CPIS affiliate faculty member Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua recently published The Seeds We Planted (see Publications and Moving Images). Dr Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua was among a group of young educators and parents who founded Hālau Kū Māna, a secondary school that remains one of the only Hawaiian culture-–based charter schools in Honolulu. Goodyear-Kaʻōpua served as a teacher, administrator, and board member at various times during the school’s first decade. In this book, she tells the story of the school against the backdrop of the Hawaiian struggle for self-determination and the US charter school movement, revealing a critical tension: the successes of a school celebrating indigenous culture are measured by the standards of settler colonialism.
Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua asks: How does an indigenous people use schooling to maintain and transform a common sense of purpose and interconnection of nationhood in the face of forces of imperialism and colonialism? What roles do race, gender, and place play in these processes? Drawing from Native studies, history, anthropology, gender studies, cultural studies, and education, she provides a richly descriptive portrait of indigenous education at Hālau Kū Māna and offers practical answers steeped in the history of Hawaiian popular learning and literacy.
This uniquely Hawaiian experience addresses broader concerns about what it means to enact indigenous cultural–political resurgence while working within and against settler colonial structures. Ultimately, The Seeds We Planted shows that indigenous education can foster collective renewal and continuity.