The College of Hawaiian Language Urgently Needs Your Support

Commentary by Asst. Professor of Hawaiian Studies at College of Hawaiian Language, University of Hawai’i at Hilo Keola Donaghy:

Aloha kākou. This legislative session the state legislature is considering a bill which will provide funding for the construction of a new building on the UH-Hilo campus to house Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language. Currently staff and faculty of the college are spread out over three locations on the UHH campus, making it difficult sometimes for students to even locate their teachers. And we have only a single classroom dedicated for our exclusive use; every semester we must compete with other programs for adequate classrooms in which to teach our classes. Well all know the importance of a sense of place in the Hawaiian culture. Well, our students, faculty and staff have no “place” to call our own on the UHH campus.

Below I have listed some of the highlights of our College’s achivements:

  1. Among the fastest growing programs at highly cramped UH-Hilo
  2. The College is highly community service oriented
  3. New building to be at the physical and academic focal point of a future expanded UH-Hilo campus
  4. Academically and culturally tied to highly successful bilingual ‘Imiloa Astronomy Education Center
  5. Hawaiian Language College programs draw numerous national and international visitors
  6. Most developed indigenous language revitalization program in the world
  7. Largest Hawaiian language focused major count in the State
  8. The sole Hawaiian Studies Ph.D. program in the UH System
  9. A national model for immersion at the tertiary level with Hawaiian B.A., M.A., Teacher Certification, and Ph.D. in Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization
  10. Provides other indigenous peoples with opportunities to enroll through its Linguistics B.A., an Indigenous Education M.A., and the Ph.D.
  11. Partners at the graduate level with University of Arizona, University of Alaska, and University of Waikato (New Zealand)
  12. The only fully operational P-20 educational system in Hawai‘i with the P-12 Hawaiian Immersion Nāwahī Laboratory School that includes early college enrollment
  13. In 2009, Nāwahī School was one of only five schools on Hawai‘i Island with the highest rating under Federal No Child Left Behind legislation
  14. The College’s Hale Kuamo‘o Service Center is the main source of curriculum materials and teacher support for over 2,000 students in P-12 Hawaiian Immersion Statewide
  15. The College’s Ulukau Hawaiian Electronic Library (operated in conjunction with Alu Like, Inc.) is a major resource with Hawaiian dictionaries, archives, etc. Over the past five years, Ulukau has received over 40 million hits from users around the world
  16. The College’s Leokī telecommunications system was the first in the world to provide a completely translated interface and ability to communicate completely in any indigenous language in the world.
  17. The College’s Hale Kuamo’o has worked diligently with technology providers such as Apple Computer, Inc., Google, Netscape Communications and Microsoft to enhance the ability of Hawaiian speakers to utilized advanced technologies. The presence of native support for the Hawaiian language in Apple’s Macintosh operating system, the iPhone and iPad are a direct result of the College’s initiatives.

The bill which will fund construction of our college’s already-designed facility has passed the state House of Representatives and is currently in the Senate’s Ways and Means commitee. We would like to ask for your assistance in contacting members of this committee and express your support for funding. You may send emails, fax or call any of these senators, however, your contact is particularly important if you are a resident of the district that the senator represents. Please feel free to share this communication with your family and friends, and ask them to support us as well. You should also mention the bills by number HR2200 (in the house). Senate companion bill number is SB2765.

Shan S. Tsutsui
4th Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 206
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone 808-586-7344; Fax 808-586-7348
From Maui, toll free 984-2400 + 67344
sentsutsui@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Jill N. Tokuda
24th Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 218
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-587-7215; fax 808-587-7220
sentokuda@Capitol.hawaii.gov

J. Kalani English
6th Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 205
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-587-7225; fax 808-587-7230
From Maui, toll free 984-2400 + 77225
From Molokai and Lanai, toll free 1-800-468-4644 + 77225
senenglish@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Carol Fukunaga
11th Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 216
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-586-6890; fax 808-586-6899
mailto:senfukunaga@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Brickwood Galuteria
12th Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 208
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-586-6740; fax 808-586-6829
sengaluteria@capitol.hawaii.gov

Clayton Hee
23rd Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 228
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone 808-586-7330; Fax 808-586-7334
senhee@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Russell S. Kokubun
2nd Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 407
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone 808-586-6760 ; Fax 808-586-6689
From the Big Island, toll free 974-4000 + 66760
senkokubun@Capitol.hawaii.gov

You may visit our college’s website to learn more about our programs: http://www.olelo.hawaii.edu/khuok/

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