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The Seeds We Planted

The Seeds We Planted: Portraits of a Native Hawaiian Charter School

Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    The Seeds We Planted
    Book Description:

    In 1999, Noelani 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 urban Honolulu.The Seeds We Plantedtells the story of Hālau Kū Māna against the backdrop of the Hawaiian struggle for self-determination and the U.S. charter school movement, revealing a critical tension: the successes of a school celebrating indigenous culture are measured by the standards of settler colonialism.

    How, Goodyear-Ka'ōpua asks, 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? Her book, with its richly descriptive portrait of indigenous education in one community, offers practical answers steeped in the remarkable-and largely suppressed-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 Plantedshows that indigenous education can foster collective renewal and continuity.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8908-8
    Subjects: Education, Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  5. INTRODUCTION: Indigenous Education, Settler Colonialism, and Aloha ‘Āina
    (pp. 1-46)

    As the 2010–11 school year was coming to a close, I sat with Kau‘i Onekea—a 2006 Hālau Kū Māna (HKM) graduate—at the wooden picnic tables under the two white twenty-by-twenty-foot tents where HKM students ate lunch. Kau‘i was never a student on this, the current and hopefully permanent campus. She had returned, however, to HKM as an assistant Hawaiian language teacher two years after her 2006 graduation. When the four trailer-classroom spaces behind us were full, she sometimes held classes outside at these tables.

    Kau‘i had walked across the stream from her home in Maunalaha, where her...

  6. ONE The Emergence of Indigenous Hawaiian Charter Schools
    (pp. 47-82)

    It could be argued that the establishment, against all odds, of Hawaiian culture–based charter schools in urban and rural communities across the islands was the most visible and significant accomplishment of the Hawaiian movement in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The post–World War II and poststatehood democratic revolution in Hawai‘i neither brought revolutionary changes in land usage nor upset existing settler colonial structures of power and logics of domination.¹ Rather, it replaced some white settler elites with local Japanese and Chinese settler elites. In much the same way, the political ascendance of Asian settlers within the...

  7. TWO Self-Determination within the Limits of No Child Left Behind
    (pp. 83-126)

    In Hālau Kū Māna’s second year of operation, I advised the first graduating class on the creation of a senior video documenting their reflections on their life journeys to that point. Each of the six ‘ōpio grew up in different neighborhoods in Honolulu and spent the majority of their school years in the mainstream public system. Their most recent experiences prior to HKM had been at one of the large, public Honolulu high schools founded during the early territorial period and named for powerful white American men who were crucial in executing the U.S. annexation of Hawai‘i and leading the...

  8. THREE Rebuilding the Structures That Feed Us: ‘Auwai, Lo‘i Kalo, and Kuleana
    (pp. 127-166)

    The marginalization and suppression of Indigenous knowledges has gone hand in hand with the transformation and degradation of Indigenous economic systems and the ecosystems that nourish us. Conversely, settler-colonial relations might be transformed by rebuilding, in new ways, the Indigenous structures that have historically sustained our societies. As a foundational part of Hālau Kū Māna’s educational program, teachers and students work together to revitalize lo‘i kalo and the ‘auwai (irrigation ditch systems) that enrich them. Since HKM’s early years, kumu have been building curriculum and engaging students in restoring ‘auwai and lo‘i within an ahupua‘a saturated by global corporate capital....

  9. FOUR Enlarging Hawaiian Worlds: Wa‘a Travels against Currents of Belittlement
    (pp. 167-204)

    Indigenous Pacific Islanders’ senses of self are created as much in travel as in continuous residence upon particular lands.¹ We are both routed and rooted.² As Native Pacific cultural studies scholars Diaz and Kauanui write, “The land and sea constitute our genealogies and, not surprisingly, they lie at the heart of the varied movements to restore native sovereignty and self-determination. Land and sea are ways by which peoplehood is fashioned.”³ Along similar lines, this chapter balances chapter 3’s focus on rootedness to ‘Aihualama by exploring the routes of HKM’s interdisciplinary wa‘a education program and the Project’s emphasis on learning through...

  10. FIVE Creating Mana through Students’ Voices
    (pp. 205-240)

    In this book I explore the tensions between asserting Indigenous educational self-determination and working within a settler state school system. While HKM educators have tried to establish and maintain cultural kīpuka (stands of continued Indigenous cultural growth), they have been pressured by forces aimed at constraining the school as a safety zone—a state-sanctioned space in which Indigenous culture can be practiced as long as it remains unthreatening to settler society. In previous chapters I show how the pressures of NCLB, state and federal standards, and dominant notions of settler education have worked to fence such a zone, minimizing Kanaka...

  11. CONCLUSION: The Ongoing Need to Restore Indigenous Vessels
    (pp. 241-248)

    As I was nearing the completion of my manuscript, sitting at my kitchen table and typing away one afternoon in the late spring of 2011, the familiar chime of my text message notification sounded. It was HKM’s po‘o kumu, Mahinapoepoe Duarte:

    “Ua lanakila. We passed our math HSA test!!!”

    Mahina had come on board that fall and led a relentless campaign to improve students’ math scores on the Hawai‘i State Assessment (HSA), as math had been the subject keeping HKM from meeting AYP targets. Absolutely determined to get the school out of NCLB restructuring status, the faculty, administration, and families...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 249-284)
  13. Glossary
    (pp. 285-292)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 293-312)
  15. Index
    (pp. 313-321)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 322-322)