Co-founder and Curriculum Designer
I know what it is like to grow up not feeling completely connected to my Hawaiian culture. I would sometimes feel embarrassed and wished I had a stronger understanding of the language, culture and traditions. The language of my heritage was lost in my ‘ohana generations ago. Right out of high school I had a strong pull to build an understanding and connection with my cultural identity. In college I immersed myself in my studies and have made learning and educating others about Hawaiian culture my life's work.
I am a graduate of the first class of Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at UH Manoa under the mentorship of some of Hawai‘iʻs most respected kumu and professors. As a Native Hawaiian educator, performer, artist, community organizer, and environmentalist for the past 20 years I have been fortunate to travel throughout the world representing Hawaii for conservation work, performance and indigenous education. My music and storytelling is also featured in museums both in the U.S. and Aotearoa (New Zealand).
I am a mother of three keiki on the island of Moloka‘i, together with my husband we care for the loko iʻa(fishponds) and create Aloha ‘Āina based learning for Moloka‘i and the larger Hawai‘i community. Our children are firmly grounded by ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and philosophies, but like everyone else they were deeply affected when schools closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19. I needed to pivot and create a fun and engaging online experience for my students on Moloka‘i. Instead of just creating something for the students on Moloka‘i, I decided to create something for everyone no matter where they are in the world.
I designed Ka Hale Hoaka to fill a need for enjoyable home-based learning. Its because I want you to be able to say what I did 30 years ago, at the age of 17, when I made the investment in myself. I promised that, my ‘ohana will play a role in breathing life back into our culture.