Nei Institute has scheduled two Kauaʻi showings of its documentary “Keahualaka,” about a signficant ancient place that is part of the Keʻe heiau complex.
The first showing on Dec. 2 is a “red-carpet invitational” to supporters of the institute and the restoration and maintenance of Keahualaka, and will take place at the Līhuʻe Lutheran Church Hall.
The public showing will be in Kauaʻi Community College’s new theater on Dec. 7. Exact times will soon be announced.
The film documents efforts to recreate the site, drawing on archival photographs and video footage, including work days and hula. Once nearly forgotten, the restoration has drawn not only cultural practitioners and hāumana hula, but others interested in this important archaeological and beautiful site.
DVD copies of “Keaualaka” will be available for purchase at the showings for a nominal price, with proceeds benefitting Ka ʻImi Institute. For futher information, visit www.kaimi.org or Ka ‘Imi Institute’s Facebook page.
Applications accepted for farm apprentice program
The Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United, the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui and UH-Maui College are accepting applications for the Farm Apprentice Mentoring Program (FAM) through Nov. 22.
The program has two phases. In Phase 1, a series of 10 modules will help hone skills and techniques of organic and regenerative agriculture. The second phase is an in-depth farm business planning course.
More details are available at hfuuhi.org/education/farm-apprentice-mentoring-fam-program or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants will be called for an interview the week after Thanksgiving and apprentices will be announced on Nov. 28. Apply online here.