Hawaiians aim to develop their Ke Ku’Ula Leo initiative with Māori

Hawaiians aim to develop their Ke Ku’Ula Leo initiative with Māori



A Hawaiian language expert Kaliko Baker is looking at the Māori Language School of Excellence as a blueprint for a school of Hawaiian language excellence. His aspirations were expressed at the He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference in Hamilton. 

Māori language exponents taking centre stage at the International Indigenous Research Conference.

Professor Timoti Karetu told Te Kāea, “The language is one of the main things that’s being spoken about at this conference.”

Among them, Hawaiian language teacher Dr Kaliko Baker who’s on a mission to build a School for Hawaiian language experts.

Dr Kaliko Baker says, “They’ll come through their Punana Leo, their Kaiapuni program, go to the university and keep on going. Going through those programs their thinking well maybe one day I’ll get to the Ke Ku’Ula Leo, and that’ll be a goal for some individuals.”

His goal’s to follow the example set by Te Panekiretanga, a school established to advance speakers of the Māori language.

“Te Panekiretanga are like the All Blacks of Te Reo, and we need to make and NFL, a national football league for Olelo Hawai’i.”

Te Panekiretanga teacher Pania Papa sees the importance for language revival and cultural identity. Since its inception 12 years ago it’s produced over 200 graduates who now have the ability to uphold the responsibility of speaking for their people on their marae.

“The status of each tribe is held by the paepae. So if the paepae is weak, that’ll reflect the whole tribe. So strengthening the paepae will be beneficial for the tribe as a whole.”

The program is still in its developmental stages, however Dr. Baker has already met with founders of Te Panekiretanga to discuss how they can adapt the model to fit the Hawaiian context. 

Source: Maori TV