E ola ka olelo Hawaii

2019 was declared by the United Nations as the International Indigenous Year of Languages. This declaration is to help “raise awareness of languages, not only to benefit the people who speak these languages, but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make for our world’s rich cultural diversity.” Language is a verbal expression of cultural beliefs, memories, and traditions and is the foundation for Indigenous peoples.

Like many Indigenous languages around the world,  ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi has a history of suppression. Following the overthrow of their kingdom, Native Hawaiians became a minority in their own homeland, marginalized in the new political economy. By 1898 kānaka maoli were punished for speaking their native language. Generations of Hawaiians unable to pass on their knowledge to their children, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi became an endangered language. Without Hawaiian expression, the Hawaiian way of thriving as a lāhui was dramatically disrupted.  Added to depopulation and loss of lands, this led to cultural conflict and despair, causing loss of cultural and health practices.

In the 1970s, the Hawaiian language revitalization movement began. With perseverance, determination, and mana instilled by their kūpuna, the leaders of the movement nurtured our endangered language to strengthen and grow. Today, there are 12 Pūnana Leo preschools and 21 Hawaiian immersion and Hawaiian medium education schools statewide. The University of Hawaiʻi system offers college degrees in Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian medium education. 

 Click on image to view:  ʻĀhaʻi ʻŌlelo Ola: ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi: A Brief History


ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi was recognized as one of two official state languages in Hawaiʻi, and in 2012, an amendment to the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes § 8-24 provided that the month of February be designated as “ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi Month”. This measure was the first Act to be codified in Hawaiian and English, and stated: “Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi: E ʻike mau a e kapa ʻia ana aʻe ka mahina ʻo Pepeluali ʻo ia ka ‘Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi’ i mea e hoʻomaikaʻi a e paipai aku ai i ka ʻōlelo ʻana o ua ʻōlelo Makuahine nei lā.”

The month of February shall be known and designated as ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi Month to celebrate and encourage the use of Hawaiian language.

In honor of “Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi” and the United Nations’ Year of the Indigenous Languages, Papa Ola Lōkahi will be sharing messages that highlight ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and Hawaiian well-being.  POL has also launched a trimonthly Hawaiian language class for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems across the pae ʻāina.

E ola ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i  ~  The Hawaiian language shall live

 ~ Nāpua Casson

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NHHSP logo color papa ola lokahi logo trans 01


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  January 15, 2019   [PDF attached]


Applications open for 2019-2020

Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship


The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP), a program of Papa Ola Lōkahi (POL), is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications from students in health care and allied health professions for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Information may be found at www.nhhsp.org.  The deadline to apply online is March 1, 2019.

Awards are made to students enrolled or enrolling full-time in an accredited college in Hawai‘i or the continental U.S.  The scholarship benefits include tuition, other school related expenses, and a monthly living stipend. Upon completion of the degree and required training and licensure, the recipient shall serve two to four years of full-time employment in designated medically underserved sites in Hawai‘i.

Applications are being accepted for 17 different health and allied health professions, including clinical psychology, dentistry, dental hygiene, dietetics, marriage & family therapy, nursing, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physician’s assistant, public health and social work.   

More than 284 scholarship awards have been made in almost 20 different health and behavioral health disciplines since 1991. 

“This program has been successful because Hawaiian communities have been served by homegrown health professionals, and our alumni scholars have risen to positions of leadership.”  POL executive director Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels says proudly.  “We encourage anyone who is interested in pursuing a health or allied health field to apply and be part of the Hawaiian health community.”

The entire application process is online.

For more information about the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program visit www.nhhsp.org.

Scholarship inquiries:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media inquiries:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Oral Health Survey


This survey will help us and the five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems understand the status, capacity and needs of good oral health for you, your families and your community. 

Click here, click on the image above, or paste https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SoMedia-OH  into your browser.

Mahalo for your time and mana'o!

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POL Christmas Card 2018 revClick on image to view the entire 8-page newsletter.


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